DVD Review HTF REVIEW: P.S.

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Aaron Silverman, Feb 8, 2005.

Tags:
  1. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 1999
    Messages:
    11,238
    Likes Received:
    787
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Aaron Silverman
    [​IMG]
    P.S. [​IMG]

    US Theatrical Release: September 3, 2004 (Sony/ Newmarket Films)
    US DVD Release: February 8, 2005
    Running Time: 1:39:25 (25 chapter stops)
    Rating: R (For language and sexuality)
    Video: 1.85:1 Anamorphic
    Audio: English DD5.1, English DD2.0 (Extra features: English DD2.0)
    Subtitles: English
    TV-Generated Closed Captions: English (Extra features: none)
    Menus: Lightly animated; not skippable.
    Packaging: Standard keepcase; insert has cover images of other titles.
    MSRP: $24.96

    THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT IT: 3.5/5

    39-year-old Louise Harrington (Laura Linney) is the director of admissions at Columbia University’s art school. She leads a quiet life, mailing out letters to applicants, hanging out with her ex-husband Peter (Gabriel Byrne), a physics professor, and calling her best friend Missy (Marcia Gay Harden), who lives out west. She coasts along until, one day, an application bearing a familiar name crosses her desk.

    The name on the application, F. Scott Feinstadt, touches a place in Louise that’s been dormant since she was a teenager. Her high school sweetheart, who was named Scott Feinstadt and was also an artist, was killed in an accident decades earlier, and she has not allowed herself to fully enjoy life since. But perhaps this is the sign that she seems to have been waiting for. She takes only a cursory glance at the application before calling F. Scott (Topher Grace) to schedule an interview.

    Feinstadt arrives in Louise’s office wearing clothes better suited for yard work, bearing a handful of slides of his work and a bit of an attitude. Louise hardly notices the disheveled outfit or the inappropriate comments – before her sits a second chance at her lost love. This young man, almost 20 years her junior, takes her back to a time in her life when romance was new and the future still lay ahead. She is all too eager to forget the intervening years spent going through the motions of life sans ambition and with her senses dulled to the world around her.

    Louise is immediately and powerfully drawn to the student, who reminds her so much of that other youthful artist who has left only memories behind. She has been emotionally stuck in her teenage years, and now has the opportunity to continue her development where she left off. But how will that affect her life and her existing relationships? It’s clear that Louise keeps close those who have their own emotional issues, such as Missy and Peter, yet remains aloof from people like her mother (Lois Smith) and brother (Paul Rudd), who have learned how to be satisfied with their lives. This new relationship, sparked by mere coincidence (or is it?), could be the catalyst that Louise needs to learn how to enjoy her own life.

    All told, the film is not too ambitious, and the far-fetched conceit of the two Feinstadts may be a hurdle for some. On the other hand, the ensemble cast keeps things interesting by strongly defining their characters’ personalities and infusing them with real emotional truth. P.S. is a good choice for a laid-back date movie that, while it won’t blow anyone away, can lead to thoughtful conversation.


    THE WAY I SEE IT: 4.5/5

    This is a really great transfer. Detail is good, colors are rich and lifelike, and compression artifacts are nowhere to be found. The film grain is reproduced consistently throughout. Only a slight amount of edge enhancement is present – just enough to prevent a perfect score.


    THE WAY I HEAR IT: 3.5/5

    The DD5.1 track is unexciting, but gets the job done. This is an entirely dialogue-driven film, with a small amount of incidental music and the usual foleyed footsteps and doors. There is almost no surround or LFE activity; just a little ambience added to the music. That said, dialogue is clear, so the mix works. I didn’t have time to listen to the DD2.0 track, but I expect that it’s not very different.


