DVD Review HTF Review - Because I Said So

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Kevin EK, May 9, 2007.

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  1. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    BECAUSE I SAID SO

    Studio: Universal
    Film Year: 2007
    Film Length: 1 hour 42 minutes
    Genre: Romantic Comedy

    Aspect Ratio:

    • 1.85:1 theatrical ratio

    Colour/B&W: Colour

    Audio:
    • English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround



    Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
    Film Rating: PG-13





    Release Date: May 8, 2007.


    Rating: 2/5

    With: Diane Keaton, Mandy Moore, Gabriel Macht, Tom Everett Scott, Lauren Graham, Piper Perabo and Stephen Collins

    Written by: Karen Leigh Hopkins and Jessie Nelson

    Directed by: Michael Lehmann

    BECAUSE I SAID SO is a romantic comedy that works very hard to tell the story of a mother who goes to extreme lengths to help her daughter’s love life. Diane Keaton plays the mother and Mandy Moore plays her youngest daughter. Lauren Graham and Piper Perabo show up in supporting roles as the other two daughters of the family. The performances here are fairly broad, but there are occasionally quieter moments. The film is clearly intended to appeal to women and will likely entertain female viewers. Men may find this one tougher to get through. The problem is that the writers and the director are working SO hard to be cute and loveably silly that some scenes are genuinely cringe-worthy. The best scenes in the film feature Mandy Moore and a surprisingly mellow Stephen Collins pulling off the most effective performances.


    VIDEO QUALITY: 3/5

    BECAUSE I SAID SO features a fine anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer. There’s plenty of variety in the colors, thanks to the multiple wardrobe changes and cake changes that occur throughout the film. There’s a good variety of lighting situations, and the black levels are solid. This isn’t a reference-quality transfer, but it’s not a bad one either.


    AUDIO QUALITY: 3/5

    BECAUSE I SAID SO has a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, only available in English. The mix is fine, but the surround channels really don’t get used much, other than for the music and songs. There are very few directional effects here, even when they are called for – there are constant running gags of ringing cell phones, and of messages playing on answering machines. Even these effects are centered on the front speakers. It’s also strange to see an English-only disc in this department.


    SPECIAL FEATURES: 2/5

    • The Making of BECAUSE I SAID SO – (7:57) A non-anamorphic featurette on the making of the film is included, consisting of the usual intercuts between cast and key crew interviews, clips from the movie and a few moments of behind the scenes video. There’s nothing particularly deep here – just the actors praising Diane Keaton and the director acknowledging the female emphasis of the film. In an ironic note, the features menu lists the “Making of” documentary as “Brought to you by Volkswagen.” (The irony stems from the movie actively promoting hybrid cars – and Volkswagen doesn’t make one) This is also the first (and I hope, LAST) time I have seen overt product placement stamped onto a DVD menu or feature.

    • Designing a “Wilder World” – (5:38) This is a brief non-anamorphic look at some aspects of design in the film. The wardrobe designer, Shay Cunliffe, is interviewed about her costume designs. Her interviews are followed by intercuts between the expected wardrobe sketches and the actual dresses and outfits seen in the film. Another series of intercut interviews focuses on the “Cake Divas” – a pair of cake designers who have multiple wedding cakes and other items on display throughout the film.

    • iVillage Pregnancy Ad – (:25) This is a brief non-anamorphic commercial for the iVillage website. As with the product placement on the “making of” featurette, this is an idea I hope is not repeated on future releases. Don’t we have enough commercials on television?

    • Music Video “World Spins Madly On” by The Weepies (3:31) This is a non-anamorphic series of clips from the film cut to the song from the soundtrack. There is no footage of the band – just the movie clips. Once the song finishes, we are regaled with another 30 second commercial – this time for the soundtrack CD.

    Subtitles are available for the film and the extras in English and Spanish. A scene index is included for easy access. And the usual spread of movie and HD-DVD trailers is included as part of the pre-menu screens As with some prior releases, the trailers are non-anamorphic, including the HD-DVD trailer...


    IN THE END...

    BECAUSE I SAID SO is probably a more appealing choice for women than for men. However, I must qualify that as much of the humor in it is so over-the-top that it may drive away many viewers. It does have some nice moments where things quiet down a bit, but there simply isn’t much substance here. In the end, the film is much like the cakes featured throughout – light and fluffy with a lot of icing.

