DVD Review HTF Review: Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jason Perez, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Jason Perez

    Jason Perez Second Unit

    Jul 6, 2003
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    Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

    Studio: Universal
    Year: 2004
    Rated: R
    Running Time: 108 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.40:1)
    Captions: English
    Subtitles: French, and Spanish
    Audio: English, French, and Spanish – Dolby Digital 5.1

    Release Date:
    March 22nd, 2005

    Even if you haven’t seen either Bridget Jones film, it is likely that you heard or read about Renée Zellweger’s commitment to her role in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. More specifically, she was paid handsomely to gain lots of weight to reprise her role as the charming but self-loathing Bridget Jones, a woman that cannot seem to find happiness even once she achieves relationship goals she had deemed impossible.

    Going back to the first Bridget Jones film, the title character (Zellweger) had it bad for Mark Darcy, a dashing but stiff and conservative “human rights lawyer”. If you saw the film, you also know that despite her penchant for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, her clumsiness, her weight, and her addiction to booze, cigarettes, and bad men, Bridget was able to win Mr. Darcy’s affection.

    When we catch up with the couple, their relationship seems to be on solid ground, for they are even wearing matching ugly sweaters! However, Bridget still cannot seem to quiet her restless mind, which perpetually bombards her with feelings of insecurity and doubt. Yes, even though Bridget managed to win the heart of the man she yearned to be with, she keeps herself from solidifying the relationship further with her incessant whining and odd behavior, which ultimately causes a rift to develop between the two.

    Unfortunately, inThe Edge of Reason, Ms. Jones’ eccentricities are much more annoying than cute, as they were in the first film. Indeed, the jealous, clingy, and marriage-obsessed Bridget Jones becomes more like the villain in this painfully unfunny sequel! Not only was this disappointing, but as you can imagine, it led me to have very little sympathy for Bridget, when in the midst of her self-induced psychological trauma (and through a few “convenient” plot devices), she ends up in the company of another man - none other than suave playboy Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant)!

    Apparently, Daniel is still looking for a little of Bridget’s love (well, he wants her body at least), and she being flattered with his lingering interest in her, opens herself up to his advances a little bit. The question is, does Bridget value Mark Darcy enough to refrain from going all the way? Let me back up a step first…

    Their reunion happens like this: Bridget, now a television reporter given the absolute worst assignments, is assigned to Daniel’s travel show, and the two head of to Thailand together to do a show. Unexpectedly, Bridget actually seems to enjoy most of her stay, but she is stopped by the police while preparing to board a plane bound for home, and later charged with smuggling contraband. Daniel, a-hole that he is, sees the arrest go down but does nothing to help, so poor Bridget is hauled away to prison, where she finally comes to realize how much Mark really meant to her (cue the string section [​IMG] )!

    So, does this premise work? Well, not for me, as I thought this ham-handed movie created a rift between Mark and Bridget via completely contrived misinterpretations that could have very easily been resolved if the two lovebirds had bothered to simply talk to one another. Really, the premise is so desperate that it could just as easily have been the plot to an episode of Three’s Company - a bad one. Of course, from there the coincidences continue to be hurled at viewers at a rapid clip, not the least of which is having the sex-obsessed Daniel Cleaver hosting a popular travel show...that Bridget just so happens to get assigned to!

    The lack of originality evident in this film is also disturbing. Honestly, I am of the opinion that it is fine for sequels to give us points of reference that tie in to the previous film, but far too many gags were “inspired” by Bridget Jones’s Diary. For instance, the intro has Mark wearing yet another hideous sweater, Bridget bumbles through another on-location report that prominently features her derriere, and Daniel and Mark end up having another ridiculous fight over Bridget – the list goes on, but I trust you get the point. Sadly, the remainder is made up almost entirely of generic and highly improbable adventures, the highlight (or lowlight, depending on your point of view) being Bridget’s stint in a Bangkok prison, where she teaches a group of prostitutes the “proper” way to sing one of Madonna’s early hits.

    I am not at all ashamed to admit that Bridget Jones’s Diary took me by surprise, and that I was enamored with Renée Zellweger’s bumbling, boozing, chain-smoking Bridget Jones. In a genre filled with gorgeous, über-charming characters played by Reese Witherspoon and Julia Roberts, Bridget’s normalcy was refreshing – hey, not everyone looks like a human lollypop you know!

    Unfortunately, not only is Diary’s sequel virtually bereft of originality, but character continuity seems to have gone right out the window! There are many things in the film that speak to this, not the least of which is that Bridget does much less drinking, smoking, and swearing in The Edge of Reason - so much so that it is almost as if she became a completely different person in the few weeks (story time) between this film and the last.

