The Movie: 7.5/10
Because I sometimes have this thing where I am not looking forward to certain movies it gives me another layer of movie watching experience. I was not looking forward to Chef. Why? It looked pretentious and kind of boring. That meant I was neutral when I sat down to soak it in. Long story short…. I really enjoyed it. That means I had a bit of a bonus journey, which is always a good thing.
I enjoyed the story, even though I was ready for a tale of some smart as chef who is up his own ass, which does almost rear its ugly head, but the bigger story of the character saves it. A chef bored with the standard favorites he’s cooking up in someone else’s restaurant needs to find a place to do his own thing. It’s not complicated really, but it’s got enough personality to turn me around.
We meet a divorced dude, father to a 10 old son just as he comes to a point in life when change is upon him. I don’t love the whole ‘chef as rock star’ stuff. I find all that to be pretty unappealing, but they kept that particular attitude to a minimum. More than anything else this is a story about a guy who loves to make food, needs to be a better father, and probably needs to get out of the kitchen more and be less self-indulgent.
We get a glimpse of what it might be like to be ripped apart by some obnoxious idiot on the Internet who decides they can review your creations and leave you to pick up the pieces. Hmmmmm Maybe those reviewers need to keep their opinions to themselves. Nah
The cast fits the vibe of this story just right. The young actor who plays the son out shines even the hard-core older generation folks. Everyone is appropriately fun, funny, sweet, endearing, and yet have that right balance of quality and casualness to make every scene a pleasure. There are a few sugary sweet Hollywood moments, and there is not dangerous edge in Chef, but not every movie needs an edge. Sometimes they can be round and juicy and succulent with fancy sauces, a side of asparagus puree and a nice glass of wine.
- Deleted Scenes – 10 minutes of deleted scenes some funny and some deleted for a reason.
- Feature Commentary – Jon Favreau and real life chef Roy Choi who served as food consultant on the movie, talk you through most of the movie. When I say most they stay silent for a lot of the runtime which is a bit disappointing. Still lots of food insights here and Favreau is his usual charming self.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 3/10
A boring cover for a really good movie is alway disappointing. No poster for this one. The menu is what it is.
Audio & Video: 7/10
A good-looking transfer here as Universal is known to produce. But if you are looking for a stunning transfer you will be disappointed. Shot digitally using the Arri Alexa camera rig Chef is a very warm looking colorful movie. Fine detail is evident but not in all scenes, and one of the darker scenes at the start of the movie does contain a little black crush. Aside from that though color’s are excellent and ringing and macroblocking are non-existent.
A single English 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio track is included. While the movie is heavy on dialog what showcases the uncompressed format is the Cuban/Latin soundtrack that permeates the movie. As with other Universal releases of late the music audio is often mixed louder than the dialog making some dialog hard to hear, on the bright side though you can use the uhear button if you miss something. In addition to the lossless 5.1 HD Audio track you get a range of subtitles in English, Spanish and French.
Overall Score 7.5/10