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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Georgia Rule



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#1 of 19 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted September 03 2007 - 02:59 PM




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Georgia Rule


Posted Image
Studio: Universal
Original Release: 2007
Length: 1 hour 59 mins
Genre: Family Drama/Comedy

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic
Colour/B&W: Colour

Audio:
  • English Dolby Digital 5.1
  • French Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1


    Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
    Rating: R

    Posted Image Posted Image





  • Release Date: September 4, 2007

    Rating: Posted Image Posted Image ½ / Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

    Starring: Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan, Felicity Huffman, Dermot Mulroney, Cary Elwes and Garrett Hedlund

    Written by: Mark Andrus
    Directed by: Garry Marshall





    Georgia Rule is an earnest family drama/comedy centered on three generations of women played by Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman and Lindsay Lohan. Lohan’s character is presented as a loose cannon right off the bat, with variations of this being played for laughs or more seriously depending on the scene where the hijinks happen. Huffman’s character is Lohan’s mother, whose inability to handle her out-of-control daughter leads her to leave Lohan with the grandmother played by Fonda. Once you have the basic situation figured out, the film proceeds in a pretty straightforward manner, as the central women learn to trust and then care for each other. The story actually becomes fairly serious before it concludes, but it never quite gets into the deep end of the pool. And to be honest, the characters never quite gel – something in the chemistry simply feels off. None of this is for lack of effort, however, and the filmmakers should be commended for what ultimately amounts to a good try.

    This is the film’s first appearance on DVD, and it has been presented fairly well, considering it is a single disc release. In addition to an anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer with 5.1 sound in three languages, there is a commentary track with Garry Marshall and almost 40 minutes of extra features. Be warned that none of the additional material touches on the Lohan controversy that surrounded the film, so if you’re looking for any insight on that, you will not find it here.


    Posted ImageVIDEO QUALITY: 3/5 Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

    Georgia Rule is presented in a good anamorphic 2.35:1 transfer. There’s nothing especially spectacular on display here, but it should be noted that there are several CGI effects that have been quietly applied in several vista shots, and they come across seamlessly here. (The film is set in a rural town in Idaho, but was shot near Los Angeles, so additional background has been added in digitally here and there to help things out.) Also, flesh tones are quite accurate here, down to the difference between Fonda’s complexion and Lohan’s younger freckles. The overall image is not especially sharp, but this appears to be an intentional part of what was a lower-budget film in today’s world of epic extravaganzas. The point of the photography here is simply to set the stage for the actresses to play, not to paint a large canvass. As a result, the picture quality looks fine but never really amazes. Again, given the type of film this is, that’s not a problem.

    Posted ImageAUDIO QUALITY: 3/5 Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

    Georgia Rule is presented in a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in English, French and Spanish. The mix is fine, but there really isn’t much use of the surround channels other than for the various pop songs on the soundtrack. Most of the attention here is placed in the front channels for dialogue and the various sound effects. I really didn’t hear any use of the subwoofer, but I might have missed something. The dialogue comes through very clearly, and the music thankfully doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the mix.


    Posted ImageSPECIAL FEATURES: 3/5 Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

    Georgia Rule fills out its disc with a fair number of extra features, including a director’s commentary, deleted scenes, a gag reel, the theatrical trailer and 3 featurettes that include the usual mutual compliments.

  • Feature Commentary with Garry Marshall - Garry Marshall provides a scene-specific commentary as the movie unspools. It’s a pleasant talk, but not all that active. There are periods of silence as Marshall simply watches the movie with the viewer. But Marshall does have some fun talking about the challenges of filming the movie on a lower budget with a lot of restrictions. It’s a little slow going, but fans of Marshall will certainly enjoy it.

  • Deleted Scenes– (9:04 total, non-anamorphic) - A series of non-anamorphic deleted scenes are provided, including a series of alternate endings that provide multiple resolutions for one character and more explanation of how the characters get to the ending scene. None of the scenes stands out as necessary to the story, but it is fun to see Dermot Mulroney play the mandolin. There is an option to hear Garry Marshall’s commentary over these scenes, but he doesn’t actually speak over all of them. One slapstick bit featuring a runaway pig begs for explanation but gets only silence on the commentary track. One bizarre feature here is that below the letterboxed image of these scenes, a continuation of the image can clearly be seen, mostly blocked by a black box. This indicates that the film may have been shot full-frame and then matted down to 2.35:1, but I cannot tell for certain without actually seeing a full-frame version of the film.

