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HTF REVIEW: "A Little Romance" (with screenshots)


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#1 of 23 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 23 2002 - 08:46 PM

Posted Image

A Little Romance





Studio: Warner Bros.
Year: 1979
Rated: PG
Film Length: 108 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1)
Subtitles: English and Spanish




I can't tell you how many times I passed up the
opportunity to watch A Little Romance during
the many years it appeared on cable television
shortly after its 1979 theatrical run. To be honest,
I never was much into romance pictures, and it just
wasn't the macho kind of film for this guy in his 20s
to want to watch.

Now that I am a little older and a little wiser,
I didn't hesitate to pick A Little Romance
out of my current selection of Warner screeners.
After just having watched it, I can't believe I
waited this long to see this remarkable and deeply
personal little film.

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Lauren King (Diane Lane) is a seventh grader who
lives in Paris with her mother and her third father.
While Mom goes crazy for a young film director, her
daughter is reading Heidegger and finding it hard
to fit in with her peers at the private school she attends.

Posted Image

One afternoon Lauren meets Daniel (Thelonious Bernard),
a French boy her own age who escapes from his drunken
father by going to the movies. Daniel is very much
like her, they soon become quick friends and have
many interesting conversations. After a while, they
become inseparable. Lauren's Mother is not very
happy about the budding romance, and when her Step Dad
gets a new job in Houston, the two kids are heartbroken.

Posted Image

Enter Julius (Sir Lawrence Olivier), an endearing
old dreamer/pickpocket who befriends the young
lovers and regales them with his stories of love.
He tells them, "If two young lovers kiss on a
gondola under the Bridge of Sighs when the evening
bells of the Basilica tolls at Twilight, they will
love each other forever." The two teens, with the
help of Julius, run away to Venice to be together
one last time under the Bridge of Sighs to vow
their love once and forever. While there are many
obstacles standing in Lauren and Daniels way, the
two race against time to reach the bridge by sundown.

If there was ever a film to remind you of your very
first love, this is the one. It's remarkable to find
that one of the best coming of age love stories
ever told is to be found in this very little film.
Diane Lane is absolutely sensational in her film
debut and the chemistry between the young teens is
nothing short of remarkable.


How is the transfer?


Overall, I would rate this transfer very good, though
unfortunately, I am going to have to be nit picky. The
good news is that the picture quality is well above
average for what you would expect from a 70s film.
Picture is very clear and images are very sharp.
Colors are also very bright and vibrant throughout.
The problem is, it *seems* that in order to bring
out a high level of sharpness, it seems that there
is added background video noise introduced. The noise
becomes a little bothersome, because it nearly ruins
nicely detailed scenes. The print also suffers from
numerous nicks and other assorted blemishes that show
up throughout. Flesh tones also tend to run a
little red. Reading this all, you probably have
doubts about the quality of this transfer. You
shouldn't. The transfer is probably the best it has
ever looked anywhere, but I could not give it a full
green-lit review without pointing out its flaws.

The mono soundtrack is very clean and detailed,
coming across the front channels with a nice amount
of fidelity and no background hiss.


Special Features

Posted ImagePosted Image

Warner Bros. has provided a few subtle extras here to
make the purchase of this DVD even more satisfying.

Posted Image

Truly wonderful, Remembering Romance with Diane
Lane
is a wonderful retrospective by the actress
who recalls what it was like being 13, and selected
to co-star in a major feature film that starred none
other than Laurence Olivier. Diane has such warm
memories of her experiences -- mainly playing opposite
"Larry" Olivier who was so down to earth. She also
talks about her character and some of the difficult
moments she had expressing her feelings on camera.
This film marked a very special point in her life --
it was a moment when her childhood was ending and her
movie career was just beginning. You'll enjoy sharing
some emotional memories with the actress.
(length: approx. 6.5 minutes)

Making Romance consists of pages of production
notes that tell how director George Roy Hill took
French author Patrick Cauvin's novel and adapted it
for the screen.

Retro Artwork is a collection of different
poster designs done for various markets. Unfortunately,
these pictures run on a timed cycle so don't attempt
to manually browse through them using your remote
or you will miss many images in the progress.

The film's original theatrical trailer is
included here as well as a cast and crew
filmography and the often wasted space fiven to
a dedicated awards page.


Final Thoughts

Posted Image

Please do yourself a favor and pick up A Little
Romance
, a sweet and endearing tale of first love
that you will soon not forget. It's a movie that will
just make you feel good all over!


Release Date: January 7, 2003


All screen captures have been further compressed.
They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
represent actual picture quality

 

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#2 of 23 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted December 23 2002 - 10:15 PM

Thanks Ron! Great review! I've got mine on pre-order. Have a great Christmas and New Year!
M.J.

#3 of 23 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted December 23 2002 - 11:01 PM

i find it really interesting that two houses that seem to consistently present higher quality transfers, and usually respect OARs*, also are uninhibited in using the original promotional art. Anchor Bay usually puts it on an insert inside the case, and Warner uses them for the cover. for some reason this impresses me. glad MGM doesn't own this one. well, at least i hope the message stuck with Willy Wonka...

