Universal has decided to give Mamma Mia! a 10 year anniversary edition this year to coincide with the release of the sequel/prequel film that is coming out soon. The movie still holds up or not, depending on if you're a big fan of the musical, story, or ABBA music. In any case, this will get you ready for the upcoming sequel and will go down as one of Meryl Streep's worst films. Despite its 10th anniversary release, Universal hasn't really done anything new with this edition. It sports the same video and audio presentations as it did 10 years ago - - at least this Blu-ray version does. What the 10th anniversary does do though, is combine all of the previous bonus content across two discs from previous releases, along with a digital copy. It's not worth a re-buy or new purchase unless you're a big fan or just want the digital copy.
Editor's Note: Portions of this review have been taken from Peter Bracke's previous review.
Mamma Mia! has a decent enough story, but most of the time, stage plays don't transfer well over to the cinematic side of things. That's the case with Mamma Mia!, since we are taken out of the story every few minutes with a dance or music number that borders along silliness. It works perfectly on stage, but here on film, all its charm and wit is lost in the meaningless musical numbers.
It may be uncool, but I will happily go on record saying that I like ABBA. The Super-Swedes have concocted some great -- no, make that brilliant -- pop songs that have stood the test of time. They may have once been the '70s answer to Celine Dion (i.e., had a hip quotient of negative ten), but now it's impossible to hear classics like "Dancing Queen," "SOS," or "Waterloo" and not admire their craftsmanship, exuberance and sheer pop-ability. Yet, at the same time, there has always been a theatrical quality to ABBA's music that went unnoticed by most critics and even their ardent fans. Which is why I, for one, was not surprised when the band's catalogue of songs were used as the basis for an eventual smash stage musical, Mamma Mia! In hindsight it all seems obvious, a natural progression for a band whose sticky 'n' sweet pop concoctions could now easily serve as a threadbare narrative for an even more saccharine, family-friend musical theater extravaganza.
For the full review...Click Here.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Mamma Mia! 10th Anniversary comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc and a DVD disc, containing more extras. There is an insert for the digital download as well. The discs are housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve.
Mamma Mia! comes to Blu-ray in a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer, framed at 2.40:1. I must admit that I saw the film in the theater and thought it had an ugly visual look. The good news is that this Blu-ray accurately recreates that experience. The bad news is that, well, the film looks ugly.
This 10th anniversary edition contains the same 1080p HD version as the previous release. For the full review...Click Here.
Universal offers an English DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 Surround track (48kHz/24-bit) for Mamma Mia! I found it a tad disappointing. While the track is technically sound, the mix lacks a surround presence, leaving it feeling surprisingly lifeless. (Note that there is also a "Sing-Along Version" of the film included. However, it is the same DTS-MA audio track, only with subtitles providing the lyrics to all of the film's songs. There is no true karaoke soundtrack option, aka sans vocals.)
This 10th anniversary edition contains the same audio version as the previous release. For the full review...Click Here.
There are a ton of extras here that are spread across both discs in this Blu-ray release. None are new bonus features, but have been transferred over from previous releases.
Audio Commentary - Director Phyllida Lloyd flies solo on this track. Let it be said that she comes across as a very nice woman indeed, and she's obviously excited and passionate to be helming her first movie. Unfortunately, she's also a rather slow talker, so the commentary is rather dull. Lloyd discusses at length her decision-making in many key areas, including the need to shoot much of the movie on soundstages rather than on location (a move I found disastrous), along with the casting, the extensive voice rehearsals, and of course working with ABBA maestros Bjorn and Benny. I liked Lloyd after this track, but I still hated the movie she made.
"The Making of Mamma Mia!" (HD, 25 minutes) - A condensed version of the audio commentary, this breezy EPK hits all of the same beats in less than a third of the time. Most amusing are the cast voice and choreography rehearsals, particularly watching the three male leads slip into their ridiculous spandex costumes. We also get some interesting production footage of the extensive blue screen sets, though this peek behind the curtain only makes the movie seem even cheesier in retrospect. Still, a decent enough featurette.