  • Gag Reel – (7:17, non-anamorphic) - This is a potpourri of blown takes, silly looks, and set-up gags, including a visit by Penny Marshall (who gets fined for letting her cell phone ring on the set), a pair of cakes presented to Lindsay Lohan by Fonda and Huffman, and a pretty funny impersonation of Garry Marshall by Dermot Mulroney at the monitor.

  • The Making of GEORGIA RULE (7:29, non-anamorphic) – This is a very brief and fluffy account of the making of the film, with film clips intercut with the usual on-set video and complimentary interviews. All of the major cast are interviewed and they all have nice things to say about each other and Garry Marshall. Marshall himself recounts the difficulty of getting the movie off the ground, but there’s nothing especially deep here. And there is no mention of the troubled shoot that got into the press at the time the film was being made and these featurettes were being compiled.

  • The Women of GEORGIA RULE (6:40, non-anamorphic) – This is primarily a series of brief interviews with the three major cast members, intercut with some of the footage in the film. One piece of information learned here is that the production had to shoot Huffman’s scenes on the weekends due to her schedule on Desperate Housewives. This means that what was already a challenging shoot was a little more difficult, as they needed to film a Wednesday to Sunday schedule, which is never a picnic.


  • On the Set with Garry Marshall (5:22, non-anamorphic) – This is a quick series of interview clips with Marshall and his cast, all speaking complimentary things about each other. Fonda in particular mentions that she appreciates having a director who can make her laugh when working on dark or unhappy material. There is a brief mention of Marshall bringing in family members such as his son to do things like the 2nd Unit work, but there isn’t much in-depth discussion here.

  • Theatrical Trailer (2:32, non-anamorphic) – The film’s theatrical trailer is included here, although it is surprising to note that it is presented in non-anamorphic format.

    Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish for the film itself, as well as for the special features. A standard chapter menu is included for quick reference. When the disc is initially started, a series of non-anamorphic trailers for other DVDs and an HD-DVD promo are played.

    IN THE END...

    Georgia Rule is an enjoyable film that stays mostly on the serious side of a family comedy/drama. As a way to see a current performance by Jane Fonda alongside Felicity Huffman and Lindsay Lohan, it is certainly worth a rental. It would be best not to look here for anything deeper, whether that be in the film itself or in the accounts of what the filmmakers went through to make it.

    Kevin Koster
    September 3, 2007.


    #2 of 19 OFFLINE   TonyD

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    Posted September 03 2007 - 05:20 PM

    what was the lohan controversy during filming? Anything other then the ongoing problems the last few years or something specific to this film?
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    #3 of 19 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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    Posted September 03 2007 - 06:41 PM

    Rather than fan any flames, I will just say that the producer of the film published a letter regarding what was happening, and the press fell on it in a big way. The only reason I brought it up in the review was in case people thought they would get the full story on the disc.

    #4 of 19 OFFLINE   TonyD

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    Posted September 04 2007 - 01:31 AM

    you dont feel comfortable? why is that? do you know lohan. you did bring it up and that will bring questions, especially when it is provided by you as a sort of tease. how about a link to the info if you dont want to talk about it yourself.
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    #5 of 19 OFFLINE   Will Krupp

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    Posted September 04 2007 - 02:06 AM

    Jesus Tony, give him a break. You would have had to be living under a rock for the past year to avoid hearing what he's talking about. I don't think he was trying to "tease" at all, just saying that none of the controversy is covered in the extras. Just try Googling "Lohan" "producer" "letter" if you didn't hear any of it.

    #6 of 19 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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    Posted September 04 2007 - 03:20 AM

    I apologize if anyone thought I was trying to be a smart aleck here. I only referenced the controversy as it might be a reason someone would watch the extra features. I have no opinion regarding Lindsay Lohan or the press attention the film received during production - my only point was to say that the DVD is not a source of information about that matter. I was honestly not trying to stir up gossip - I was trying to say that it is not a part of this DVD, and that there is no official discussion of the matter on the disc.