#4 of 23 OFFLINE   Sean Dayton

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Posted December 23 2002 - 11:05 PM

We asked and we got it. Thank You Warners. Also thank you for the great review Ron.

#5 of 23 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted December 23 2002 - 11:18 PM

Thanks Ron!
I'm a Diane Lane fan, and this sounds like a great film to discover during Valentine's Day.

Picking mine up very soonPosted Image

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#6 of 23 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR

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Posted December 24 2002 - 01:21 AM

There is romance in the world Ron. Thanks for a nice review of one of my favorites from the '70s.
Cogito, Ergo Sum
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#7 of 23 OFFLINE   Felix Martinez

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Posted December 24 2002 - 01:34 AM

Nice review! I remember that film very well, seeing it in the theater when I was the same age as the kids in the film. I believe either this film or Time After Time was the first Orion Pictures release.

Cheers,
Felix

P.S. isn't that last photo a bit of a spoiler? Posted Image

#8 of 23 OFFLINE   JohnS

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Posted December 28 2002 - 10:26 PM

SAD NEWS... George Roy Hill passed away this weekend. What better time than now, to discover this film and appreicate this director

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#9 of 23 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted January 02 2003 - 12:58 AM

That is sad news indeed. He was a great filmmaker and his films will live on... including "A Little Romance"... thanks to DVD.
M.J.

#10 of 23 OFFLINE   Geo Gabor

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Posted January 02 2003 - 03:11 AM

Thanks for the review, Ron! Could somebody please tell me where this is being sold online? I've checked various etailers, and nobody seems to know that it's being released next week. Thanks!

#11 of 23 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted January 02 2003 - 03:29 AM

Sure. Lasers Edge, DVD Planet, DVD Empire, etc etc. Most places should sell it now. As it is an older title rather than a new theatrical title it's not getting much promotion I guess. Shame as most people would love it.
M.J.

#12 of 23 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted January 03 2003 - 04:16 AM

I've fired off an email to Warner to see if there is anything they can do.
M.J.

#13 of 23 OFFLINE   James David Walley

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Posted January 06 2003 - 06:49 AM

According to DVD Profiler, the release date is tomorrow (1/7).
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#14 of 23 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted January 07 2003 - 11:50 PM

DVDPlanet.com and DVDEmpire.com show as having it in stock and mine was shipped today. The disc does exist. I've sent an email to WarnerBros explaining to them that very few stores and websites have it listed. I also asked them to boost their publicity for the title. I've had no reply so far. Thanks and good luck!
M.J.

#15 of 23 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted January 07 2003 - 11:58 PM

And LASERSEDGE as well: http://www.lasersedg...il.asp?id=38264
M.J.

#16 of 23 OFFLINE   Scott Shanks

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Posted January 08 2003 - 12:34 AM

I saw a promo for the disc on TCM the other day. It was a segment between movies touting newly released DVD's.
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#17 of 23 OFFLINE   FredCampbell

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Posted January 08 2003 - 03:02 AM

Okay, I'm feeling better about it all now. I'll be completely at ease when dvdplanet ships the disc. Thanks for the info. Does anyone recall such a strange release process for a dvd in recent memory?

#18 of 23 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted January 08 2003 - 04:09 AM

Locally, this seems to becoming the trend with Warners catalog titles. it wasn't until the last week in Nov, first week in Dec that i actually found a Warners title from the Oct 1 street date on the shelf (they finally had a copy of the Hammer movies at BB). i still have yet to see either The Thin Man or Shop Around The Corner at my BB. i'm almost speechless at this. whose fault is this? i just don't buy the line that these are "older catalog tiles-hence aren't a high priority". how can they gauge this if there are 0 copies on the shelf in the first place? yes i understand why they will have 600 copies of the Big budget Hollywood crap-fest of the week day and date-but when they do they usually offer a steep discount-and the purpose of that deep discount is to entice people into the store to buy other things there. you can't honstely tell me that there aren't at least 3 other people in my town that are interested classic in pre-1980 films.

#19 of 23 OFFLINE   FredCampbell

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Posted January 08 2003 - 06:37 AM

Paul, I couldn't agree with you more. I can name 5 people in my town looking for A LITTLE ROMANCE, specifically. I am used to some of the titles I want not turning up at BB until 2 or 3 weeks after release. What strikes me as odd in the case of A LITTLE ROMANCE is that, for a while, it seemed like the formerly reliable online system was letting us down. I've gotten my order confirmation from dvdplanet, so my comfort increases.

#20 of 23 OFFLINE   Martin Jeeves

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Posted January 10 2003 - 03:18 AM

Does anyone know what is happening with regard to this title? I don't know anyone other than the reviewers who have received their copies! It seems that the disc is being held-up for some reason (maybe because of the sales sites not listing it, may be Warner's are holding it back until they do?). In other words - I have no idea... I'm gonna get my Diane Lane fix with "Unfaithful" this weekend instead. It's so funny to see her in such a great (and sexy) role a full 23 years after her debut as a sweet young girl in "A Little Romance". I hope she gets the Oscar and Golden Globe's now she's been nominated. I'd love to see her win a BIG award for her work and career. If anyone receives their copy of "...Romance" please let us know here. Thanks.
M.J.




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