Blu-ray Review HTF Blu-ray Review: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by PatWahlquist, Aug 22, 2009.

  1. PatWahlquist

    PatWahlquist Supporting Actor

    Jun 13, 2002
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    How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (Blu-ray)

    Studio: Paramount Home Video
    Rated: PG-13 (for some sex related material)
    Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
    HD Encoding: 1080p
    HD Video Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
    Audio: English Dolby TrueHD 5.1; French 5.1 Dolby Digital; Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
    Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese; English SDH+
    Time: 115 minutes
    Disc Format: 1 SS/DL BD
    Case Style: Keep case
    Theatrical Release Date: 2003
    Blu-ray Release Date: August 25, 2009

    When How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days arrived for review, I was surprised that this, of all the titles Paramount could release from its catalog, it chose this 2003 rom-com. My gut began to quiver when I read the back of the case to see we were dealing with the machinations of hottie’s Andie Anderson (Kate Hudson) and Ben Barry (Matthew McConaughey) as they plot and scheme to show how you can lie through love to prove a point. Since the picture was a few years old, I thought it may have been a forbearer of the genre teaching us viewers it had some tricks up its sleeve. In the end, it did just as I expected.

    Andie is a writer for a magazine called Composure that deals with such big issues as the dangers of Botox, fad diets, yoga, Pilates and other such light and trendy topics. When she is inspired by a friend of hers, Andie decides to write a column based on her attempt to do everything possible to lose a guy in ten days. She quickly hooks Ben, who is an ad man committed to making a woman fall in love with him in ten days in order to helm a big diamond advertising campaign. Over the course of the next ten days, Andie does as much as she can to get him to dump her: getting her a soda in the last minute of a Knicks game, moving her girly stuff in a couple days later, crying sporadically, etc. Ben counters with understanding and loving phrases and acts. As this duel of the witless continues, the two start to see deep inside themselves and each other making the completion of the bets secondary to true and emerging feelings.

    I tried. I honestly tried to give it the benefit of the doubt that it may go one way or another, but it did just as I expected. Along the way, Robert Klein, Bebe Neuwirth and Adam Goldberg are given boring supporting roles leaving all the comedy to Kate and Matt, the latter of which, while he seems suited to such material, doesn’t sell it. Hudson is a charm to watch switch between her two sides, the determined-to-become-a-real-journalist and the bimbo airhead; McConaughey just comes off as the bimbo airhead. Maybe it’s the cynicism in me anymore about such types of movies, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for some deeper emotional depth out of a love story. Or maybe I’m just overestimating the rom-com’s role in the industry today, that the How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days pays for the (500) Days of Summer’s.

    Movie: *.5/*****

    Note: I am watching this title using a Marantz VP 11-S1 DLP projector, which has a native resolution of 1080p. I am using a Sony Playstation 3 Blu-Ray player while a Denon 3808CI does the switching and pass through of the video signal. I am utilizing the HDMI capabilities of each piece of equipment.

    The Blu-ray disc is encoded in the MPEG-4 AVC codec at 1080p with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. The image is very colorful throughout showing a good palate of colors and shading. Flesh tones were rich and accurate showing very nice contrast between the actors faces (see Bebe Neuwirth next to anyone else). Detail and sharpness were somewhat disappointing as the image looked very soft and even slightly hazy. Upon close inspection I noticed some print dirt, but overall it was acceptable. Edge enhancement was minimal. Black levels were satisfactory showing some detail and depth.

    Video: **/*****

    The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD soundtrack was attained by the HDMI connection of the PS3 to the Denon 3808CI.

    The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track was fine for this type of movie. The sound stays in the front channels and the surrounds are utilized to convey environmental sounds such as traffic and weather. They also help to set more of a soundstage when the music comes up. LFE’s were engaged infrequently and didn’t add much to the overall scene. The soundtrack is clear and clean and free of any debris or other distortions. Voices remained lifelike.

    Audio: **/*****

    Bonus Material: all of this is in HD unless otherwise noted.

    Commentary by Director Donald Petrie: I was really quite curious what Petrie might have to add to this picture. He starts off very tongue-in-cheek discussing the process (or formula) of making a rom-com, but the track downshifts pretty quick to him reiterating what we are seeing on the screen or what we’ve heard in the bonus features.

    How to Make a Movie in 2 Years (16:54): the original book’s authors, the producers (not including legendary producer Robert Evans, unfortunately) and other members of the crew discuss what a spectacular idea the book and movie are. They also discuss the rules of rom-coms, the fashion, the locations and the actors.

    Why the Sexes Battle (5:00): psychiatrists and evolutionary experts explain why men and women fight and the biological and societal influences that are in play.

    Girls Night Out (5:15): the book’s authors show up again to talk about being hit on in bars and how that made its way into the book.

    Music Video – Somebody Like You by Keith Urban (3:53, in SD)

    Deleted Scenes with Director’s Commentary (9:30, in SD): five total scenes.

    Bonus Material: **/*****

    This fluffy, dull piece of rom-com really doesn’t fulfill us. While Kate Hudson is charming as can be, she cannot save the picture. The AV on the disc is average at best, as are the extras.

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