Steve Coogan brings his most famous character (in Britain) to the big screen in Alan Partridge, a humorous black comedy about a disc jockey (played by Colm Meaney) who takes a radio station and its crew hostage after being fired by the station’s new management. Coogan plays the title character, a fellow DJ who is sent in by the local police to negotiate the terms of surrender.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Run Time: 1 Hr. 30 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-rayBlu-ray Eco keepcase
Release Date: 06/10/2014
The character of Alan Partridge began in 1992 as the host of a fictional talk show on BBC Radio 4, Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge. The character was so popular that the series transitioned to television, followed by another television series, I’m Alan Partridge in 1997, a mockumentary about Alan’s radio show Mid Morning Matters on Radio Norwich. To a degree, the film Alan Partridge picks up some seventeen years later with much of the same cast, but losing the mockumentary approach, instead telling a straightforward story.
The Production Rating: 3.5/5
As the film opens, media conglomerate Gordale Media has just acquired North Norfolk Digital, wanting to transition the station to a new format they are calling “The Shape: The Way You Want It To Be.” This means making some major changes at the station, including streamlining the on-air talent. Trying to smooth things over with the new management, Partridge barges in to a meeting to welcome them aboard, but sees on the agenda that they will be discussing letting either him or late night DJ Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) go, and proceeds very awkwardly that management should “Just Sack Pat.” Farrell is then asked to clean out his desk during Partridge’s show, goes home, and returns that evening during a rebranding party and takes control of the station at gunpoint. Partridge manages to escape, and is then asked by the police to return to the station and negotiate Farrell’s surrender.
Alan Partridge is the type of comedy that viewers will either love or hate, and a great deal of that has to do with the film’s main character being extremely unlikeable. Much of the humor comes from the complete awkwardness of the situations Coogan’s character gets himself into, along with his interactions with those around him. It helps that Coogan is very comfortable portraying Partridge (after all, it’s what made him a star in the UK), and quite often director Declan Lowney allows the cameras to roll and let Coogan break loose. Colm Meaney is, perhaps, underrated as a character actor, and gives a very sympathetic performance as the quite often down on his luck sad sack Pat Farrell. The rest of the supporting cast is very good, but many are carry overs from previous incarnations of Alan Partridge. The film has no big laughs, but I did find myself laughing softly throughout, thanks to some humorous one liners by screenwriters Peter Baynham, Coogan, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons, and Armando Iannucci.
Just Sack Pat
Seals Out The Freshness
Magnolia’s 1080p AVC encode retains the film’s intended theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1. Colors are accurate and consistent, never over saturated. Detail is very good, particularly in the textures of the actors’ faces and clothing. Contrast is handled well, with deep blacks and bright whites, with very little evidence of washing out. Shot digitally with the Red Epic camera, the “print” is obviously free of any defects.
Video Rating: 4/5 3D Rating: NA
For most of Alan Partridge, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is in standard comedy mode, with clear dialogue directed mostly to the center channel and music spread nicely across the front and rear soundstages. LFE is used briefly, especially when Pat Farrell begins shooting his rifle, and discrete surround effects are employed sparsely.
Audio Rating: 4/5
Making of Alan Partridge (1080p; 12:05): The cast and crew discuss making the movie, interspersed with clips from the film and behind the scenes footage.
Special Features Rating: 3/5
Behind The Scenes (1080p; 1:42): An assembly of raw behind the scenes footage set to music from the film’s soundtrack.
AXS TV: A Look At Alan Partridge (1080i; 2:56): A watered down version of the first documentary, made for the AXS TV channel (partially owned by the same parent company as Magnolia).
Also From Magnolia Home Entertainment (1080p; 5:15): Trailers for Stage Fright and Best Night Ever, plus a promo for the Chideo website.
BD-Live: As of street date, the link still suggests viewers check back for updates.
Definitely not for everyone, Alan Partridge is an amusingly dark and very British comedy that brings Steve Coogan’s alter ego to the big screen. The disc is not quite as feature-packed as its Region B release from Studio Canal, but most Americans aren’t aware of the title character or who Steve Coogan is.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewed By: Todd Erwin
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