Everyone tries to make the best of it.
PictureFilmed digitally on Arri Alexa Plus in 2.40:1 and encoded to Blu-ray as an MPG-AVC, the picture looks great. There really are very few noticeable issues with either the transfer or original picture. The colourising is quite natural, with a rosy hue to many scenes, but it is all instantly recognisable as London and the Home Counties. Exposure has been very well controlled throughout, with little to suggest either clipping or under exposure to pull back a scene to the correct level.
The editing does little for the pace of the story and camerawork is all extremely safe and frankly, a bit boring. There is just occasional CGI used to add some background effects or tidy an occasional special effect up and it looks quite low budget, with quite untidy mattes and some transparency issues. Other than that, it looks like every other digitally shot movie, with nice, inky blacks, plenty of detail and no extraneous noise.
SoundThe DTS-HD MA 5.1 sound track must be manually selected, as unusually for current releases, the 2 channel Dolby Digital stream is activated by default. The reason behind this is historical, as the original specification for Blu-rays requires a Dolby track as mandatory, with DTS as an option. There exists therefore, the possibility of a player not being able to decode the audio stream, possibly outputting digital noise, or no signal at all. In reality, pretty much all Blu-ray systems do correctly decode DTS, even if they cannot utilise the HD aspect of the signal.
All this being said, the surround track is quite disappointing, as it is quite an old fashioned mix, with little in the way of surround or LFE action. The occasional effect does wander through, along with some ambience, but the LFE pretty much gets a night off with this movie.
The soundtrack by Ilan Eshkeri is fine. It does not excite or add much to the movie, but it does a fair job of covering the duller gaps. The problem is, that rom-coms need something memorable and this movie is missing that one track that would define it and make it stick in one’s mind.
ExtrasFollowing the usual collection of trailers and adverts, the clean and tidy menu arrives. Don’t forget to set the audio stream to 5.1 from the default 2.0. The pop up menu is also correctly implemented. All extras are in HD and look very good. The extras proper start with a commentary featuring writer / director Dan Mazer, Rafe Spall and producer Kris Thykier. It’s all boys together and quite good fun.
Moving on to the featurettes, these are fairly standard stuff, with not one, but two outtakes reels. The first one is all the general stuff, with some outrageous dialogue and the usual collection of corpses, things not working and fluffed lines, while the second concentrates on a single scene, featuring 2 doves and a ceiling fan. It is very funny and the timecode shows up just how long this one scene took to film. The other pair of featurettes are really just short publicity pieces, with one looking at the story and the other the characters. In summary, a fairly standard set of extras and entirely as expected for this sort of movie.
VerdictThis movie misses the mark as a competent rom-com. The humour is too vulgar for many of a more delicate disposition and this will alienate a fair proportion of the viewing public. Although the cast do their best and there are a few stand out performances, the script and editing is quite weak and a little too indulgent at times.
Technically, this film looks very good – as most digitally movies do these days. The sound mix is very British, being mainly left, centre, right, with just occasional forays into the surround field and low frequency channel. In that respect, it fits the movie, but does nothing to lift it.
This is not going to be the hit that some of the earlier Working Title rom-coms have been, so perhaps we are losing our touch in this gentle comedy genre. For the sake of all our love lives, I hope not.
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