Thursday, May 20, 2010

Valentine's Day Blu-ray Review

Disc Size: 26.0 GB
Film Size: 20.7 GB
Film Rating: PG-13
Region: ABCThe Video
Valentine’s Day comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p VC-1 video presentation. The best way to describe the Blu-ray release would be muddy. While the Blu-ray version definitely improves upon the included DVD, I found myself quite disappointed by the high-def results.

While many scenes in the film do lend themselves well to high-definition, scenes which are not lit as well (and there are many) come off a bit muddy looking in which definition doesn’t really shine through. Colors while pleasing to the eye at times also feel rather bland compared to a typical new release film.

Valentine’s Day looks adequate for a new release film on Blu-ray, but I do think it will disappoint some viewers. The transfer just isn’t special and perhaps it is due to the way the movie was filmed over anything. The movie has a healthy-sized encode and is definitely an improvement over the included DVD. Don’t go in expecting to be impressed, just satisfied. 7/10.

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Other audio options include French, Spanish and Portuguese. Optional subtitles include English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

The film is very dialogue driven; therefore it really doesn’t lend itself well for demo material. Dialogue is presented crisp and clear at all times and effects while generally front heavy, do make use of the surround speakers often.

The film’s music can get aggressive, which I liked, it added a bit more life to the mix as a whole. Everything about the mix was clear, easy to understand and nicely balanced. The movie won’t ever be reference material, but the lossless mix definitely presents the film about as clear as one could expect from a new release. 7/10.

The Extras

Disc 1:

Audio Commentary
By Director Garry Marshall.

The Stars Confess Their Valentine’s Day Stories (6:27) (HD)
The cast of the film share their best and worst Valentine’s Day memories.

The Garry Factor (5:04) (HD)
The cast of the film gushes over Garry Marshall, calling him royalty and claiming that he is the reason they agreed to do the film.

Music Video: Jewel – Stay Here Forever (3:10) (HD)
The music video is presented in high-definition, something I’m sure Jewel fans will appreciate.

Blooper Reel (5:47) (HD)
See the entire cast of Valentine’s Day mess up their lines, both intentionally and unintentionally.

Deleted Scenes (22:29) (HD)
14 deleted scenes are included and are presented in high-definition. A play-all with introductions by Garry Marshall is included, but if you want to literally save 10 minutes you can watch them without his introductions. If you liked the movie, then you definitely want to watch the deleted scenes. There are some very funny scenes that were not included in the film, featuring actors who didn’t make it into the actual movie as well.

Exclusive Sex and the City 2 Sneak Peek Trailer (2:50) (HD)
The exclusive sneak peek trailer starts off too familiar, that is because it basically is the original theatrical trailer released. Don’t worry though, after the first 40 seconds you realize they included additional footage from the film as well as cast interviews.

Disc 2:

DVD Copy of the film

Digital Copy of the film
Compatible with iTunes and Windows Media.

The extras included on the Blu-ray release are definitely enjoyable, but I do wish more behind-the-scenes footage was included as we mostly get interviews and deleted scenes. The included DVD and Digital Copy of the film is a nice addition which I'm sure fans will enjoy.

Please note that the Blu-ray Combo Pack is available only for a limited time and will eventually become a standard Blu-ray release. The version I am reviewing is the combo pack version which will be available at all retailers upon initial release. 7/10.

The Movie
I remember when ‘Valentine’s Day’ was first announced, thinking ‘Oh no, not another of these films.’ ‘These films’ meaning movies which feature an overwhelming amount of celebrities, each getting their own short storylines to make a ‘movie.’

This was done even recently; just last year with ‘He’s Just Not That Into You.’ ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ featured an impressive cast, but ultimately felt dull and like a written for television soap opera. To say the least, I wasn’t a fan of the movie despite some positive aspects.

With ‘Valentine’s Day’ I entered with caution, keeping my expectations down about as low as can be. Admittedly, I do find the cast more impressive this time around than with ‘He’s Just Not That Into You.’ However, that is also because there is a much bigger cast involved this time around.

The film is about a typical ‘Valentine’s Day,’ an exciting day for many and a day others absolutely dread. The film gives the actors their own stories but it is all linked to one big picture and they are all connected to each other in one way or another. ‘He’s Just Not Into You’ tried a similar approach but the editing and stories themselves just didn’t work.

Valentine’s Day is actually a pretty good movie and depending on the viewer it does have some pretty good replay value. Garry Marshall (Director of Pretty Woman) serves as Director of the film and the cast is extremely likable.

Valentine’s Day does nothing to redefine the chick flick genre, but it certainly is much better than I could have anticipated. The film features a nice mix of comedy with drama in the latter half. Valentine’s Day features many different stories of love that I think anyone can relate to the movie in one way or another.

While the film is better than I expected, the film is certainly much weaker to ‘Love Actually’ (Also on Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment) as far as emotional impact goes. The movie is cute and one which I think critics over-analyzed during its theatrical release. The film definitely has flaws (Such as Taylor Swift’s ‘acting’ abilities) and can be quite sappy, but it certainly could make for an enjoyable night-in with your significant other. 7/10.

The Blu-news Summary
Everything about the Blu-ray disc is a bit more average than I would have hoped, but fans of the film will still find improvement from the included DVD. Overall I would say the Blu-ray release is ‘Recommended’ to fans, but those just curious about the film should ‘Rent It First.

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