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HTF REVIEW: "Two Weeks Notice" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    Two Weeks Notice

    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 2002
    Rated: PG-13
    Film Length: 102 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (1.85:1)
    Subtitles: English, French & Spanish

    Over. Done. Finished. A comedy about love
    at last glance.

    This seems to be an awful time of the year for
    quality movie releases on DVD. In fact, after
    watching a film like Two Weeks Notice, I
    can only thank God for the crop of classic films
    I have had the opportunity to review.


    Lucy Kelson (Sandra Bullock) is a Harvard educated
    lawyer who works at a low income legal aid clinic
    in New York. She has inherited her community
    activist mindset from her ultra-liberal parents
    Ruth (Dana Ivey) and Larry (Robert Klein). As the
    film opens, we watch Lucy attempting to stop the
    demolition of a landmark building in New York city.
    Though Lucy's attempts usually are unsuccessful and
    often land her in jail, she still insists on going
    up against any real estate corporation that decides
    to flatten an existing building to pop up a high rise.


    Lucy sets her next protest on wealthy real-estate
    tycoon George Wade (Hugh Grant). George is so taken
    back by Lucy that he hires her to be his chief
    counsel. Liberal Lucy squirms at first at her
    new corporate job, but George promises her vast
    reserves of cash to funnel into her favorite charities,
    as well as the preservation of the threatened Staten
    Island Community Center, Lucy's childhood landmark
    that is slated for demolition to make way for a Wade


    Lucy serves in her capacity as attorney/nursemaid
    for the spoiled billionaire, but the requests he
    makes keep getting more and more bizarre, as he is
    now hopelessly dependent upon her. Eventually Lucy
    has had enough and gives her boss "Two Weeks' Notice,"
    and sets about finding a replacement for herself.
    She hires June Carter (Alicia Witt), who immediately
    turns into a vamp with eyes only for the billionaire.

    On paper, the pairing of Sandra Bullock and Hugh
    Grant must have seemed like a really great idea.
    Take one of the most attractive actresses working
    in film today and pair her up with cinema's most
    adorable British actor and -BAM!- you have a film!
    If only filmmaking could be that easy. What has
    been obviously missed here is a solid funny script,
    some inspired direction, and most of all, chemistry
    between Grant and Bullock which only comes at the
    end of the film when we are just too tired to care
    anymore. It's a shame, because I really began to
    like Hugh Grant after his performance in About
    A Boy
    -- but once again he's back to playing
    that same old stammering British bobble head role.
    The entire movie sometimes feels so forced that it
    appears both he and Bullock never seem to genuinely
    love being in this film. It certainly also doesn't
    help that director/writer Marc Lawrence's pacing is
    a bit off and the film really begins to lose steam
    throughout its final hour.


    On the plus side, this film was shot entirely in
    New York, and the flavor of its city can be savored
    through its shots of a Shea Stadium game featuring
    Mike Piazza of the Mets and even a cameo of THE
    real-estate kingpin himself, Donald Trump. Most
    recognized here, however, is Bronx boy Robert Klein
    whose talents almost seemed wasted in his role as
    Sandra Bullock's father.

    How is the transfer?

    From now on, I need only to say Warner Brothers
    to describe how good this film looks. You see, I
    have yet to review any recent release that has
    been anything less than phenomenal in transfer
    quality. This release is no different. The print
    is immaculate, with razor-sharp images, vibrant
    colors and perfect fleshtones. Blacks are nice and
    deep and everything takes on a very smooth and
    detailed appearance with narely a hint of grain or
    video noise.


    I was disappointed by the film's 5.1 Dolby surround
    mix. While I don't expect a film like this to have
    an aggressive surround track, I do expect the surround
    channels to produce some sort of ambient noise.
    Sadly, the rears seem to remain mostly silent
    throughout this film. Only twice did I detect any
    sort of ambient sound -- applause at a dinner benefit
    and the unexpected landing of a helicopter. So let's
    forget the rears and talk about the front channels
    that provide crisp, detailed audio with excellent
    stereo separation and warm dynamic range that
    perfectly showcases John Powell's charming score.