    Now there is no way I can deny that Renée Zellweger is charming as Bridget, and she really does try her best to make the film go, but her effort is undermined by the horrible and redundant script. The simple fact is that the quartet of screenwriters proved incapable of making the character as compelling this time, not to mention providing anything more than a lifeless, unfunny script, highlighted by the aforementioned tasteless comedy set piece in a Bangkok prison. I really shouldn’t even need to say this, but when the lead character in a romantic comedy is in prison, helping imprisoned Thai prostitutes sing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” properly, it is patently obvious that something is terribly, terribly wrong! Sadly, the memory of it has not yet escaped me! [​IMG]

    Anyway, as for the other performers, although the Daniel Cleaver seems to have been inserted into the story out of convenience, it is a good thing he was, because Hugh Grant is this dreadful picture’s lone bright spot. Indeed, Grant provides most of the film’s laughs, skillfully delivering his innuendo-laden lines and smiling smugly as only he can! Since he made the film so much more interesting any time he appeared onscreen, it is a shame that he did not have more screen time.

    Conversely, although the writing undoubtedly victimized him, Colin Firth has been given the difficult and undesirable task of playing his character as an impossibly understanding man, who suffers endless embarrassment and aggravation, and yet loves Bridget so deeply that he tolerates her absurd behavior, pressure to marry, and baseless accusations to no end. Regardless of the reason for it, however, Firth’s performance really lacks energy, which his rehashed fight (if you want to call it that – UFC this ain’t) with Hugh Grant sorely needed.

    Ironically, as disappointing as the writing was, the way Kidron depict Bridget Jones in this film is just as irksome. Seriously, I felt that the tendency in The Edge of Reason was to overemphasize Zellweger’s plump breasts and behind as much as possible, in the vain hope of getting a laugh. As much as I would normally enjoy such shots of Ms. Zellweger [​IMG] , in this context they taint and dishonor all that proved so delightful about Bridget Jones’s Diary. What I mean is that the first movie celebrated Bridget’s flaws and eccentricities, and showed that even those who are “socially undesirable” can be sexy and find happiness, but this worthless follow-up simply mocks these things in a cheap attempt to generate a few chuckles. Sad…

    Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason is presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1), and although it is a decent transfer overall, I have to be honest - it falls a bit short of what Universal usually brings to the table, especially where their big budget releases are concerned. Things aren’t all bad though, as the film’s warm color palette is rendered accurately, with pleasing levels of saturation and no bleeding or chroma noise. Aside from a smidgeon of edge enhancement, there is also no evidence of other digital distractions, such as macro-blocking, aliasing, or pixelization.

    Unfortunately, the disc’s black level is only about average, and there was not quite as much detail in shadows as I would have liked to see. Indeed, the overall amount of detail is somewhat of a disappointment, as more than a few sequences have both a decidedly “soft” appearance and lack of depth. Finally, although there are no major print flaws, there is enough grain visible to potentially cause a minor distraction for some viewers.

    All things considered, the image quality of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason has its good points and bad points. Happily, the transfer doesn’t have any really serious issues, but it does lack the clarity and polish that I have come to expect from Universal’s more prominent releases.

    The Edge of Reason comes equipped with a garden-variety Rom-Com Dolby Digital 5.1 track, which presents the film in a satisfactory manner. As is the case with most films of this nature, the presentation of dialogue is most important, and in this regard the track succeeds. Indeed, dialogue is presented in a warm, robust fashion, and it is never a chore to figure out what characters are saying.

    As you no doubt guessed, this is a fairly front-and-center listening experience, and with only a few exceptions the subwoofer and rear speakers sit on the sidelines. Still, the front and center channels provide a decent soundstage, and the infrequent instances of directional panning are handled adeptly. Similarly, the playful score and variety of sourced music in the film are also presented well.

    Overall, this is not the most dynamic or adventurous mix out there, but you wouldn’t exactly expect that from a romantic comedy, now would you? The good news is that there are no technical issues with the Dolby Digital rendition of this film’s soundtrack to mar the experience.



    Audio Commentary
    For The Edge of Reason, director Beeban Kidron was tabbed to provide an account of the film, and although it is a logical choice, it was a bad one. Why? Well, the film is bad enough, but Beeban is not a very engaging speaker, and focuses too much of her discussion on spelling out the themes in the film – which are quite obvious.

    Frankly, I found this commentary to be rather dull, but I realize that fans might get something out of the handful of anecdotes and the relatively small amount of production information (lightly detailed) that Kidron provides, or her comments on where the film deviates from the book. Personally, I would have preferred a few more anecdotes, and I think that the commentary would have been much better with another participant, especially Hugh Grant or Renée Zellweger.

