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HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Leap Year
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Posted May 18 2010 - 03:20 PM
Length: 1 hr 41 mins
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
BD Resolution: 1080p
BD Video Codec: VC-1 (@ an average 30 mbps)
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: PG-13 (Sensuality and Language)
Release Date: May 4, 2010
Starring: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott and John Lithgow
Written by: Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont
Directed by: Anand Tucker
Film Rating: 2 ½/5
Leap Year surprised me, I have to confess here. Based on the reactions I have heard from my friends, and even the publicized remarks of Matthew Goode, I was expecting a really awful movie and a heck of a time. Instead, I found myself actually enjoying the film here and there. Yes, the film is a completely predictable romantic comedy. Yes, the film runs through every cliché you can imagine about an uptight American girl finding true love on the road in Ireland. Yes, there isn’t really any chemistry between Goode and lead actress Amy Adams. Yes, John Lithgow is thoroughly wasted in a cameo that lasts only a single scene. And yet, the movie actually has some bright spots in it. Amy Adams is always appealing, and this film is no exception. The scenery and photography across Ireland is lovely. And there are some really fun moments here and there as the film progresses – particularly one inspired bit of slapstick with Adams wrecking havoc in her upstairs pub room early on. So it’s not a complete wipeout. On the other hand, if you’re expecting an amazing bit of work, you’ll likely be disappointed, even if you’re a fan of Amy Adams. If you come in expecting something a bit more ordinary, you may well have a good time here. I’m not promising you the moon, of course. But, I will admit that I had a good time here, and I would not have expected it.
Leap Year has been released on standard definition DVD and Blu-ray as May 4. The Blu-ray edition holds a high definition picture and sound transfer and nearly 7 minutes of deleted scenes presented in high definition. Further Blu-ray functionality is also part of the package, including pocket BLU, social BLU, My Scenes, an online ticker and trailers.
VIDEO QUALITY 3 ½/5
Leap Year is presented in a 1080p VC-1 2.40:1 transfer that provides some great vista shots of various locales in Ireland. It also presents Amy Adams and the rest of the cast in a fairly pleasing light. 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
Leap Year 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 has a bit more surround and subwoofer activity than I would have expected, and this was a welcome surprise. Overall, it’s mostly music in the rear channels, but there’s a bit of atmospheric work there as well.
SPECIAL FEATURES 1 ½/5
The Blu-Ray presentation of Leap Year comes with the usual BD-Live connectivity and My Scenes functionality, as well as pocket BLU and social BLU. The only specific extra included is a brief collection of deleted scenes.
Deleted Scenes – (6:46, 1080p) A small group of deleted scenes are included here, mostly featuring John Lithgow as Amy Adams’ father. What shows up here provides a lot more depth to his part than what was included in the final cut, but ultimately none of it is that necessary. Things wrap up with a fairly crude bit of slapstick that was thankfully removed from the film’s ending.
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.
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...
Leap Year is a film that I enjoyed a bit more than I expected I would, but I must acknowledge that it is not a masterpiece. It has some lovely photography of Ireland, some entertaining moments sprinkled throughout, and the always engaging Amy Adams. Her fans would do well to rent this before purchasing, but they may well have a better time than they’ll expect.
May 18, 2010.