"Becoming a Singer" (HD, 11 minutes) - By far, this is the most interesting featurette. Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson brought back most of the original ABBA session musicians to recreate the tunes, and with the help of music supervisor Martin Lowe, guide the stars through singing some pretty difficult songs. I didn't love the results as much as the filmmakers seem to, but it's fun to watch everyone stumble through some truly awful karaoke (please, Mr. Brosnan, don't give up your day job).
"Anatomy of a Musical Number" (HD, 6 minutes) - This quickie dissects the "Lay All Your Love on Me" number between Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper, the latter who was extremely nervous performing the song for the ABBA songwriters. Once again, the choreography is ridiculous.
"A Look Inside Mamma Mia!" (HD, 3 minutes) - Finally, we have this way-too-short look at the ABBA phenomenon, and the birth of the "Mamma Mia!" musical. Why only 3 minutes!?
Deleted Scenes (HD/SD, 8 minutes) - Presented as one long montage, there are about a half-dozen cut scenes here, including a long introduction for the male leads, a surprisingly steamy (for a PG-13 flick) love scene between Sophie and her fiancee, and not-too-funny shenanigans with Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski and Julie Walters.
Music Video: "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" (HD, 5 minutes) - Funny, but this clever take-off of the original ABBA "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!" music video is way better than anything in the actual 'Mamma Mia!' movie. There is a lesson to be learned here, I'm sure...
Sing-Along (HD) - All of the songs from the film will have lyrics appear on screen. This can be accessed while watching the movie in full.
Outtakes (HD, 2 Mins.) - A very short montage of missed cues, laughter, flubbed lines, and more from the set.
Deleted Music Number: The Name of the Game (HD, 3 Mins.) - The entire deleted musical number can be seen here.
Birthing Mamma Mia! (HD, 5 Mins.) - Interviews with the cast and crew about ABBA's music, adapting the play to the screen, its process, and the female talent.
The Filmmaking (HD, 9 Mins.) - This talks about Phyllidia Lloyd's work on the film, which was her first time to make a movie, and what she brought to the film and its filmmaking process.
The Cast (HD, 10 Mins.) - This takes a closer look at the main actors in the film and what they all brought to the role.
Bjorn Ulvaeus Cameo (HD, 2 Mins.) - This shows the big cameo from the ABBA bandmate in the film.
A Talented Trio: The Creators of Mamma Mia! (HD, 10 Mins.) - The big female creatives on the film all talk about making the movie, ABBA, the music, and more.
Christine Baranski and the Boys (HD, 6 Mins.) - This gives us a more in depth look at the song 'Does Your Mother Know'.
Breaking Down Voulez-Vous (HD, 5 Mins.) - Another looks at the behind the scenes during this particular scene.
More of Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie! (HD, 5 Mins.) - Another behind the scenes look at this musical number.
Meryl's Big Number (HD, 4 Mins.) - A discussion of Meryl Streep's big song and dance number, along with her performance.
VH1 10 Most Excellent Things (HD, 22 Mins.) - This is a behind the scenes look that aired on VH1 in its entirety.
Behind the Scenes with Amanda (HD, 4 Mins.) - Here we see the actress going around set, talking to us.
On Location in Greece (HD, 4 Mins.) - Scouting locations in Greece is seen here.
Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie Even More (HD, 19 Mins.) - A seven part bonus feature that discusses casting Amanda Seyfried, working with Meryl Streep, the themes and tone of the play and film, singing live, performing the music, and ABBA's most popular song.
This 10th anniversary of Mamma Mia! doesn't really come with anything new. The video presentation and audio mix is the same from when it was last released. That being said, all of the bonus features from previous releases have been imported here, some of which are included on the DVD bonus disc. In addition to that, there is a digital download code now for the film, too. There's not much new here with the Blu-ray version, but if you want that digital copy or all of the extras in one place, this is for you. For Fans Only!