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TOOTH FAIRY
Blu-ray Edition

Review by Michael Jacobson

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Ryan Sheckler, Billy Crystal, Julie Andrews
Director: Michael Lembeck
Audio: DTS HD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Features: See Review
Length: 101 Minutes
Release Date: May 4, 2010

I’m the tooth fairy…oh, YEAH.”

Film ***

There is a point in Tooth Fairy where the administrator (Andrews) ponders why their operation loses money. Maybe it’s because they dole out a lot of cash and get nothing but discarded teeth in return? Sad to think such an enduring childhood fantasy actually operates on the same fiscally irresponsible principles as our federal government, but there it is…

Tooth be told (pun intended), Tooth Fairy is the kind of film that shouldn’t work, at least for somebody as old and cranky as me. It’s a perfectly suitable film for the little ones to be sure, but what surprised me is that it offered a great deal of disarming charm for the parents as well.

It stars Dwayne Johnson as Derek Thompson, a minor league hockey player nicknamed The Tooth Fairy for his propensity toward hard, crowd-pleasing hits on the ice. Unfortunately, that’s about all he has to offer the game these days. He was once a promising star, but a shoulder injury kept him out of the scoring lane, and turned him a little bitter toward the idea of chasing dreams.

That doesn’t make him the best role model, especially when it comes to his girlfriend Carly (Judd) and her two kids. Derek isn’t a bad man, but he’d rather douse a dream with the cold waters of reality than let it lead to disappointment. He doesn’t even find simple childhood fantasies like the Tooth Fairy important.

But he learns the error of his ways…because he’s been less than kind to the dreams of others, Derek will have to spend two weeks working as a Tooth Fairy…not the kind that carries a hockey stick, but the kind that carries a wand and wings. It’s the last thing he wants, especially since he’s trying to keep his relationship intact and manage a career that now consists of babysitting the club’s hot young prospect (Sheckler).

It will take a lot of patience from both the administrator and Derek’s instructor Tracy (the hilarious Merchant), as well as a few handy gizmos offered by a Q-like guru (Crystal). Derek may have the powers, but he will never master them until he has the belief, and childhood (and baby teeth) wait for no fairy.

Of course, it’s all done to show Derek (and us) how precious our dreams are, and how much chasing them down, even if we don’t always succeed, drives and defines who we are. Derek may not make the best fairy, but he learns to be a better man because of it. Let’s just hope the constant exposure to amnesia dust doesn’t kill the lesson.

Dwayne Johnson has been positioning himself as a successful family film star for a few years now, and it’s easy to see why. He’s big, but delivers plenty of warmth, charm, and self-deprecating humor that appeals to kids both young and old. He definitely has more future where this film came from.

I wasn’t prepared to really like this movie, but like it I did. It had just the right amount of heart, humor and solid life lesson to make it a worthwhile endeavor, no matter how young or old. Seeing is indeed believing.

Video ***

There really was no discernable flaw to this transfer that I could come up with, but I’ve come to expect a ‘wow’ factor when it comes to my Blu-ray discs that wasn’t really here. Images are clean, sharp and detailed, and colors look natural, but this kind of movie doesn’t really demand the most use out of a high definition system.

Audio ***

The same can be said of the audio…it works well, offers some dynamic range and some decent uses of the surround channels and subwoofer, but apart from a few big game moments, nothing really demanding. Dialogue was always cleanly delivered, and that’s always a plus.

Features ***1/2

The disc kicks off with both an introduction and a commentary track from director Michael Lembeck. There is also a behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes, a gag reel, a look at fairy training, and a “fairy-oke” sing-along. This set also includes a DVD version of the movie and a digital copy disc for your portable device.

Summary:

Tooth Fairy offers laughs and charm, and another winning role for an ex-pro wrestler turned family film phenom. You’ll enjoy this one.

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