Maid In Manhattan Blu-ray Review
PictureWider than its 2.35:1 cinema release this BluRay disc comes to us at 2.40:1 using the MPEG-4/AVC codec at 1080p and whilst Maid in Manhattan might not get your pulse racing in terms of storyline the video is head and shoulders over the content. It's a pristine print with no marks or dirt to be found. At the start of the feature the image appears a little soft and clouded and there's a hint of grain throughout the film and this grain is not constant, at times becoming slightly more intrusive.
Colours are strong and vibrant however facial tones are rarely consistent; more often exhibiting red push, our characters continually look as though they are blushing, badly. But it's the inconsistent nature of these tones which is a little worrying. At times Lopez's face changes tone from one scene to the next, I don't think it's a result of a bad transfer just an over indulgent make up artist. Look at the time when she emerges from Caroline's suite wearing her clothes or the time she enters the Black Tie ball, her face is caked with make up.
Other than that the transfer is pretty decent, the whites are strong and crisp still showing some good detail as exhibited in the walk in the park looking back at Manhattan, however the blacks rarely go too low and never show a velvety black that viewers are now accustomed to. There's no compression artefacts although on occasion you will see some enhancement but it's never intrusive. Detail is apparent in the brighter scenes from Marshall's suite, the park or the streets of Manhattan itself and this does add a certain depth to the film but those greyed out blacks tend to mean this is still a rather flat affair.
SoundThe English track presented is a full blown Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 offering and really it's never needed for this kind of feature. The surrounds rarely kick in, perhaps offering some ambiance in the bustling streets of Manhattan but the surround volume levels are low and as such don't add too much to the mix.
The frontal stage is the order of the day here and even so it's a rather narrow affair, only really widening up right at the start with the strings on Paul Simon's Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard really opening up the stage; in all honesty it's probably the best I have ever heard this track. But that's about it, there's no steerage up front from off screen vocals or traffic and most of the audio comes direct from the centre channel. It's crisp and detailed enough with the dialogue coming through well but so much more could have been done.
ExtrasThe only real extras on this disc is a 7 minute blooper reel which at times is mildly funny, and possibly funnier than the whole film, but it's not one of the best I have seen. I don't know if this if a good or bad thing, many extras for such a disappointing film would have just made me cry as I would have had to sit through them. Thankfully there's just this one. Even the trailers on the menu only take you into the standard BluRay preview.
VerdictJennifer Lopez might be able to belt out a good enough song and put on a good stage show but really she can't act, the sooner she realises that and gets back to doing what she's good at the better. The men in suits though will still be whispering in her ear to get another money spinning machine onto celluloid.
As for Fiennes and Hoskins... well they deserve all they get from this feature and both of them should have known a lot better. Please only a rental and for you guys out there then really let's face it only to impress the good lady in your life. Even my good lady refused to watch this one with me and really doesn't that say volumes about a so called romantic comedy?
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £17.99
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