Jump to content



Sign up for a free account to remove the pop-up ads

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests and remove the pop-up ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
Blu-ray Reviews

HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: It's Complicated



This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
9 replies to this topic

#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter



  • 2,821 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted May 04 2010 - 07:22 AM

Posted Image
it’s
Complicated
 
Studio: Universal
Year: 2009
Length:  2 hrs 1 min
Genre: Romantic Comedy
 
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
 
BD Resolution: 1080p
BD Video Codec: VC-1 (@ an average 30 mbps)
Color/B&W: Color
 
Audio:
English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (@ an average 4.0 mbps)
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English DVS (Descriptive Visual Service) 2.0
 
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
 
Film Rating: R (Some Drug Content and Sexuality)
 
Release Date: April 27, 2010
 
Starring: Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski
Written and Directed by: Nancy Meyers
 
Film Rating:    1 ½/5
 
I have to admit being dumbfounded while watching It’s Complicated.   I can understand that its primary appeal will be to women, and that it’s clearly geared in that direction. And I can appreciate the craftsmanship that went into the film, particularly the seamless New York set interiors that match Santa Barbara exteriors. But the script and direction here are so limited that the film wastes not only the talents of Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, but it then meanders on for over 2 hours, by which point most of the audience’s attention has long since drifted. Meryl Streep seems to be having a good time here, although very little is asked of her considerable acting skills.   (This is the same sort of good-natured performance we saw in Mamma Mia!, albeit without the singing.) Alec Baldwin appears to be channeling the hammier aspects of his current role on “30 Rock”, and Steve Martin gives an oddly muted performance that only comes to life during a brief party sequence involving marijuana.  Given the two men’s long history at “Saturday Night Live”, I really expected more for them to do here than what they have been given. BTW I must agree with Ed Faver’s review of the SD edition of this film, in that the “R” rating appears more than a little harsh, given the mild nature of what we see onscreen.
 
It’s Complicated has been released on standard definition DVD and Blu-ray as of last week.  The Blu-ray edition holds a high definition picture and sound transfer, an HD transfer of the “Making of” featurette, and the same commentary from the SD edition. Further Blu-ray functionality is also part of the package, including pocket BLU, social BLU, My Scenes, an online ticker and trailers. I have a feeling that fans of Nancy Meyers from films like Something’s Gotta Give will want to check this out, as will fans of the lead actors. But I suggest renting this title first, as you may find that the film here is far less than the sum of its parts.
                                                        
 
VIDEO QUALITY   3 ½/5
It’s Complicated is presented in a 1080p VC-1 1.85:1 transfer that shows off the fine work of cinematographer John Toll, who has a lot of fun seamlessly presenting a variety of Santa Barbara environments within various New York soundstage. This transfer also presents the cast in a fairly pleasing and flattering light, which is a bigger challenge considering that the two primary leads spend a bit of the film half-clothed or less.   I should note that I am watching the film on a 40” Sony XBR2 HDTV. If anyone is watching the film on a larger monitor and is having issues, please post them on this thread.
 
 
AUDIO QUALITY   3 ½ /5
It's Complicated is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix in English, along with standard DTS 5.1 mixes in French and Spanish. There is also an English Descriptive Visual Service track available. The DTS-HD MA mix mostly finds purchase in the front channels, but the surrounds definitely get attention with music and atmospheric sound. Considering the genre and the relatively light demands made on the mix, this is a fine job.
 
SPECIAL FEATURES      2 ½/5
The Blu-Ray presentation of It’s Complicated comes with the usual BD-Live connectivity and My Scenes functionality, as well as pocket BLU and social BLU. The disc carries over the two extras from the SD edition, a group commentary and a featurette in HD.
 
