Roxanne Blu-ray Review
PictureRoxanne comes to Blu-ray with a decent 1080p High Definition rendition in the movie's original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen. I must admit that this is not the kind of movie that many fans will pick up to show off their equipment with, and with that understanding this is not a bad presentation at all. Detail is not exceptional, but is stable enough, although there is some evident softness and grain does impinge upon many of the shots - both the shots of the skyline and some of the closer images. The facial close-ups - like the first shot of CJ's face (and nose) - offer up some superior detail, unprecedented for this film no doubt, but it is far from consistent, and the movie often lapses from excellent into just plain disappointing. Still, it is largely forgivable - the movie is quite acceptably dated-looking, the colour scheme is as alive as possible (reds coming across the strongest, and the green lush setting also getting keen presentation) and the night sequences hold up considerably well, especially when you take into account the fact that many of the comparative daytime scenes do not. Overall, a bit of a mixed bag, but - on the whole - acceptable and decent use of the High Definition format's capabilities.
SoundThe accompanying Dolby TrueHD track does quite well with the material, but this really isn't a loud, boisterous track to fully utilise the next generation format's technology. The dialogue comes across clearly and coherently, largely from across the fronts and centre channels, taking precedence wherever appropriate. Effects are limited - the sound of the fires burning, crashing about, cats screaming, and the like. There are a few exaggerated noises - like during the 'tennis match' - and the ambient atmospherics occasionally get a look-in, but this is neither a subtle nor an overwhelming offering. The score is particularly dated, a quaint tinny offering that may be annoying if you leave the menu sequence playing for too long but generally largely suits the material. This is a lacklustre, mediocre offering, presented reasonably well on the format but only in as much as it has probably never sounded as good as this before - it certainly does not hold up to comparison with most other Blu-ray release, whether new ones or of the same era.
ExtrasThere are absolutely no extras to accompany this release, not even a trailer, nor any previews on disc start-up. Pretty pathetic, but not wholly unexpected.
VerdictRoxanne is a lightweight romantic comedy with a slightly darker subject matter about self-respect, self-confidence and the twisted, often hurtful path of love. Simple, on the face of it, it tries to smooth over some interesting relationship complications - and for the most part succeeds - through excellent use of Steve Martin's trademark wit, energy and zest. During his high period, this was one of his more successful offerings, and you could probably forgive many of its misgivings in favour of its happy, supposedly feel-good tale. On Region Free UK Blu-ray, the video and audio are a little lacklustre - but perhaps that is only to be expected. The extras are similarly disappointing in that there are none, but that probably will not be of much consequence to fans who simply feel the need to have this in their collection. If you like Steve Martin, then you probably can do a lot worse than this - especially after some of his more recent efforts. Enjoyable fun, even if it occasionally laughs in the face of some quite serious relationship dilemma subject-matter.
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