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Blu-ray Review HTF Blu-Ray Review: Fool's Gold (1 Viewer)


Supporting Actor
Jun 13, 2002

Fool’s Gold (Blu-Ray)

Studio: Warner Home Video
Rated: PG-13 (Action violence, some sexual material, brief nudity and language)
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
HD Encoding: 1080p
HD Video Codec: VC-1
Audio: Dolby Digital: English 5.1, French 5.1, Spanish 5.1
Subtitles: English French, Spanish
Time: 112 minutes
Disc Format: 1 SS/SL Blu-Ray disc.
Case Style: Keepcase
Theatrical Release Date: 2008
Blu Ray Release Date: June 17, 2008

Bouncy, lighthearted rom-com fun was just what I needed after having spent last week reviewing the mighty fine “Dirty Harry” box set. Fool’s Gold eagerly filled the ticket, allowing me to cleanse my palate of big guns and tough talk. Even better, the movie features Matthew McConaughey as Ben Finnegan and Kate Hudson as Tess, a couple who is finalizing their divorce against the wishes of Finn. Tess can’t stand his boyish ne’er-do-well ways, always chasing fortune and glory but never doing anything to establish a permanent life. Finn is on the hunt for the wreckage of a Spanish ship, said to contain untold wealth in riches and jewels but missing since the 1700’s. He thinks he’s found the ship, but his boat catches on fire much to the dismay of his bankroller, rap star BiggBunny (Kevin Hart) who decides to have Finn killed rather than have him pay off the $62.5k he owes him.

Finn’s a wily one, and he gets out of a potential drowning and makes it to the divorce court 60 seconds late, losing everything to her. He pleads with Tess to stay with him and go after the treasure, but she refuses. She is a steward on super-rich Nigel Honeycutt’s (Donald Sutherland) yacht, where she works with two gay chefs who constantly give her relationship advice. Finn finds his way on to the yacht and convinces Nigel and Tess to find the treasure. Added to the mix are Nigel’s tabloid headline grabbing daughter Gemma (Alexis Dziena) and an old rival of Finn’s, Moe Fitch (Ray Winstone, horribly underused, unfortunately). As Finn and Tess chase the loot they wind up chasing each other, but will the lure of untold riches save their love life or kill the both of them?

There’s really not too much to criticize in this picture, since it doesn’t pretend to be anymore than it is: a rom-com vehicle for McConaughey and Hudson, paychecks earned off their previous success, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Both of them do well in these roles that really don’t look like it took much out of them. McConaughey has made a name for himself as the drifting surfer Peter Pan who is more concerned with havin’ a good time then ever really settling down. Fortunately, he does quite well in this role, as does Hudson, who plays uptight a little too loosely. Hudson’s career seems to always be in flux after her breakout role in Almost Famous and it’s as if she can’t decide just who she wants to be. Fool’s Gold will leave your mind as the credits roll, but if you let yourself enjoy it for what it is you’ll have had a fine snack with your popcorn.

Note: I am watching this title using a Marantz VP 11-S1 DLP projector, which has a native resolution of 1080p. I am using a Sony Playstation 3 Blu-Ray player while a Denon 3808CI does the switching and pass through of the video signal. I am utilizing the HDMI capabilities of each piece of equipment.

The Blu-Ray disc is in the VC-1 codec presented at 1080p with an aspect ratio of 2.40:1. The picture is very colorful with beautifully saturated colors of the tropical settings. The water scenes show subtle differences between the various depths and other geographical outcroppings. McConaughey and Hudson’s tanned bodies glisten under the warm sun of the Caribbean, while these same flesh tones remain accurate in the indoor scenes. Black levels are excellent showing nice depth and detail. Sharpness and detail are good as well. There is no dirt, debris or any other such problems to ruin this very good looking image.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack was attained by the HDMI connection of the Sony Playstation 3 to the Denon 3808CI.

We are only provided with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, not even a lousy DD+ encode! What is here is fair, minimally using the surrounds throughout the picture. The outdoor scenes and action scenes give them something to do to enhance the environment, but there is little else. Fidelity is as good as it should be in this recent of a picture, and ADR was noticed a few times. Dynamic range of the soundtrack as a whole stays in the mid to high levels, and bass effects are minimal, again, mostly utilized in the action scenes.

Bonus Material:
Thankfully, there was little to go through in terms of bonus material. There’s two items, the first being a four and a half minute piece called Fool’s Gold: Flirting with Adventure- The Chemistry Between Two Charming Contemporary Stars which gives McConaughey and Hudson the opportunity to tell us how much they like working together, and others to say how much they like working with them. Second is a two and a half minute Gag Reel that is basically superfluous.

I don’t think anyone going to rent or watch this expects much, so you surely won’t be disappointed. Much like an ice tea on a hot day, you forget you had it by the time it’s gone, and it really did you no harm. The video transfer looks great, but the audio and extras may leave you diving for more, finding, in the end, there is no more treasure.

Peter Overduin

Supporting Actor
Jun 30, 1997
Thanks for the colorful conclusion! I rank this right up there with Into the Blue for guilty pleasures, made all the more peasureable by BD :)

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