Sex and the City Blu-ray Review
PicturePresented at a full 1.78:1 ratio, 1080p using the VC-1 codec the visual from Sex and the City are very nice indeed. Colours are bold and vibrant, the costumes chosen for the individual parts by Patricia Field leap off the screen, the excellent green tones of the dress worn by Carrie, Samantha's lush yellows and reds, Miranda's classy designer outfits and Charlotte's deep black costume for the wedding. All of these colours and more are rendered beautifully, never wavering, never bleeding.
Detail is excellent with good visual information contained in most scenes, John's kitchen, the busy streets of New York, the multitude of trees in Central Park; however as a whole the image is not as sharp as some other features. The image is a little soft at times, (the text Carrie is reading from the love letters book for instance not quite as focused as it could have been), not overly so but enough to reduce the wow factor and reduce the depth of the image as a whole. The extremely bright scenes in the outdoors from Los Angeleas to the streets of Central Park like the colours are wonderfully presented on screen with no blooming on show at all. There is some slight edge enhancement in these scenes but it is fleeting indeed. Equally darker scenes, predominantly set in New York, show good depth and shadow detail.
Apart from the minor enhancement mentioned earlier the encoding cannot really be faulted, there's no noise or blocking; no compression artefacts to be seen at all. This is a very good presentation on disc and something fans of the original series will be more than happy with. Not top notch that much is true but never bottom of the pile.
SoundThere's two tracks to take advantage of, a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 or Dolby Digital TrueHD variety. In all honesty it really doesn't matter which on you choose there's so little to distinguish the two. Even the supposedly more detailed TrueHD track doesn't offer up any real additional depth.
From the outset it becomes apparent that this is a wholly frontal affair. It's fair to say that there's some ambiance from the surrounds with New York traffic and chatter from the many restaurant or coffee shop scenes but apart from that what you're getting is all up front. There's no need for steerage from front to rear nor panning from left and right.
The frontal array though is catered for well with good definition if not a little lacking in depth. The stage widens though somewhat when the score or some pop tracks appear and this is a welcome addition. The dialogue is handled well, crisp and clear from the centre channel.
- Commentary with Michael Patrick King.
King mentioning taking the small screen series to the big screen, links to the past, adding in additional newer elements. It's a rallying commentary, never dry and very enthusiastic and fans of the original series will welcome the additional information that's offered up here.
- A Conversation with Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael Patrick King. - 0:23:49 - 1080p/VC-1
Director King and lead actress Parker discussing the movie, how the fans wanted it and how it was finally received. Some brief individual scenes are shown, dress, fashion items and of course shoes are discussed. King leads the way with this interview with Parker coming in as needed It seems a little false and staged, not as natural as I have seen other interviews of this nature.
- The Fabulous Fashion of Sex and the City. - 0:18:03 - 1080i/VC-1
The actresses discussing the fashion items they were forced to wear for this feature. Pat Field was the designer responsible for the majority of the items on screen, everyone concerned with Sex and the City acknowledging her great contribution to the look and feel not only of the film but also the earlier television series. She introduces us to the designer or history of many of the costumes worn and no matter if you enjoy her choices or not you cannot take anything away from the dedication she applies to her work.
- Fergie in the Studio. - 0:02:11 - 480i/VC-1
Fergie in the studio recording the title track, Labels or Love, for Sex and the City. You don't see the final video or the full song but a collection of snippets of the studio, the film and Fergie there saying how much she loved the original series. Little more than a glorified advert
- Additional Scenes. - 0:03:39 - 480p/VC-1
A small selection of scenes which hit the cutting room floor. I enjoyed the first with Jessica and Big at dinner discussing some wedding arrangements and thought this should have been left in, the rest however deserve their final resting place.
- The City.
A Java enabled map of The City with on screen icons showing places of entertainment, fashion, landmarks, Jessica's home and other areas of interest. Highlight any by moving around with your remote, press enter and you get a little detail about that particular feature. Press enter again and you can see a scene involving that particular location.
- Dish It!
A standard pop up trivia track which offers information throughout the film. Information relating back to the original series, how it has been updated, fashion, shoes, apartment rental... the works.
Much like the film these extras will really speak to viewers who have followed the series from day 1, for the rest of the people out there then they become a little grating and certainly a little thin on the ground. The commentary is enjoyable though, never boring and has good links between the historical series and the new film.
VerdictWhere many critics have slated Sex and the City I for one, enjoyed it to some degree. These critics seem to have forgotten that four years have passed since the final television episode, so it's only natural that lives of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte evolved during their transition from single life and into relationships.
Yes it's a little long in the tooth and could have been edited a little better. The characters are engaging enough, especially Samantha and Miranda with Carrie only coming into her own once she's had the ultimate humiliation bestowed upon her. Direction is a little loose at times and King should stick to television for the foreseeable future; perhaps he's learned here that it's not that easy to take a tried and trusted formula from small screen to its larger cousin. As a disc the video's very pretty and detailed, the audio does it's job up front quite well but the extras are a little thin on the ground and lets this set down somewhat.
Guys, if you cannot afford that Louis Vuitton bag then this is a good Christmas present for your nearest and dearest and by all means make sure you sit down and watch it with her. If you can't wait until that day then perhaps give it a rental over a weekend with a good bottle of wine.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £29.99
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- Commentary with Michael Patrick King.