PictureEdge Of Reason's anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 transfer produces a perfectly acceptable image. Colours are nice and bold with skin tones looking fresh and realistic - particularly Zellweger's rosy cheeks. This nice palette lends a cosy warmth to the film, an almost twee gentleness. Black levels aren't as good as they could be, though, often coming across as a little dusty. Check out Bridget's walk with Darcy along the banks of the Thames early on - there is a distinct lack of depth offered and detail such as the puddles on the pavement suffer. Then again the transitions from the crisp bright snows of Austria to Bridget's speedy entrance into the shop are handled well. But, whilst having nothing really wild to show off in the way of whiz-bang visuals, the disc doesn't exhibit any signs of digital gremlins at work - no pixellation, no blocking, bleed, crawl or smearing - it does have a degree of edge-enhancement and a quite disturbing level of grain plaguing it from start to finish. Viewed on a 42 inch screen I found this quite annoying, especially for such a recent film and a prestige release at that. Re-watching on a 32 inch screen lessened the effect somewhat but there was still no getting away from it. All in all, the visuals are a bit of a mixed bag. Nothing too detrimental but still lacks the edge of clarity I would have expected from a big title.
SoundBridget's second outing comes furnished with a basically redundant Dolby Digital 5.1 mix that does diddly-squat for anyone hoping to give their surrounds a workout. Although used sporadically for ambience and a few subtle effects, the rears and the sub mainly sit this one out and let the front soundstage handle everything. Which, I'm happy to say, still comes across well. Dialogue is delivered clearly and the odd burst of directional sound is veered successfully across the front speakers. Music is handled nicely and certainly helps with keeping the film in playful mode. Nothing to get excited about but then this isn't that type of film though, is it?
ExtrasThe special features are found under character headings, so selecting either Bridget, Cleaver -still the man in the middle - or Darcy will take you to themed bonuses. Okay, we get under Bridget we first get director Beeban Kidron's Audio Commentary which I found a little too dull, to be honest. I love chat-tracks but I'm afraid that, although, this one offers a fair amount of production information, there's was simply too focus on themes and not enough actual anecdotes to fuel much of an interest. However, Kidron is keen to point out the differences between the finished screenplay and the original book. Next up, Kidron introduces us to some rather indifferent Deleted Scenes that didn't make the final cut. As is usual these were dropped to keep the movie from dragging on for too long. Although there is some amusing stuff we were better off without them. We also get a naff short featurette entitled Mini Break To Austria
Cleaver's section gives us the Smooth Guide To Thailand which, appropriately enough, shows a little behind-the-scenes footage of the sequences in Thailand. Ho-hum. Then we get the Ideal Man Interactive Quiz which you can also have running whilst you watch the film - it'll stop the movie to ask you a very girlie multiple choice question in the style of a women's magazine. The final result will determine who is the best match for you - Cleaver or Darcy. This is actually a great little gimmick - for the ladies, of course - and very in keeping with the tone of the movie and Bridget's character. Finally, we get a tiny little expose on the two blokes' repeat scrap called The Big Fight.
Darcy's line-up offers the best extra of all - the Bridget Jones Interviews Colin Firth scene form the second book that, for pretty obvious reasons, couldn't be incorporated into the movie. I quite enjoyed this little piece as it is character and as cringingly embarrassing as you could hope for - sod your new film, Colin, let's just talk again about your wet shirt scene from Pride And Prejudice. Great. Then we get two little pieces entitled Mark And Bridget Forever - yawn, offers nothing - and Lonely London which recalls how they did the CG scene of the loneliness amidst the teeming masses of loved-up Londoners.
Finally, to round the disc off we get trailers for Wimbledon, Meet The Fockers and Billy Elliot - The Musical.
VerdictSporadically amusing and emotionally needless, Bridget Jones should now be left alone. This was a sequel that so wanted to be the first film that it was afraid to try anything new. A couple of new locations do not a new story make. But, despite the lingering sense of déjà vu, there are a few likeable moments and I do enjoy the Hugh Grant character - maybe if a third one ever gets made, it could just revolve him. And Universal's disc, I hear you ask? Well, a very necessary girlie concoction of extras should please some of the fans but I'm afraid that, apart from the excellent mock interview, this is all of the puff-pastry variety. Far too light and flaky. Underwhelming AV performance too. Just for the fans.
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