Blu-ray
One to Avoid
2 stars
List Price
$19.99
Amazon
$16.39 (18%)
3rd Party
$6.98
Usually ships in 24 hours Buy Now»
Overall Grade
2 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
1 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
3.5 Stars
Supplements
1 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
One to Avoid

Madea's Witness Protection

Street Date:
October 23rd, 2012
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
December 14th, 2012
Movie Release Year:
2012
Studio:
Lionsgate
Length:
0 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

It's ridiculous these movies keep getting made, even more so that, somehow, Tyler Perry is rolling around in mounds of cash while dressed in a fat suit. There are times I love being a movie critic and then there are times I have to watch a 'Madea' movie.

Since 2005, Perry's Madea character has starred in six movies. Six! Imagine that movie marathon. Wait, don't.

For those of you unfamiliar with Tyler Perry's Madea, she's a strong-willed female character played by Perry in a fat suit and drag, who usually finds herself in the middle of a paper-thin plot as she dispels wisdom to those her underestimate her. Perry is as shrill as he can possibly be with the character. He perpetuates each and every stereotype that has been thrown about regarding elderly African-American women.

In 'Witness Protection' Madea is asked by her son Brian (also played by Tyler Perry) to take in a family that has found themselves in the middle of a large Ponzi scheme. Perry has cast one of the whitest most naturally awkward actors out there, Eugene Levy, to play the poor guy who finds himself holding the bag as the company gets investigated by the Feds. George Needleman (Levy) is married to Kate (Denise Richards). They have a couple kids and a live-in mother played by Doris Roberts.

It's soon found out that George's company might have been dealing with some nefarious characters, namely the mafia, so George is brought in to testify against them. So, adhering to what I guess are pretty stringent witness protection rules the District Attorney's office decides, "Hey, let's stick the whole family in Brian's parents' house."

After the stage is set, the movie spends the next 50 or so minutes pointing and laughing at the Needlemans. Essentially saying, "Ha, look how white these people are. They've never even seen grits and they do Yoga in the mornings. Yeah, they're really, really white."

That's basically the crux of 'Witness Protection.' We're supposed to laugh as Levy is asked to act even more awkward and clueless than he did in the original 'American Pie.' We get it, these people aren't cut out living in Madea's world of hard knocks and loud yelling. They're a milquetoast suburban family who are completely naive about life outside of their gated community. So hilarious!

Tyler Perry, somehow, is extremely powerful in the world of directing. Even with movies as stupid and banal as 'Witness Protection' he still has what amounts to a license to print money. He clearly puts absolutely no thought or creativity into a movie like this. He starts out with a simple premise that white people act stupid when thrust into unfamiliar situations and bases an entire movie around it.

Who cares if George actually makes it through the trial alive? Who cares if there is ever resolution to the main problems which arise during the movie? Seriously, who cares? This is an excuse for Perry to don a couple fat suits and try on his god-awful voices. Not only is his voice for Madea grating, but the voice he does for the elderly Joe is equally nauseating.

Watching a Madea movie makes me sad. To think that since 2005 people have been paying box office prices to see these movies in a theater. It's highway robbery.

Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

This Lionsgate release comes in a Blu-ray/UltraViolet Digital Copy Combo Pack. It's coded as being Region A and is housed on a 50GB disc.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

Filmed digitally, 'Witness Protection's 1080p image is sharp and clean as you'd expect from a newly shot movie. Detail is very clear, especially in close-ups. Pores, fine hair, and the remnants of Perry's numerous makeup jobs are visible. Clarity is consistent from close-ups to long range establishing shots of Atlanta and its surrounding areas.

The movie never looks filmic at all, though. Its bright, shiny, and has that familiar rom-com glow to it, but it looks decidedly one-dimensional at times. Like many of these digitally filmed, lower budget movies, the blacks levels suffer. They never appear to have much dimension to them. Instead blacks, while resolutely dark, seem flat much of the time. Faces are lost or obscured in shadows, instead of their details and edges being accentuated.

Colors are perfectly normal and warm though. Textures are well rendered also. Contrast is pleasing most of the time. I didn't notice any egregious banding or artifacting either. Its clarity is top-notch and overall it's a strong transfer.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

This could possibly be one of the only times I wished there had been a terrible problem with the audio. Then I wouldn't have had to hear most of Perry's inanely written script. As it is, though, the dialogue comes across fine and clear in this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix.

This could possibly be one of the only times I wished there had been a terrible problem with the audio. Then I wouldn't have had to hear most of Perry's inanely written script. As it is, though, the dialogue comes across fine and clear in this DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • Tyler Perry: Multi Hats and Costumes (HD, 6 min.) — Perry glorifying himself in his own little featurette.
  • Thank Yur, Hellur: Impersonating Medea (HD, 3 min.) — Cast members talk about the Madea character.
  • The Needlemans (HD, 5 min.) — A short fluff piece about the awkward white family in the movie showcasing just how awkwardly white they are.
  • Madea's Fun House (HD, 4 min.) — The last thing you need, after watching this unfunny movie, is four minutes of unfunny Perry gags.
  • Madea's Comedy Icons (HD, 6 min.) — The last featurette talks about the guest stars that make appearances throughout the movie.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are no Blu-ray exclusives included.

Final Thoughts

I don't see the appeal of 'Madea' movies, and I certainly don't understand how there have been six of them, with no end in sight. Tyler Perry rakes in wads of cash by throwing absolute garbage at the screen just to see what sticks. Man this movie is an awful experience made all the more awful by Perry's writing, directing, and acting. Just skip this one and lets all pretend that Tyler Perry doesn't make movies for a living.

Technical Specs

  • 50GB Blu-ray Disc
  • UltraViolet Digital Copy

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/MPEG-4 AVC

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • English, English SDH, and Spanish

Supplements

  • Behind-the-scenes Featurettes

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List Price
$19.99
Amazon
$16.39 (18%)
3rd Party
$6.98
Usually ships in 24 hours Buy Now»

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