'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People' gatecrashes the Blu-ray party correctly framed at widescreen 1.85:1 with a very good 1080p transfer. It's a very recent film so you'd be shocked if it was anything less. As Sidney arrives in New York, the night skyline reveals nice deep levels of black, while during the wide daytime shots, the yellow cabs are vibrant. Skin tones are nicely rendered and there's no evidence of oversharpening on faces. Contrast is such that the shots look natural, both interior and exterior of the offices. There's no obvious grain, it all looks good and we have no digital artefacts to bother us.
It looks like a good print of a movie shot on modern film stock.
The audio is supplied as a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround mix that really swings into action with the music track as Sidney arrives in New York and can't wait to get out on the town. There's real thumping base in the nightclub sequence near the start to prod your subwoofer into gear. Dialogue is clean and crisp, firmly locked to the centre channel while the effects are used well to provide ambience. A very pleasing, enveloping soundtrack.
I found that while the movie is Region 0, some of the Extras are locked to Region B - i.e. they won't play on an American Region A player. Fortunately, I have this covered.
There's no real 'Making of...' featurette among the extras, but what we do have more than makes up for it.
- Audio Commentaries:
We have two audio commentaries, the more interesting being the one with Simon Pegg and Director, Robert Weide. It sounds like they got on well during the shoot and they guide us through the movie, while gently ribbing each other. This is probably one of the more entertaining commentaries around.
The other commentary has the Director flying solo. He covers some of the things mentioned above, but in general it's a director's eye view, that gives you an idea of what he worried about during the shoot.
- Gag Reel (HD, 31 mins)
Yup, that's right - a whole 31 minutes of outtakes. There's one scene in particular with the lovely Ms Dunst forgetting her lines in take after take. On the final take when she got them right, she spotted a continuity error. I think that after several 'You'll be Alright on the Night' shows, the appeal of seeing someone forget their lines is lessened somewhat.
- Deleted scenes (HD, 15 mins)
Some deleted scenes are really extensions of ones that made it to the final cut. You can see why they were deleted mostly as they would have slowed the pace and made it drag.
- Simon Pegg Blogs
This is a series of six 'video diary' entries of the production captured on an HD camcorder. We see behind the scenes in an immediate way that makes it look 'live'. We get some idea of the schedule and gaps between filming principal photography and final pick-up shots.
'How to Lose Friends and Alienate People' has a very good 1080p widescreen 1.85:1 transfer of this recent movie that's a pleasure to watch with vibrant colour and deep blacks. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround track is enveloping without being overpowering with clean, crisp dialogue and a lively music track that swings into action as required.
The movie itself is genuinely funny, with Simon Pegg and a strong cast charting the fall and rise of socially disaster prone Sidney Young in his attempts to take New York's chic magazine set by storm. Real 'laugh out loud' stuff that took me by surprise.
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