I Hate Valentine’s Day debuts on Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. This was a smaller film so I was not sure what to expect quality wise as many things do affect a high-def presentation. I am happy to report that IFC Films has provided a very natural looking and very satisfying high-def transfer.
The movie features a very thin layer of grain throughout the presentation, something I love to see. Colors on this release are also very good, quite rich but never oversaturated or intense. The film does feature a nice amount of detail, although not among the very best films on Blu-ray.
The upgrade in from DVD is quite clear from the very beginning. Like most good transfers, you cannot confuse this release for a DVD. The upgrade in overall clarity is too good to confuse the two and makes this transfer very easy to appreciate.
This is not a transfer that will stand out among your collection, but for a simple romantic comedy it is certainly very pleasing. There are no technical issues that I came across with the transfer and it certainly feels very accurate to the source. 8/10.
5.1 Dolby Digital audio track is included for this high-def release. Yes, Dolby Digital 5.1. Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve had the pain of saying this, but it is not the only release this week which features lossy audio. Not that a high-def audio mix would make a drastic difference, but it certainly would have been appreciated.
Regardless, I went into the film with solid hopes that this Dolby Digital track would at least be somewhat decent. For a romantic comedy I was not expecting a real surround sound experience, and my expectations were accurate.
The mix is very front heavy, although surround use is lightly active during more open environment scenes. Dialogue is presented front and center and as clear as one could expect from a Dolby Digital audio track. Nothing pops like it likely would with a lossless soundtrack, but there is nothing bad with the mix included…well aside from being so last format.
The mix is very solid for a romantic comedy, but no Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track deserves anything more than a 5/10. This really is a disappointment, but at the end of the day it’s not something worth complaining too much about. 5/10.
With Writer/Director Nia Vardalos and two of the producers.
Trailer (2:05) (HD)
There are not many bonus features, but the audio commentary on this release is quite strong. This was a very small budget film and it was actually very interesting to hear how they got it all done. 5/10.
Nia Vardalos admitted that she did not want to be in the movie, but this was the only opportunity for her to direct the film. The budget for the film was not very big and features many close friends pitching in to help finish this film in 18 days of filming.
The film did not come easily, they had many financial problems going into this movie, but they managed to make it work. Panavision was a major help to the film, providing all the camera equipment to them for free. The many issues with initial production do affect the film a bit, giving it an extra simple feel to the movie.
The movie is about a flower shop owner named Genevieve (Vardalos), a woman who has a philosophy that a relationship should last no more than 5 dates. Despite not being very experienced relationship wise, she is the one giving relationship advice to her stranger friends.
She sticks by these rules, but begins to question them when she meets Greg (Corbett), a man who buys a restaurant across the street from her business. The film starts on Valentine’s Day and ends on Valentine’s Day the following year.
The film travels across all five dates with Genevieve and Greg and the inevitable end due to her rules. The movie is extremely predictable, but most romantic comedies are these days. The film follows the typical formula for a romantic comedy, with a big fight before the end of the film, and the inevitable reunion where they realize they can’t live without each other.
Nia Vardalos is a pretty good writer, bringing plenty of humor to the film like her other films. Nia is not attractive at all, but she still manages to bring a lot of good energy and likeability to her characters and films. The scenes overall are quite decent, although there was one moment that was horrendously ridiculous.
The big issue with the film is the lack of originality. If you find yourself enjoying most chick flicks, you will likely enjoy I Hate Valentine’s Day. But for those looking for a fresh romantic comedy, this is not it. There is nothing that stands out in the film, but you could do worse things with your time.
I Hate Valentine’s Day is a very average romantic comedy and definitely feels more like a television special over a theatrical film. Overall I think fans of Nia Vardalos may find a lot to like about this film, just don’t go in with the highest expectations. For a film with such a low budget, I was actually surprised it was not worse to be totally honest. 5/10.
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