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Mr. Bean's Holiday

review by Zach B.

 

 

MPAA Rating: G

Running Time: 87 minutes

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Emma De Caunes, Jean Rochefort, Karel Roden, Max Baldry and Willem Dafoe 

Screenplay by: Hamish McColl and Robin Driscoll
Story by: Simon McBurney

Based on characters created by: Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis

Directed by: Steve Bendelack

 

Studio: Universal

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: Deleted Scenes, French Beans,  Beans In Cannes, The Human Bean

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolgy Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scenes (20 Scenes)

Released: November 27th, 2007

 

 

"Mr. Bean's Holiday" is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, and it's a pretty lovely transfer. Fleshtones are spot-on, detail is terrific and color saturation is rather and well-saturated. The colors on the transfer do pop right at you (especially the exterior shots of France), and there is no smearing. This is a very clean transfer too: I didn't see any dirt pieces or blemishes, and there's no edge enhancement. There is some noise and slight edge halos to be had, but this is a pretty and sharp transfer overall.

 

The English Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is nicely done. Bean's mumbling is clear and audible, while the film's light score from Howard Goodall sounds rather pleasant through the channels. Sound effects are pretty front-centric here, but there are some effects that use the rears effectively, particuarly the scenes with crowds in the background and some of the antics at the Cannes Film Festival. Nothing really special here, but like the film itself, it is pleasant. 

A French Dolby Digital 5.1 track is also included, as well as subtitles in English, French and Spanish.

 

There's plenty of Bean to go around in the extras department. Starting things off are 17 Deleted Scenes, lasting about 24 minutes (some scenes last a few seconds, but most run a minute or two). No explanations are given for these cuts, but it's really more of Mr. Bean doing his thing during his European adventure. If you like the character, I'm sure you'll be amused by much of this cut material. The scenes are all in non-anamorphic widescreen. 

French Beans is a nice featurette (in anamorphic widescreen) lasting nearly 11 minutes, as the key production crew discuss the film's production. Rowan Atkinson gives light to why Mr. Bean going to France is ripe for comedy; writers Simon McBurney and Hamish McColl talk about some of their inspiration as well as key moments; production designer Michael Carlin gives insight onto one of the film's scenes and co-producer Caroline Hewitt producer Tim Bevan and director Steve Bendelack share production stories and thoughts on the movie's concepts. Clips from the film are also shown, as well as footage from the set. This is entertaining and pretty engrossing, so it definitely warrants a watch. 

Running nearly six minutes is Beans In Cannes, which is a bit of a continuation of the last featurette, this time focusing on getting the permission of the Cannes Film Festival to let the filmmakers shoot. The crew and some of the actors give their thoughts on why Bean being at the festival is so perfect for the movie, insights on story elements from the climax and they also ruin the ending in the process. (Though you all watch the movie first and then the extras, right?)  

Finally, The Human Bean is a six minute piece where the cast and crew praise the talents of Rowan Atkinson, and talk about their first experiences in seeing the character Mr. Bean - before the movie, and then on the set. Atkinson also chimes in about how it can be stressful to channel the character, even after all these years. Short and sweet, and nicely done.

 

I wasn't much of a fan of the first movie, but I must say this second big-screen Bean movie is a much more concise and uniform effort. For a movie that only had a small splash in the United States but a bigger one in the rest of the world, it's nice that Universal didn't quite skimp on the extras in region 1. The sound mix is fine, and the transfer is most excellent. This is a comedy all ages can enjoy, and is certainly required viewing for Bean fans.