Movie Review: INSTANT FAMILY (Blu-ray Combo Pack)

INSTANT FAMILY was directed by Sean Anders and was inspired by his own true story. Anders co-wrote the screenplay with John Morris. Instant Family stars Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Margo Martindale, Julie Hagerty and Octavia Spencer.

When Pete (Mark Wahlberg) and Ellie (Rose Byrne) choose to start a family, they stumble headfirst into the world of foster care adoption. After they learn their perfect foster child comes with two other siblings, Pete and Ellie find themselves speeding from zero to three kids overnight and must hilariously learn the ropes of instant parenthood if they hope to become a real family.

Instant Family follows Pete and Ellie who decide to become a foster family and they dive in head first into the program and pretty much ignore the advice that’s been given to them by the pros. They attend this foster/adopting fair where most of the young children get claimed really fast but they end up being really impressed with Lizzy (Isabela Moner), a teenager who also has a younger brother Jaun (Gustavo Quiroz) and younger sister Lita (Julianna Gamiz) who are also in the program. Pete and Ellie take a chance and decide to bring all three kids home with them so they don’t get seperated.

It all seems way too perfect in the beginning but once the newness wears off – real life woes set in. The couple discovers they’re in way over their heads and should’ve listen to the advice given to them but they’re determined to make this new family work even though the kids are rebelling against them as well as causing them a little legal trouble. Hey, you gotta watch out for those spiteful teenagers! It also doesn’t help any when the kids troubled mother enters back into the picture but Pete and Ellie stay strong and are their for their kids when they need them the most. In the end, it all works out and they officially become a family.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. Each disc is color coded and features the movie logo. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. The picture and sound quality for the standard-definition disc were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Instant Family ended up being a heartwarming family comedy (with a few dramatic moments) that deals with the fostering process and a lot of the headaches, heartaches and absolute joy that come with it. I came from a broken home and thankfully my grandparents saved me but so many children have to enter into the foster program for one reason or another as well as these couples looking to either foster or adopt and this movie shows the positives and the negatives of how things can go some times. The chemistry between Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne was great and the young cast did an amazing job with their characters. The three kids are a lot of fun to watch! Sean Anders did a really good job telling his story and bringing it to life on screen and it’s such an important subject that will hopefully bring more attention to fostering and adoption. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and then you’ll want to watch this one again. Instant Family will be available on a Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital on March 5th and is a good one the entire family can sit down and enjoy together.

Distributor: Paramount Home Media Distribution

Run Time: 118 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.39:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 / French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 / EDA

DVD Video: Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1)

DVD Audio: English, French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 / EDA

Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include more than an hour of laugh-out-loud and uplifting bonus material.  Go behind the scenes and see how the cast and crew brought the story to life, and meet writer/director Sean Anders’ real-life family, who served as the inspiration for the film. Plus, watch hysterical deleted and extended scenes and an uproarious gag reel; enjoy commentary with Anders and writer John Morris; and so much more!

  • Deleted & Extended Scenes (10:51)
  • Introduction by Sean Anders and John Morris
  • Gag Reel (03:09)
  • Commentary by director/writer Sean Anders and writer John Morris
  • Mr. and Mrs. Fix-It—Behind the scenes with Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne (04:11)
  • Kid Power—Meet the talented young cast (09:08)
  • I Need Some Support—Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro guide a group of parents through the laughter and tears of foster care (05:17)
  • Order in the Court—Inside one of the film’s most heartfelt moments (03:53)
  • The Families Behind the Fair—Hear from real foster families (09:14)
  • Crew Inspiration—Crew members share their own foster care stories (04:59)
  • The Anders Family—The real-life inspiration for the film (07:05)
  • Isabela Moner “I’ll Stay” – Promotional Music Video (03:35)
  • On Set Proposal—A surprising wedding proposal from one crew member to another (02:35)
  • Digital Copy

To learn more about adoption and foster care, please visit InstantFamily.org

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