PictureFramed anamorphically at a 1.85:1 ratio the disc provides a very good quality encoding. Scenes in the real world are vibrant, clean and focused with no evidence of digital encoding defects and a fine contrast range. Skin tones are on the warm side of neutral, imbuing everyone with a healthy appearance, and giving the print an autumnal feel. The fictional world is set in the 1920's and director Reiner has given the image a deliberate sepia toned look. This allows you to focus on fine details in clothing and textures, which are not found wanting. In the fictitious world red adopts a dominance and the red roses or lipstick are punched up quire dramatically and to good effect. The darker scenes, of which there are few have minor amounts of film grain. Overall though an excellent effort.
SoundEssentially a three act play for two people the simple nature of the material dictates a simple soundtrack. Dolby digital 5.1 at 448kbps, but hardly requiring it, this is heavily dialogue driven. Centre channel is solid and clear. There is no surround track to speak of and your subwoofer may as well pull up a chair and watch the movie with you, because it won't be called on to do any work. Front soundstage is also restricted with no sense of space. Still as all the focus is on a single small set - the inside of the writers dingy apartment - there is little need for it, indeed it may have proved distracting.
ExtrasA theatrical trailer and a feature commentary are pretty much standard on even the most basic discs these days, and certainly doesn't indicate a studios faith in the product. Still, Reiner is an accomplished director and Luke Wilson, the male lead, is a pleasant, affable person. The commentary is an enjoyable and gentle diversion. Onset anecdotes are the order of the day and are entertaining if not earth shattering.
VerdictThis is a gentle if unremarkable romantic comedy. The leads are engaging, and the movie is nicely shot. The disc holds a very good print, with the almost monochromatic look of the 1920s scenes providing a good test for your setups contrast range. Despite these plus points both the movie and the disc are too bland to demand your ownership. Rental is the better option.
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