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HTF REVIEW: "Kate & Leopold" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, May 29, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Kate & Leopold

    Studio: Miramax
    Year: 2001
    Rated: PG-13
    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.
    Special Features
    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
    James Mangold.
    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
    which include:
    * While chasing Stuart, early on, a ball-point
    pen is dropped. Leopold is seen sitting in the
    bathtub admiring the foreign object while talking
    to Otis.
    * 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
    trailer included.
    Final Thoughts
    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
  2. Gavin_L

    Gavin_L Second Unit

    Aug 24, 2001
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    thanks ron for the review, as always wonderful job. Still not sure about buying this dvd, but i guess i have a few more weeks to decide [​IMG]
  3. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

    Apr 8, 1999
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    David Scarpa
    I kinda like these fish out of water movies, but after seeing those screen caps all I can say is that Meg Ryan is getting a bit long in the tooth dontcha think? She kinda loks like the Joker from Batman in the above shot. Yikes
  4. JohnS

    JohnS Producer

    Jan 17, 2001
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    Las Vegas
    Real Name:
    John Steffens
    as I don't have the DVD yet, but these may be the DIR CUT scenes in question
    *References suggesting that Kate(Meg Ryan) has a genetic relationship to Stuart(Liev S.)
    *a scene were Meg Ryan appears in the background of a 19th century party
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Oct 31, 1997
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    Good news, Ron. This is a must-buy in order to keep the girlfriend happy. To be honest, I liked it too, so that reduces the pain. [​IMG]
  6. Luis Cruz

    Luis Cruz Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 23, 1999
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    Awesome review. I really enjoyed this movie and will be picking it up when it comes out. Gotta love those sappy romantic comedy movies sometimes...lol. [​IMG]
  7. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    Solid review, Ron. I also enjoyed this one a bit more than I expected to! I'm surprised to hear that there are two versions on the disc, but this movie did have a lot of last-minute snips.
    I remember one scene that was excised (about a week before the movie opened!) where there was a much longer conversation about how market testing is "ruining" movies. The version I saw had a little snippet of this exchange, but most of this scene was cut.
    Looks like I may have to rent it to find out. For some reason, I'm fascinated by cut scenes! If you liked this one (even a little), I bet you'll also like Serendipity! [​IMG]
  8. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

    Aug 15, 2001
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    Is this one safe to buy in Canada? I mean, did they quit doing does half-french on both sides cases? Or is this one going to be ordered from the states instead?
  9. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

    Apr 29, 2000
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    JohnS, you've got massive spoilers in your suggested scenes... May I suggest you blank them out - a lot of people reading this thread have not seen the film.
  10. Jenna

    Jenna Second Unit

    Feb 12, 2002
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    Real Name:
    Jeanette Howard
    Definitely gonna add this title to my collection. I unforgivibly missed it during it's theatrical release, despite being a fan of both Ryan & Jackman, so I can't wait to view it on my 57" widescreen with a glass of White Zinfandel.
    There've been so many "action/adventure/fantasy" releases this year...so I'm in need of a light, romantic comedy. And, YES, "Seredipity" was very enjoyable, despite the "chic flick" stereotype. [​IMG]
  11. Adam Sanchez

    Adam Sanchez Supporting Actor

    Oct 4, 1999
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    Thanks for the Review Ron!

    This is a must-buy for me. Mainly for a personal reason. It's the first movie I saw with my girlfriend, it was our first date together actually. Now we are in love and expecting our first child. So I have to get it.

    But besides all that, I actually did enjoy the movie. Looking forward to the new scenes.
  12. Gary W. Graley

    Gary W. Graley Second Unit

    Feb 9, 2001
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    Enjoyed it as well as Serendipity, will be buying it when my favourite rental store has it up forsale...also where I bought my copy of Serendipity...[​IMG]
  13. AnthonyR

    AnthonyR Agent

    Jan 31, 2002
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    I rented this movie last night and my wife and I thought this movie was horrible! We tried toothpicks in our eyes too stay up but they did'nt work!
  14. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

    Oct 5, 1999
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    Well, as hard as this movie tried it was just plain sloppy. I mean, the guy is transported from 1876, yet knows who Jack the Ripper (1888) is and can quote Puccini's La Boheme (1896). Poor work, by any standard. And the ending was quite ludicrous.

    I mean, what indepedent 21st century working woman wouldn't want want to go back and live in the 1870's where women are treated like chattels, are not entitled to vote or work and, basically, are baby factories. And don't get me started on the potential incest angle with her ex-boyfriend who also happens to be her great, great grandson.

    I'm all for artistic licence, but this film wasd just insulting to anyone with a bare understanding of 19th century history.
  15. Richard Ruffner

    Richard Ruffner Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 4, 2001
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    As James Mangold points out in his commentary, he was not striving for historical accuracy, he was going for an idealized past, a time of innocence, etc.

    My wife and I love the movie, it's one of her all time favorites now.

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