MaDere Whitfield's (Devine) two sons and two daughters are all grown up and no longer live in her Los Angeles home. But for the first time in seven years, all four siblings will be under one roof together as a family for the holidays. This Christmas may not be holly-jolly after all when all of the kids arrive home with loads of baggage—and I don't mean suitcases. With the tree trimmed and stockings all hung in a row, family secrets are revealed and ties tested, leaving the Whitfield's searching for the meaning of family and forgiveness. Special features on the DVDand Blu-ray Disc™ include a commentary track by the film's stars, two deleted and extended scenes, the 12-minute Making This Christmas Special featurette, the four-minute Chris Brown This Christmas music video, and previews. (Stacey Pendry)
Special features include a commentary track by the film's stars, two deleted and extended scenes, the 12-minute Making This Christmas Special featurette, the four-minute Chris Brown This Christmas music video, and previews.
The anamorphically enhanced 2.40:1 DVD shows very good resolution. Black levels are inky, and shadow delineation is defined well. The color scheme is wide, with bright, bold hues frequently delivered. The colors, though, appear too highly saturated and unnatural. Fleshtones are too red as well. Contrast is balanced nicely, though. Compression artifacts are noticeable at times throughout, even with the very good resolution. Luckily, though, edge enhancement is minor and not overly distracting. The H.264 AVC-encoded Blu-ray Disc appears relatively soft compared to better high-definition releases, but better than the DVD, and black levels and shadow delineation are just as impressive as on the DVD. Compression artifacts are not noticeable and colors are defined very well. Fleshtones still appear too red. (Danny Richelieu)
The Dolby® Digital 5.1-channel soundtrack delivers a well-mixed front stage. Unfortunately, though, the surround channels are mixed at such low levels, they rarely becoming engaging. The LFE channel is rarely used, but there is occasional deep bass delivered by the front full-range channels. This bass is defined well, with a quick and tight delivery. Phantom imaging is rare around the room, although it is used well across the front stage at times. The noise floor is low, and dynamic range is solid. Music is mixed very well with pure fidelity, and dialogue is always intelligible and natural sounding. The front stage is amply wide and deep. This is an enjoyable soundtrack. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless Dolby TrueHD encoding provides natural fidelity with improved dynamic range, and the music sounds superb. (Danny Richelieu)