Feature Commentary with Writer/Director Nancy Meyers, Cinematographer John Toll, Editor Joe Hutshing and Executive Producer Suzanne Farwell  –  This group commentary, while scene-specific, is really a showcase for Nancy Meyers to discuss her ideas about the film, with occasional comments from the others sitting with her. It’s interesting to know that the film’s striking visual opening was actually a post-production addition when the filmmakers realized people would not know where the film is set, and that Meyers wrote the primary part with Streep in mind. If you’re a fan of Nancy Meyers, you’ll probably enjoy this track. If you’re a more casual observer, you may find your interest wandering after a while.
The Making of It’s Complicated – (20:40, 1080p) This extended EPK features the usual cast and director interviews, along with film clips and on-set video. There really isn’t much to this, other than the usual mutual compliments among the cast and creative staff.
BD-Live - The more general BD-Live screen is accessible via the menu, which makes various online materials available, including tickers, trailers and special events. At the time of this review, the BD-Live functionality has not been activated yet.
 
My Scenes - The usual bookmarking feature is included here.
 
pocket BLU and social BLU – The latest Blu-ray features of phone apps and social networking are included here for viewers with the right iPhones, Blackberries and other current hardware.
 
The usual promotional ticker is present on the main menu, but can be toggled off at your discretion. The film is subtitled in English, French and Spanish. The usual pop-up menu is present, along with a complete chapter menu. Further, when you first put the Blu-ray in the player, several trailers will load from BD-Live, which you can get past by hitting the “Next Chapter” button.
 
 
IN THE END...
It’s Complicated is a film that may well appeal to its target audience, but it does not add up to the sum of its talented parts. The film is given solid high definition transfers in picture and sound, as well as a commentary track mostly featuring Nancy Meyers. Fans of Meyers, Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin may wish to rent this title first before purchasing.
 
Kevin Koster
May 4, 2010.

Posted Image


#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul



  • 30,199 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted May 04 2010 - 01:20 PM

I want this movie to be soooo good. 

Yet, every review says pretty much the same thing.

I'll wait for a really big sale (or to find it used--cheap.  I bet that won't take long.).

Thanks, Kevin.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/thumbsup.gif 



(Kinda mediocre 3 1/2 scores for PQ & SQ, though, for:

Quote:
solid high definition transfers in picture and sound
wouldn't you say?  You really didn't have anything negative to say...)


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!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter



  • 2,821 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted May 04 2010 - 08:14 PM

Mike, the 3 1/2 scores to my mind are actually good scores.  I'm not meaning to demean the numbers - I just feel that when I get into the 4s and 5s, I'm getting to the point of the old San Francisco Chronicle graphic of the critic jumping up and down on his seat.

When I give out a 2 1/2, at that point I figure I'm getting into mediocre, and when things go lower, you know I'm having major issues...  For example, the score I gave the movie itself. 

I didn't really have complaints about the picture and sound, but at the same time I wasn't jumping up and down either.  And I also felt I'd beaten the disc up enough - at a certain point it starts to feel like I'm picking on people and I don't want to be a complete ogre.

#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul



  • 30,199 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted May 05 2010 - 12:51 AM

Thanks for the explanation, Kevin.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/thumbsup.gif

I'm really curious to see this film.  It sounds like a project which falls just short of meeting expectations...and the cast list alone is enough to really heighten those expectations. 

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!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#5 of 10 OFFLINE   TonyD

TonyD

    Executive Producer



  • 16,240 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 01 1999
  • Real Name:Tony D.
  • LocationDisney World and Universal Florida

Posted May 05 2010 - 01:09 PM

I liked it a lot.
I thought Streep was better in this then the Julia Child movie.

Martin was very funny and wasn't just a comic foil.
The whole story just felt good to me and I didn't think anything felt forced.

It didn't even seem like a chick flick to me just a story about some people who are getting older.

I'd say 3.5 out of 5 stars/

facebook.com/whotony

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul



  • 30,199 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted May 08 2010 - 04:01 PM


Quote:Originally Posted by Mike Frezon ../../..

I want this movie to be soooo good.
Yet, every review says pretty much the same thing.

I'll wait for a really big sale (or to find it used--cheap.  I bet that won't take long.).