    There isn’t much in the package here in terms of picture, sound or special features to add to the appeal. Again, it’s not a bad transfer by any means – it just isn’t a very exciting one. That, coupled with the unfortunate commercials and product placement, makes this disc hard to recommend. I suggest renting this one before purchasing it – and beyond that, I strongly suggest checking the preview materials online before renting it.


    Kevin Koster
    May 9, 2007.
     
  2. Jeff Swindoll

    Jeff Swindoll Supporting Actor

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    I'd have to respectfully disagree about Mandy Moore. I thought she was cringe-inducing as well. Especially the part where she is trying to explain herself to her second boyfriend(!) when she's seen with the first. Supposed to be emoting not doing the bug-eyed comedy bit that she appears to be attempting. Just my opinion. [​IMG]
     
  3. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    Jeff, I hear you. I was trying, TRYING to be nice to this movie. I don't want to aggravate the people out there who may have liked the film. As for Mandy Moore, I had never seen her (or heard her) before. I thought she was fairly cute and perky throughout, but not to the extent that I had to shield my eyes. (Okay, the bit with the static cling and the balloon was too much for me, I admit) In the emoting scene in question, I honestly thought she was doing okay. I didn't think she was playing comedy there. That and one other scene with Diane Keaton (where Keaton passes dialogue to her in notes) were actually decent scenes - and if the rest of the film had been like that I would have had a better time.

    I'm honestly wondering if there are posters here who really liked this movie.

    And am I the only one dismayed by the commercials and product placement plugging on the disc?
     
  4. Jeff Swindoll

    Jeff Swindoll Supporting Actor

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    Ya, where was the "this review brought to you by Volts-wagon" notification? [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure that the film was reviled by most critics.

    The emoting scene in question just grated on me. I thought the men's characters seemed to play better than the gals, but it was probably because they spent most of the time offscreen.

    I thought that the comedy was too broad and overthetop and grated against the more romantic notions of the movie.

    I liked your review, but we may have to agree to disagree. Although I gave the movie 2 stars out of 5 as well.
     
  5. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Producer
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    The "Brought to You by Volkswagen" (with a logo!) is on the Special Features page, right by the "Making of" featurette. I was shocked, shocked to see such a thing on a DVD... (and unlike Louis from another movie, I wasn't handed any winnings to pocket after announcing my shock...)
     
  6. Jeff Swindoll

    Jeff Swindoll Supporting Actor

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    Ya, I knew where it was. Just thought you might've gotten a brand new car for reviewing the film [​IMG].
     
  7. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    I think some of the comments about Mandy Moore may be a bit harsh. She has improved over the years, but I think she will also be around a long time and will become a pretty decent actress. She has screen presence in spades and I think she has a bright future in film.

    That said, this movie fell just short of terminally cringe-inducing. Diane Keaton should be at least slightly embarrassed for taking the part, but this seems to be the type of role she has been taking (or the only type she has been getting offered) lately. For anyone who liked Just Like Heaven, which is only slightly better, this will probably be enjoyable. I found The Family Stone to be significantly better, though still hardly great.

    Oh yeah, that Presented by Volkswagon thing definitely made my jaw drop. That is just weird.
     
  8. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Kevin, the movie isn't going to pay your mortgage. There is no reason to be nice to the movie.

    I had to see it theatrically. I think people should be warned how bad it is.

    Moore is fine, I agree she will have a career. But Keaton gave one of her worst performances, and Lauren Graham was completely wasted.
     
  9. Jeff Swindoll

    Jeff Swindoll Supporting Actor

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    I just had to watch Creepshow 3 to review. I've changed my mind, Because I Said So should win an Oscar compared to that dreck. Why? Because I said so [​IMG].
     
  10. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I agree. This is the worse movie I have seen since... well... gee.

    Terrible all around, there is nothing about it that doesn't suck.

    An embarrassment.

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    H
     
  11. MTRodaba2468

    MTRodaba2468 Agent

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    I had to see it theatrically as well.

    Worst movie I've seen in 2007.
     
  12. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    [​IMG]

    Glad I managed to avoid that ordeal (a few close calls though) but it caught up to me eventually. I guess there was no escaping it. At least at home I was able to doze off during parts of it.

    The film sucks so bad I want to sue.

    --
    H
     

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