Chef Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman
  • Director: Jon Favreau
  • Writer: Jon Favreau
  • Producers: Jon Favreau, Sergei Bespalov
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Ultraviolet, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, English
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Release Date: September 30, 2014 
  • Digital Copy Expiration Date: May 2, 2016


            There have been many similar films about fathers learning to spend more time with their sons, and possibly even more food-centric narratives such as the one in Chef. In some ways, this film feels like the plot of Real Steel, only with food replacing the fighting robots, directed by the same man whose directorial debut also had a touching scene of cooking for a sweet young girl in need of a parental figure. It is nice to see Jon Favreau return to his roots as a filmmaker, though it may have been more believable had he not cast Scarlett Johansson as his onscreen lover.


            Favreau heads up the cast as Chef Carl Casper, a man who once was a rising star in the culinary world before being forced to cook a safe menu by the owner of the restaurant he works at in Los Angeles (played by Dustin Hoffman). After a bad review sends Carl on a spiral that threatens to ruin his career, he decides to take a trip back to his roots in Miami with his son (Emjay Anthony). This visit inspires him to take a risk cooking his own food, which is only financially viable if his business is a food truck. After humbling himself by asking for help from his ex-wife (Sophia Vergara) and her first husband (Robert Downey Jr.), Carl sets out on a cross-country road trip to test out his food.


            Much of the film moves along with moments of levity and sharp dialogue between the likeable characters, which are a necessity for a narrative that doesn’t have anywhere new to take audiences. Carl and his son are joined by his best friend and co-worker (Leguizamo), and much of the film is their leisurely journey from city to city. It is less about what will happen, and more about developing a sense of passion that is behind great food. Like many road trip films, the journey is simply a convenient plot device to bring characters together.


            The Blu-ray combo pack comes with a DVD copy, as well as a digital copy in either Digital HD Ultraviolet or iTunes. The special prime special feature is a commentary track with Favreau and Chef/Co-producer Roy Choi, though there are also a handful of deleted scenes.



    Entertainment Value: 8/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 8/10

    Historical Significance:  7/10

    Special Features: 7.5/10

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