Well, I had THAT right.  I picked this up mid-week at a local FYE in their used bin.  it was marked $19.99 and I got another 20% off of that for buying another couple of used titles and scored it for a bottom line of $16.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/thumbsup.gif
 
I'm actually in the middle of watching it right now.  The only reason I'm posting now is because my wife had to take a call from one of the kids.

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!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Hollywoodaholic

Hollywoodaholic

    Screenwriter



  • 1,338 posts
  • Join Date: Nov 08 2007
  • Real Name:Wayne Carter
  • LocationSomewhere in Florida

Posted May 10 2010 - 02:21 AM

If you haven't purchased this already, my advice is to save your money. My wife is the ultimate Meryl Streep fan, but even she couldn't survive the horrible dialogue, mugging, and all-around non-reality of this film.* Steve Martin is completely wasted in a wimpy role that gives him NOTHING except a couple funny moments when he gets stoned. It runs a full two hours (comedy violation #1) of interminable non-funniness. We spent a total of $4.99 on this pay-per-view and I want that money and those two hours of my life back.


Nancy Meyers films are an excuse for her and her actor pals to hang out, have a good time, eat Chinese food, drink fine wine, gossip, gather designer furniture, buy every kitchen pot or appliance in the Williams Sonoma catalog (critics have referred to her films as 'decorator porn'), and ... oh, slap a movie together.


*Meryl Streep runs a small bakery, but lives on a stretch of land with a ranch house in Santa Barbara that could easily run $20 million if you know the territory. Settlement from her ex, Alec Baldwin? They guy who never works a second in this film? Doubt it. Plus she has time to cultivate a huge beautiful garden all by herself that would require a crew of Arizona's finest illegal refugees to maintain.


One episode of Nurse Jackie is packed with 10x more laughs and 100x more reality than this bloated tribute to the idle rich and clueless.



#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul



  • 30,199 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted May 10 2010 - 05:28 AM

Wayne:


You just about summed it up for me.  I think the Mother's Day phone call from my kids which interrupted the film was the best part of the experience for me.

I noted each and every one of the things you spelled out.  The vegetable garden scene actually made me pause the film to rant to my wife.  /img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif


And while I'm no prude, I had a real problem with two seemingly intelligent people (the Streep/Baldwin characters) not having a clue that the actions they were engaging in were "wrong"...and potentially devastating to his new wife (who was conveniently played as a negative, one-dimensional, cartoonish character to add further weight to the argument that the scenario is "ok" because "It's Complicated.)  This film really sent a horrible message.  While I understand that's not altogether unusual for Hollywood, this effort was couched in so many missteps that it was offensive.

There were just a couple of funny moments in a bloated film which really fell apart (even further) in the last 15 minutes (after Baldwin announced he had left his wife) by their adult kids acting like middle-schoolers at the thought of their parents having a relationship and actually ending up traumatized in bed together(?!?!?!?!?!  Are you kidding me?!?) in need of some counseling from Mom (everything's going to be okay kids.  Group hug!).  /img/vbsmilies/htf/rolleyes.gif.

I also did not understand the R rating...but if it kept people from having to see this turkey...it was a public service.

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!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon


#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

Kevin EK

    Screenwriter



  • 2,821 posts
  • Join Date: May 09 2003

Posted May 10 2010 - 07:19 PM

And I thought I was tough on this movie...



#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Mike Frezon

Mike Frezon

    Studio Mogul



  • 30,199 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 09 2001
  • LocationRensselaer, NY

Posted May 11 2010 - 05:10 AM



Originally Posted by Kevin EK 

And I thought I was tough on this movie...


/img/vbsmilies/htf/laugh.gif


Like I said early on...I really wanted this one to be good.  I like the three principal players, it was a movie about mature relationships...it had a lot going for it.

I should have run the other way.

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!


HTF Rules | HTF Mission Statement | Father of the Bride

Dieting with my Dog & Heart to Heart/Hand in Paw by Peggy Frezon