    #7 of 19 OFFLINE   TonyD

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    Posted September 04 2007 - 04:09 AM

    I don't live under a rock and I don't know what was going on specific to tbhos film. I don't keep to celeb gossip. I used a poor choice with tease. I didn't mean a literal tease. My fault for derailing the topic. I figured since iit was mentioned it could have been discussed. Oh, i certainly did not thonk youwere being a smart aleck at all. very good review and i was right with on the points on the film.
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    #8 of 19 OFFLINE   Jeff Swindoll

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    Posted September 04 2007 - 06:07 AM

    It's an interesting compare and contrast to rewatch the film's trailer and see how it was marketed as a comedy. The dark underbelly of the film will chill any laughs IMHO. I guess that wouldnt have looked good on the poster. I think it's legitimate for Kevin to bring up the fact that the special features off er typical Hollywood slobbering instead of telling the reality of how Lohan didnt show up to work on most days. Those expecting a "tell-all" will be dissapointed.
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    #9 of 19 OFFLINE   Dennis Nicholls

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    Posted September 04 2007 - 01:19 PM

    People in Idaho poke fun at this film since it shows fake Idaho license plates that omit the normal county coding.
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    #10 of 19 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

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    Posted September 04 2007 - 02:23 PM


    I guess Idahoans really know how to throw down and have a good time! Posted Image

    There's Jessie the yodeling cowgirl. Bullseye, he's Woody's horse. Pete the old prospector. And, Woody, the man himself.Of course, it's time for Woody's RoundUp. He's the very best! He's the rootinest, tootinest cowboy in the wild, wild west!


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    #11 of 19 OFFLINE   Matthew H

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    Posted September 07 2007 - 02:10 AM

    All I know is that I saw this in theaters on a date and my date was appalled. I didn't like the film (not just because I'm a young guy); but some of the subject matter isn't really something I'd want to watch with "the family". Even female friends that saw it with other females didn't think this movie was really appropriate, especially considering it was marketed as a comedy for Mother's Day. I don't know if anyone's noticed eithert, but the DVD commercials are totally omitting anything with Lindsay Lohan. All they tend to show are scenes with Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman. Very misleading; Lohan is definitely the start here.. Huffman doesn't become more prominent in the film until the second act. Either way I think a lot of people will be disappointed. I don't think this movie knows whether it wants to be a comedy or a coming-of-age drama.
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    #12 of 19 OFFLINE   TonyD

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    Posted September 07 2007 - 02:50 AM

    it was rated R,. it isnt a family drama, it is a drama about a family. i think there is a difference.
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    #13 of 19 OFFLINE   Jon Martin

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    Posted September 07 2007 - 03:14 AM

    I have to say the reviewer was much too kind to the film. I watched it this week and the subject matter is far from enjoyable. The ads never really got into what the film was really about. As for the controversy, the producer sent a letter to Lohan that she wasn't being professional, not showing up on the set. Ironically, that same producer recently came out and said he would definitely work with her again. Lohan is very good in the film though. The film has serious screenplay issues. Without getting into it, it doesn't know if it wants to be a comic family drama or a dark, serious, psychological piece.

    #14 of 19 OFFLINE   Matthew H

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    Posted September 07 2007 - 06:19 AM

    That sums it up nicely.
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    #15 of 19 OFFLINE   TonyD

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    Posted September 07 2007 - 12:15 PM

    it is rated R. how many family films have an R? forget about the marketing , dont people look at the rating anymore?
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    #16 of 19 OFFLINE   Jon Martin

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    Posted September 08 2007 - 06:46 AM

    I think that what was meant by family film (as stated above) is that adult family members (like mothers and daughters) would go to see together. The type that isn't bothered by uses of the F word that may earn it an R rating (and that is the only reason this is R). But the subject matter (which could have been in a PG rated movie) is not hinted at in the trailers and takes this out of the realm of being a family film.

    #17 of 19 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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    Posted September 08 2007 - 08:58 AM

    I agree that the trailer plays the film as more of a comedy than it is. But the film does have a bunch of comic material in it - the tone is fairly uneven up to a certain point. The deleted scenes show a fairly slapstick chase sequence that feels like something from a Peter Sellers' movie. I still say that the film is a good try. As I said, it doesn't completely succeed - the characters don't quite mesh, and it never figures out if it's a comic drama or a dramatic comedy. So it winds up somewhere in the middle, which can be quite frustrating. (As I can see from the back and forth here.)

    #18 of 19 OFFLINE   Andy Patrizio

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    Posted September 18 2007 - 03:38 AM

    Actually that was during the filming of "I Know WHo Killed Me." During GR, she was hospitalized twice.

    #19 of 19 OFFLINE   Jon Martin

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    Posted September 18 2007 - 03:52 AM

    The bad behavoir on Lohan's part was during GEORGIA RULE. James Robinson of Morgan Creek (the production company) is the one who wrote the letter, and Jane Fonda (her co-star) commented on it.





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