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DVD Reviews

HTF DVD REVIEW: The Neighbor



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#1 of 1 Cameron Yee

Cameron Yee

    Executive Producer

  • 10,277 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2002
  • Real Name:Cameron Yee
  • LocationSince 2006

Posted September 18 2008 - 04:50 PM

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Release Date: September 23, 2008
Studio: First Look Studios
Packaging/Materials: Single-disc DVD case
Year: 2007
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1h38m
Video: 1.78:1 anamorphic
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1: English; Dolby Stereo: English
Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish
Closed Captioned: None
MSRP: $24.98

The Feature: 2/5
Struggling with the news of his wife's remarriage, Jeff (Matthew Modine) asks his downstairs neighbor Christine (Michele Laroque) to pose as his fiancée at the wedding. Problem is, Jeff and Christine despise each other. The only reason he asks is because he's desperate and the only reason she agrees is because he'll move out in exchange. Christine has been trying to acquire his apartment to add on to hers since she moved in and now she has her chance. But, with that thin line between love and hate, it won't take much for the two to start seeing each other differently. But they'll be fighting it - and each other - the whole way.

As easy as it is to write off romantic comedies as superficial fluff pieces, it takes an uneven and awkward attempt at one to make you realize how difficult they are to get right. While Modine and Laroque have decent chemistry, the script's hamhanded, comedic contrivances - and the actors' obvious discomfort in effecting them - undermine the few genuine, engaging moments the characters have together. If the film had gone more for romance than comedy there might have been a film worth recommending, but as things are it's best to let "The Neighbor" keep to itself.


Video Quality: 3/5
Accurately framed at 1.78:1, the image is mostly free of physical blemishes and devoid of edge enhancement. Black levels are adequately deep but contrast is generally quite flat with an overall muted quality to colors and visible noise in the midtones. There's an overall softness to the picture along with a noticeable loss in detail in the wide compositions.


Audio Quality: 2.5/5
The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is front-focused with surrounds providing a bit of ambient support to the music soundtrack. Dialogue is consistently intelligible but some scenes have a raspy edge to the voices. The stereo track is largely indistinguishable when processed in Dolby Pro Logic II.


Special Features: 1/5

Previews: The Neighbor, August, Transsiberian, Miss Conception, Sukiyaki Western Django, Birds of America, Priceless


Recap

The Feature: 2/5
Video Quality: 3/5
Audio Quality: 2.5/5
Special Features: 1/5
Overall Score (not an average): 2/5

An awkward and uneven romantic comedy gets adequate audio and video transfers and a meager special features package.
One thing leads to another at cameronyee.com