Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Private Lives Of Pippa Lee Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 19.8 GB
Film Size: 19.3 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: A
The Video
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The movie looks quite good in high-definition and is definitely a step up quality-wise from previous Screen Media Films Blu-ray releases.

The film is definitely lower budget, but the quality of the image is far from low. The movie looks very natural, featuring a thin layer of grain throughout. Colors are not always rich and vibrant, but are quite strong overall. Black levels stay solid throughout.

Detail can be very good, particularly wider shots which feature a strong amount of clarity and detail. Close-up shots can be a bit softer at times, but they do exhibit some fine detail. Certain scenes look quite beautiful and little details come to life on-screen.

This is not among the best video presentations I have come to experience, but for a lower budget film this is definitely looks quite good. If you set your expectations accordingly, there is no way you can be disappointed by this high-def release. 7.5/10.

The Audio
A 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is included and is actually quite immersive from time to time. Dialogue is the focus and that is presented front and center at all times. The quality of the dialogue is up to par with any new release, featuring a nice level of clarity to it. There are a few moments which sounded a bit muddy, but few and far in between.

The film is fairly quiet, but there are certain scenes that do make use of the surround speakers quite nicely. They are used to create environment during certain scenes without sounding gimmicky. This is something many new release films can’t even seem to do sometimes.

I was definitely expecting less from this DTS-HD Master Audio track, but found myself pleasantly surprised. The film is very quiet as a whole, but the mix does what it can with the source material and provides a track that will certainly please viewers. 7.5/10.

The Extras

Audio Commentary
With Robin Wright and Rebecca Miller.

Interviews (5:36) (SD)
Robin Wright
Alan Irkin
Blake Lively

I watched the film a second time with an audio commentary which did feature constant discussion and you can learn about behind-the-scenes of production this way. The interviews are also quite informative and fun.

I do wish a behind-the-scenes featurette was included and maybe some deleted scenes, but the supplements included are quite informative as far as production of the film is concerned. 4/10.

The Movie
Rebecca Miller serves as director of the film, which she wrote the screen-play from a book of the same name which she also wrote. This movie is Rebecca Miller’s baby so to speak. I had never heard of this film before it was announced for Blu-ray release, but the cast looked fantastic so my interest was definitely sparked.

The movie features an impressive cast which includes Robin Wright Penn, Alan Arkin, Marie Bello, Monica Bellucci, Blake Lively, Julianne Moore, Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder. There are some very popular actresses in this film which makes me wonder why this film did not receive as much attention as it probably should have.

The movie’s main actress is Robin Wright Penn who plays the character of Pippa Lee. This is definitely a character piece which involves a wide-cast that are all connected to the main character throughout her life. The movie transitions back and forth between Pippe Lee as an older woman as well as a young woman (played by Blake Lively of Gossip Girl).

Pippa Lee is basically a hot mess, she has quite a few issues but somehow manages to help those around her in different ways. She is married to man (Alan Arkin) who is decades older than her and we see their relationship evolve during the young and old transitions in the film.

The movie has some very dark and depressing moments, including suicide as well as health scares and issues. At the end of the tunnel there is a happy ending, but there is quite an exhausting amount of pain on the way there.

The quality of the film is actually quite surprising as I had no idea what to expect from Rebecca Miller as director. She presents her story in a very interesting way, but it actually works quite well. The story of Pippa Lee is great and something I think many could appreciate and even enjoy if they only took the time. The film does have some flaws, but is definitely very solid as a whole. 7/10.

The Blu-news Summary
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is a very solid character piece which fans of smaller films will definitely enjoy. The Blu-ray release is quite good, featuring solid and at times impressive video and audio presentations. There are not many extras, but I loved what is included. This release really doesn’t scream double-dip, making this one ‘Worth A Look.

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