Monday, April 4, 2011

Love & Other Drugs Blu-ray Review

Release Date: March 1st, 2011
Disc Size: 36.6 GB
Film Size: 28.9 GB
Film Rating: R
Region: A
The Video
Love & Other Drugs’ comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. The film being a new release, I went in with very high expectations for the Blu-ray presentation. Thankfully Fox has provided a top notch high-def presentation that really impresses.

The most impressive aspect of the release is the amazing level of detail to be found in each scene. Clothing and skin textures, details of the environment, it all really shines on Blu-ray. Many scenes look like high-resolution promotional photos in motion, it really is impressive.

Colors are also very strong, rich and vibrant throughout. Black levels also remain inky throughout. The images in the review give a fairly accurate presentation of the transfer, but many higher quality shots were omitted as they are absolutely not safe for work.

Overall I couldn’t find anything to complain about with the visual presentation. No, this isn’t the most amazing new release film on Blu-ray. However, I do think it is the very best the film could have looked on Blu-ray with a healthy encode that is free of issues. 9.5/10

The Audio
An English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is the lossless option included. Also included are Spanish, French and Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital audio tracks. Optional subtitles include English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Chinese.

Romantic comedies are generally known to be underwhelming or just satisfying, while ‘Love & Other Drugs’ won’t do anything to change that perception, it certainly is a very solid mix. The film’s dialogue is priority and is as crisp and clear as one could hope (including every moan).

The film’s music comes through beautifully as well, managing to expand to the surround speakers to help create a bit more of a home theater experience. The film’s audio effects are also quite satisfying as you hear little environment noises throughout many scenes that do help immerse you into the film. The mix certainly delivers what the film allows. 8/10

The Extras

Disc 1 (Blu-ray Disc):

Deleted Scenes (7:32) (HD)
A selection of deleted scenes is included in high-definition.

Love & Other Drugs: An Actor’s Discussion (8:01) (HD)
Anne, Jake and the director/writer talk about working on the film and what makes it special.

Beautifully Complex: Anne Hathaway Is Maggie (2:57) (HD)
Anne Hathaway talks about her character Maggie.

Reformed Womanizer: Jake Gyllenhaal Is Jamie (3:34) (HD)
Jake Gyllenhaal talks about his character Jamie.

Selling Love & Other Drugs (3:11) (HD)
Jake Gyllenhaal talks about taking a lot of characteristics from Jamie Reidy, author of “Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman” and who the film was based on.

Theatrical Trailer (2:25) (HD)
The film’s theatrical trailer is included in high-definition.

BD-Live Extras (HD) (Internet Connection Required)
Jake’s Favorite Scene (1:01)

Save your favorite scenes and return to them later via the bookmarks feature.

Sneak Peeks (HD)
View HD trailers for ‘Conviction,’ ‘Never Let Me Go,’ and an ‘FX trailer.’

Disc 2 (DVD):

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

The extras included on this release are quite informative; however I was left wanting more. The interviews with the two leads are great, but I do wish even more behind-the-scenes footage was included. A BD-Live extra is interesting, but I do think those features should be reserved until a later date, not on street date (it should have just been included on the disc). The Digital Copy is a welcome addition. 6.5/10

The Movie
Love & Other Drugs’ is an interesting film. The movie is a romantic comedy in many ways, but it also quite the drama as well. Prior to release I had high expectations for the film, it didn’t look overly annoying and it looked unique.

Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal star as lead characters Maggie and Jamie in this emotional and sex-filled story. I actually had a feeling the film would provide Anne Hathaway at least a Golden Globe nomination for her nudity (it worked for Kate Winslet), but I guess it wasn’t as graphic or daring.The film is about the relationship between Maggie, a woman affected with Parkinson’s disease and Jamie, a man who finds success in the pharmaceutical industry. The two start off rocky as with many predictable romantic comedies and quickly fall for each other, but what develops makes the film stand out a bit more.

The character development was very enjoyable and actually believable, thanks to fantastic performances from the actors. The film is heavy on the sex and language compared to your typical romantic comedy, but I found it refreshing.

The film’s ending was just a bit cheesy, but it works. Ultimately, ‘Love & Other Drugs’ won’t rank among the most memorable romantic films of all time. It certainly is unique in many aspects and the performances are great however, but something just feels missing, keeping it from being the perfect formula. Overall it is certainly worth watching. 7.5/10

The Blu-news Summary
Love & Other Drugs’ is unique in many ways and makes for an entertaining film experience. The Blu-ray release features an incredible video presentation and fitting audio mix. The collection of extras is solid, but leave a bit to be desired. Overall this Blu-ray release is ‘Recommended’ to anyone who loves a good romantic comedy with some heavy drama thrown in.

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