Kate & Leopold
Film Length: 118 minutes/122 minutes (Director)
Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
If they lived in the same century,
they'd be perfect for each other
Kate McKay (Meg Ryan) is an on-the-go marketing
executive whose career is on the rise. She lives
in a New York City apartment and constantly has
to put up with the noise upstairs caused by her
ex-boyfriend would-be inventor Stuart (Liev Schreiber).
One day Kate discovers a guest in Stuart's apartment.
The man's name is Leopold (Hugh Jackman), a very
proper British noble whom Stuart has snatched from
history (1876, specifically) and brought forward
through a naturally occurring time portal. He also
happens to be Stuart's great grandfather.
Stuart tries his best to contain Leopold in his
apartment until the next portal opens where he
can be returned to the 19th century (if he
continues to exist, he may inadvertently alter
the course of history). An unfortunate
accident, however, lands Stuart in the hospital,
leaving Leopold to venture out into the dangerous
world known as New York City.
Through all of this, Kate and Leopold hook up
together. Though Kate doesn't believe for a second
that Leopold is from a totally different century,
she can't help but fall head over heels for a man
who is as kind, and well-mannered as he.
When I received this DVD for screening, I was
a bit afraid that this would be one of those
films that only women would enjoy. What I found
instead, was a rather enjoyable feel-good movie.
The only problem I really found with the movie
was that Leopold too readily accepts this new
world, and somehow Kate is convinced to make the
most inane sacrifice within the final 15 minutes
of the movie. However, suspending all disbelief,
the movie does remain entertaining.
How is the transfer?
For the most part, the transfer looks very good.
The print is clean without blemish. Though the
movie was filmed rather softly, the colors of
Summer are very well pronounced from the colorful
trees in Central Park to the array of flowers in
a nearby shop. Flesh tones tend to run more red
than looking natural. The only gripe I have is
that there is an underlying presence of video noise
that can be seen throughout the film. While it's
not very pronounced, it's one of those things that
prevents me from raving about the transfer.
The 5.1 Dolby Digital mix is very active. I
was quite impressed with how good this movie
sounded. In fact, I have half a page of scribbled
notes that I took that talk about the mix. First
of all, the film has a nice deep, full sound.
The rear channels take on a great responsibility
by providing ambient effects like taking a rainstorm
and enveloping the sound of rain and thunder
around you. The surrounds also give you a feel
for the many sounds of New York City. The
soundtrack is also a bit on the "bass" side,
which is fine, as my subwoofer was pounding out
the beats not only to the film's score, but
techno-music from inside a nightclub.
Kate and Leopold comes in two flavors:
a theatrical cut and a Director's Cut. You can
select either right from a menu screen that appears
shortly after inserting the DVD.
For review purposes, I watched the Director's cut.
Don't ask me how either version differs from one
another -- perhaps members who have seen the film
theatrically will tell us that when the DVD comes
out. It is interesting to note that both versions
only differ in running time by 4 minutes.
Both versions feature commentary with Director
Let's start with the supplements, shall we?
First up is On The Set, a cable-produced
featurette that begins with Director James Mangold
referring to the film as an "urban fairy tale".
Through interviews with Meg Ryan, Hugh Jackman
and the filmmakers, we get an overview of the film.
Jackman recalls how star-struck he was to have the
opportunity to make the film with Meg Ryan, who he
refers to as the biggest star in Hollywood who
doesn't act like a star. Many behind-the-camera
antics are included that show the cast having a
great deal of fun on the set. Director James
Mangold was very specific in showing the beauty
that exists in New York City from the 19th Century
to the 21st Century. There's a greatly interesting
segment about how the Brooklyn Bridge scenes were
filmed on a soundstage.
(length: approx. 13 minutes)
There are 7 Deleted Scenes, some of
* While chasing Stuart, early on, a ball-point
pen is dropped. Leopold is seen sitting in the
bathtub admiring the foreign object while talking
* We return to the elevator shaft that Stuart
has fallen into. This scene was to establish
the fact that Stuart was not dead.
* Leopold, sitting on the couch in front of
the TV, imagining that his 19th century friend,
Otis, is with him.
* J.J. (Bradley Whitford) giving a hilarious
and rousing improvised extension of his speech.
The deleted scenes run approximately 8 minutes
in total, and should be heard with optional
commentary by Director James Mangold.
Dozens of stills are available for viewing in
the Photo Gallery, most of which are
publicity shots, candid moments from the set
and conceptual drawings for both costumes and
Meet Costume Designer Donna Zakowka. In the
Costume Featurette, Donna talks about
the eye-opening experience that Director James
Mangold had with this film, having to rely on
sketches to shoot his scenes. We see many of
the conceptual drawings of costumes that were
transformed into final product on film.
(length: approx. 3 minutes)
While the DVD does include the Golden Globe
winning Best Song, "Until", Music Video
by Sting, there is absolutely no theatrical
Kate and Leopold is nothing exceptional
by any means, but whatever it is reduced to
remains a fun romantic adventure that makes
for the ideal double date.
Certainly worth a rental!
Release Date: June 11,2002