DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Laws of Attraction

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Michael Elliott, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

    Jul 11, 2003
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    Real Name:
    Michael Elliott

    Laws of Attraction


    Studio: New Line
    Year: 2004
    Rated: PG-13
    Film Length: 87 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1)/P&S (1.33:1)
    Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo
    Subtitles: English, Spanish
    Retail Price: $27.95

    Audrey Woods (Julianne Moore) is a very successful divorce attorney who spends most of her nights alone in her apartment eating junk food. Whenever she does get out of the house she’s usually with her aging mother (Francis Fisher) who has had a few too many operations done to make her look younger. Audrey swears up and down that she isn’t afraid of relationships but instead just can’t get involved because she’s too busy with her clients’ needs.

    While taking on a major divorce case she meets her new opposing attorney, the very handsome Daniel Rafferty (Pierce Brosnan) who has yet to lose a case. The two don’t strike it off too well but their jobs force them into a business dinner where they end up having too much to drink and eventually falling into bed. Audrey blames the booze but Daniel seems to want a relationship but when their case starts to break up so does the relationship. Soon the New York media has a spotlight on the two most powerful divorce attorneys who seem to be having their own fights behind the scenes.

    For starters let’s get some personal feelings out into the air. To me, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn were the greatest on-screen duo in the history of film. Their romantic comedies ranging from Adam’s Rib to my personal favorite Woman of the Year are among the greatest films ever made and when watching this Adam’s Rib wannabe I couldn’t help but notice these romantic comedies haven’t changed in sixty plus years. Once again we get an attractive couple fighting, screaming, fighting some more and then realizing they are in love.

    I’m certainly not a sourpuss but my God, could writers try to come up with at least one original idea when doing these types of films? Perhaps this genre has just been beaten to death so bad that those watching these films want the fighting then at the last minute makeup but to me watching films like this are becoming a very tiresome chore because by the time the opening credits are over there’s really no point in watching the film because it’s something you’ve seen countless times before. I’m not saying one should kill the other’s family at the end of the movie but please, offer at least one thing that differs from the other twenty romantic comedies that are released each year.

    Is Laws of Attraction a horrible movie? No, none of these films ever are but I don’t see the point in watching the same thing over and over. The only difference in these types of films are the leading actors and the success of raising the screenplay out of boredom lies on their shoulders. Pierce Brosnan is a very charming actor and certainly the best thing going for this film. He isn’t offered much to do but he’s charm and smile at least bring some freshness to this overdone film. Julianne Moore on the other hand has always left a sore spot with me. To me, Moore can either be brilliant or fall flat on her face and that’s exactly what she does her. She brought nothing new to her character and didn’t have half the charm of Brosnan.

    With the all too familiar story and the lack of any real chemistry between the stars there really isn’t much left in the film. Francis Fisher is wasted in the tired role of an old hag who is constantly giving advice in between her plastic surgeries. Parker Posey, a wonderful character actress, comes off looking very bad in the role of a divorcee who has nothing to do but keep asking Brosnan to cut her husband’s balls off. That certain male part is also a constant running joke throughout the movie and not once did it make me laugh or smile, which is a shame because I enjoy private jokes. In the end, if you walk into your local rental store and see Laws of Attraction on the shelf, run towards the classics area and pick up Adam’s Rib or Woman of the Year.

    VIDEO---The movie is shown widescreen (2.35:1) and is enhanced for 16x9 TVs. Once again (I saw this during every review) New Line delivers a top-notch transfer that perfectly shows off the various locations used in the film. The scenes in New York look wonderfully crisp and nicely show off that beautiful, light blue skyline. The scenes in Ireland also come off looking remarkably well especially a scene at night where the two stars are walking through some deep fog. Scenes involving fog can sometimes come off looking rather poor but they look very nice here. Black levels are deep and strong throughout without any hints of dirt or speckles. Flesh tones look accurate throughout even with Moore not wearing any makeup. The only downside is some minor edge enhancement, which never becomes distracting and some digital artifacts that pop up in a few scenes where characters are wearing stripped clothing. A P&S version of the film is also included on the disc.

    AUDIO---The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is very aggressive and features a lot more action then you’d expect from a romantic comedy. Most of the action comes from the front speakers with the dialogue sounding very fresh and crystal sharp. The dialogue also has a wonderful range to it and seems a lot fuller than most films of this type. The Surrounds are wonderfully used at the start of the film to show off the opening credits song. The song sounds very nice and spread out through the speakers. There’s also some nice Surround action during the scenes in New York where Moore is running in front of taxi’s trying to get across the street. In Ireland the scenes outside also use the Surrounds to capture that “woods area” feel with various crickets and other bugs.

    EXTRAS---Up first are two theatrical trailers as well as trailers for The Notebook and Unconditional Love. Next up is an alternate ending, which runs just over four minutes. I actually preferred this ending, although it clearly rips off/pays homage to another classic film. Finally we get five other deleted/alternate scenes ranging from one to five minutes. Once again, I think most of these were rightfully cut because the jokes they went for really don’t work and the extended scenes just drag the scenes out without adding anything to the film. All the added scenes are also shown anamorphic widescreen.

    OVERALL---The latest romantic comedy from Hollywood isn’t a horrible film but there’s better films out there if you like this genre. If you’ve seen one of those films you should already know this entire movie by heart so if you must see this film then I’d suggest a rental. New Line once again delivers a near flawless transfer and a very impressive 5.1 mix that you wouldn’t expect from this sort of film.

    Release Date: August 24th, 2004
  2. David Illingworth II

    David Illingworth II Second Unit

    May 11, 2001
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    Yeah, this movie just doesn't have it. No chemistry between Brosnan and Moore, and it's actually kind of hard to believe the choices Brosnan's character makes a lot. Really a poor movie.

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