    THE SWAG: 3.5/5 (rating combines quality and quantity)

    Commentary:

    Director/ co-writer Dylan Kidd and cinematographer Joaquin Baca-Asay discuss the story and how they brought it to life. They don’t go into a lot of technical details about the production, but this is a character- and dialogue-driven film, and those topics are interesting enough to carry the track. Note that the commentary is selectable via the Setup menu, but not via the Special Features menu.

    Deleted Scenes:

    Three deleted scenes (0:56, 4:59, 8:19) and two extended scenes (4:48, 6:00) are included. They are non-anamorphic widescreen and may be played with or without commentary. They are fairly interesting, but cutting them was the right thing to do. They include a minor subplot regarding Louise’s job that makes her seem even more pathetic and that would have been overkill.

    Previews:

    Nine trailers are included. The P.S. trailer has its own entry on the Special Features menu; the others are collected under Previews. All have DD2.0 audio. The trailers for Being Julia, Closer, Head In The Clouds, and House Of Flying Daggers are anamorphic, while the others are non-anamorphic widescreen. When the disc is first loaded, the trailers for Head In The Clouds, House Of Flying Daggers, and Rosenstrasse play automatically. They may be skipped.
    • P.S. (2:11)
    • Being Julia (2:11)
    • Bobby Jones: Stroke Of Genius (2:22)
    • Closer (2:32)
    • Head In The Clouds (2:23)
    • House Of Flying Daggers (0:48)
    • Rosenstrasse (1:55)
    • Silver City (2:29)
    • Stander (0:51)
    SUMMING IT ALL UP

    The Way I Feel About It: 3.5/5
    The Way I See It: 4.5/5
    The Way I Hear It: 3.5/5
    The Swag: 3.5/5


    Is young painter F. Scott Feinstadt the reincarnation of young painter Scott Feinstadt, or is the resemblance just an incredible coincidence? Are the similarities enhanced by Louise’s mind? In the end, these questions may not matter. The plot of P.S. takes a back seat to Louise’s internal journey out of her emotional cocoon. One could call it a “chick flick,” since it operates from a decidedly female emotional point of view, but it doesn’t deserve the negative connotation that guys won’t enjoy it too. It’s a well-done character development piece, and a nice change of pace from the high-concept action, comedy and horror that fills the multiplexes these days.
     
  2. Joe Cortez

    Joe Cortez Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the review. When I first heard about "P.S.," I was mildly interested (mainly because of the film's director, who previously helmed "Roger Dodger") but after reading your thoughts on the flick, I'll definitely check it out.
     
  3. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I saw this film and although I really liked the story, I could not get over the acting by Topher Grace. I felt his arrogance felt artificial and I just couldn't get past seeing him as Eric from that 70s Show. Perhaps I just need to see the movie again, but I will not be purchasing this. Laura Linney was great, as was everyone else, and like I said, I liked the story, but as a whole, I think the movie would have been better with a different casting of F. Scott.
     
  4. Bob Cashill

    Bob Cashill Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Messages:
    3,219
    Likes Received:
    815
    Trophy Points:
    4,110
    P.S. was one of my favorite films of the year. Particularly Grace's spot-on performance; between this and IN GOOD COMPANY (and even throwaways like OCEAN'S TWELVE) he's becoming one of the best reasons to see movies anymore (and, no, I don't watch THAT 70'S SHOW).
     
  5. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 1999
    Messages:
    11,238
    Likes Received:
    787
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Florida
    Real Name:
    Aaron Silverman
    I guess we can agree that Topher Grace is a subjective concept. [​IMG]
     
  6. MikeEckman

    MikeEckman Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,085
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

    Yeah, thats for sure. I respect everyone's right to have an opinion, but I have not seen Topher Grace in any movie where I liked him. His amateurishness and his one expression of rolling his eyes works well in That 70s Show, and thats about the only type of role I can see him in.
     
  7. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 1999
    Messages:
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yeah, I know what you mean. I've watched Traffic numerous times and I still haven't decided what I think of his work in that movie. The best description I can come up with for his performance is "distracting".
     

Share This Page