    Deleted Scenes, Including Alternate Beginning
    A total of three rather dull deleted scenes, including an alternate beginning are available, with introductions by director Beeban Kidron, who talks about the reasons for them being cut from the film. The total running time for these excised sequences (and introductions) is 10 minutes and 14 seconds, and they are entitled as follows:

    --- Renoir Cinema (Alternate Opening)
    --- Baby Fantasy
    --- The Christening


    The Big Fight
    Running for 5 minutes, this extra offers a look at the orchestration of the laughable fight sequence between Mark and Daniel, a take on a scene from the first film, via on-location footage and interviews with Beeban Kidron, Hugh Grant, and Colin Firth.

    “Who’s Your Man?” Quiz
    Essentially, “Who’s Your Man” is a personality quiz that one can take to find out whether Daniel Cleaver or Mark Darcy is his/her type of man. I guess my wife will be happy, as after taking the quiz I ended up with neither being right for me! [​IMG]


    Mark and Bridget: Forever?
    This nearly 5 ½-minute featurette consists of a discussion between Renée Zellwegger and Colin Firth on the nature of the relationship between Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy, and how it begins to break down at the beginning of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.

    Bridget Jones Interviews Colin Firth
    This tongue in-cheek piece appears to be an abandoned idea from the book, as director Beeban Kidron stated the sequence was very difficult to adapt for the film. Basically, news reporter Bridget Jones subjects actor Colin Firth to one of her trademarked interviews, ridiculous questions and all.

    Lonely London
    “Lonely London” is a brief (3 minutes) look at how visual effects were used to emphasize the loneliness of the split-up Bridget and Mark, by contrasting them with a lovely, panoramic view of London, which just happens to be filled to the brim with happy couples.

    Promotional Materials
    The disc kicks off with trailers for Meet the Fockers and Bad Girls From Valley High, as well as promos for the show Joey and Will & Grace.


    (on a five-point scale)
    Film: [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Video: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Audio: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Extras: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Overall: [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    In light of it predecessor’s charm, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason is such an utter disappointment from beginning to end that even the comic talent of the cast cannot save it. The biggest problem is that The Edge of Reason turns a likeable character into a clown, mocking all of the unique qualities we were told by the filmmakers to celebrate in the first film. Indeed, the fact that Bridget Jones is the moast loathsome thing about this film (through no fault of Ms. Zellweger’s) provides ample evidence that the folks who adapted The Edge of Reason for the screen had little respect for the story and no intention of making anything other than a by-the-numbers Rom-Com.

    Unfortunately, the DVD is not much better, in terms of quality, than the film itself. Specifically, while the audio transfer was decent, its video counterpart was something of a disappointment, and the extras, which including deleted scenes, an audio commentary, and a handful of brief interviews, were as light and fluffy as an angel cake. Given that, I simply cannot recommend this title to anyone but Bridget Jones fans. [​IMG]

    Stay tuned…
  2. Brajesh Upadhyay

    Brajesh Upadhyay Supporting Actor

    Jul 11, 1998
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    That's too bad about the movie. I was hoping it wouldn't be as bad as many critics had deemed. I may rent it anyway.
  3. Ben Silva

    Ben Silva Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 14, 2001
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    I don't think it's a bad as you think. it certainly wasn't as good as the first but I still enjoyed it.
  4. Bill Parisho

    Bill Parisho Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 16, 2004
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  5. Bill Parisho

    Bill Parisho Stunt Coordinator

    Jan 16, 2004
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    By the way. There were two different editions of the 1st Bridget Jones movie on DVD. Each with different bonus features. Any chance of them getting this one right the 1st time?
  6. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

    Oct 23, 1999
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    I thought the movie was entertaining enough, and any weaknesses were pretty much a direct result of the source material (which I also liked fine despite its faults). Bridget is just a character I enjoy, and the second sequel isn't the disaster it was made out to be (it's no Legally Blonde 2, that's for sure).

    But man, the DP must hate Renee, because she was photographed HORRIBLY throughout. I think she looks a lot better with the extra weight, but this movie made it look like she had about 12 chins.
  7. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

    Dec 1, 1999
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    Disney World and Universal Florida
    Real Name:
    Tony D.
    i thought this was one of the worst looking images i have seen recently.
    reading the review i noticed it is a universal release.
    but it also is in the miramax family.

    and it shows.
    mosquito noise is all over the place.

    miramax is a joke.
    i dread when i see a theatrical release that has the miramax logo on it because i know it will be a disgrace on dvd.

    the movie was not very good either.
  8. Ryan Wong

    Ryan Wong Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 6, 2002
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    I read the book before I catched the movie in theater. The book is actually quite funny and intelligent but the film was absolutely getting nothing good from there. I wasn't entertained at all.

    I think the filmmakers were playing safe by following the first movie instead of the second book. The ending is just...

    Poor Renee...

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