    Special Features


    First up is the feature-length commentary by
    Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant and writer/director Marc
    Lawrence. If you are wondering why Hugh's voice
    sounds strained, it's because he has just returned
    from the Golden Globe awards. The three seem to
    be in an incredibly good-natured mood as they begin
    joking about the manipulated images of themselves
    that pop up during the opening credits. After
    that, it sort of becomes a free-for-all as Grant,
    Bullock and Lawrence take joking jabs at much of
    the on-screen material, as well as turning upon
    each other. Nothing here is overly technical,
    but we do get to learn about the cool cameos by
    the director's family, Hughe's friend, and even
    Bullock's dogs. Speaking of dogs, we learn that
    Hugh had a very unfortunate reaction to eating
    some of NYC's finest street-corner water dogs.
    Nothing serious here, not much to be learned, but
    the cast is certainly enjoying themselves. To
    think Hugh thought nobody would listen to this


    Something I wish I had known about before watching
    the film all the way through the first time -- Two
    Bleeps Notice
    is an option you turn on that
    enables you to watch extended outtake footage
    whenever a pink heart appears on your screen. I
    did some searching around and found one right at
    the start of chapter 8. By clicking on the
    heart icon I was taken to a non-anamorphic screen
    that showed a fairly funny clip of Hugh throwing
    out insane swears as he blows his lines. Be smarter
    than I was -- check this area first before
    you watch the film.


    The making of documentary never rises
    up above the standard promotional fare. Here we
    have Sandra Bullock, Hugh Grant, Dana Ivey, Alicia
    Witt and director Marc Lawrence who talk about
    the film's story, while complimenting each other's
    talents. You know the drill by now. Lots of film
    clips here and a few minor peeks from behind the
    camera...but really...nothing gained here.
    (length: approx. 13 minutes)

    There are two deleted scenes presented here.
    The first was quite startling as it looks to be
    the film's extended ending that gives us a sweeter
    conclusion to George and Lucy's love for each other.
    (Hint: Here comes the bride!). Next, Lucy and
    her sister Merryl jog in Central Park as Lucy
    confesses her love for George.
    (length: approx, 6 minutes)

    A cast and crew page gives filmographies
    that are limited to the film's 4 major players as
    well as writer/director Marc Lawrence.

    We also have the inclusion of the film's original
    theatrical trailer

    Be certain to look for the white Widescreen
    banner across the top of the front
    DVD cover as there is a separate P&S version of
    this film being released (I have posted the wrong
    cover art above - that is all I had available).

    Final Thoughts


    Two Weeks Notice is certainly not the
    worst movie you could watch on DVD this year --
    in fact, I would go as far as recommending this
    as the perfect date movie although I can just
    envision guys cringing on the couch next to their
    gleeful girlfriends/spouses.

    Though Two Weeks Notice is labeled as a
    romantic comedy, it's neither funny or really
    romantic. Trust me, you'll watch this and forget
    it a day later.

    Release Date: April 29, 2003

    All screen captures have been further compressed.
    They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
    represent actual picture quality
  2. LennyP

    LennyP Supporting Actor

    Jun 20, 2002
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    I missed this in theaters, meant to see it, so I'll get the DVD, good extras and a fine once in 3 years light movie to view while munching on a sandwich.
  3. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

    Oct 25, 2000
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    Peoria, AZ
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    Wife and I saw this in the theater, and really liked it. I think it helps when there is a full house of people laughing...

    The movie had pretty good word-of-mouth here in the Twin Cities, as from what I heard, theaters were pretty full.

    If you like Grant and Bullock, I think you'll enjoy this light hearted fare.

  4. Simon_Lepine

    Simon_Lepine Supporting Actor

    Feb 19, 2003
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    My GF made me take her to the theater to watch this, it wasn't as bad as I expected. It's OK to watch with your loved one I guess, but I don't think any guy would want to watch this alone [​IMG]
  5. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

    Oct 25, 2001
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    Adam Moreau
    My Mom saw this in the theater and this seemed like fairly usual fare for her... However, she hated it and said she had never heard a theater laugh so little. Go figure.

    Thanks for the review, Ron, but I think I might pass on this one despite how hot Sandra Bullock is!
  6. Nate Anderson

    Nate Anderson Screenwriter

    Jan 18, 2001
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  7. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

    Oct 23, 1999
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    I liked Miss Congeniality pretty well, so I'm willing to give this one a shot, depending on the week one prices.
  8. John_McKittrick

    John_McKittrick Stunt Coordinator

    Nov 9, 1999
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    While certainly not deserving of a "Highly Recommended" award like DRUMLINE(sarcasm)this film was quite enjoyable in the theaters. It's worth a purchase.

  9. Julian Lalor

    Julian Lalor Supporting Actor

    Oct 5, 1999
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    I thought it was enjoyable enough fluff, but Bullock needs to get out more and stop remaking the same film or she'll end up another Meg Ryan.
  10. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

    Apr 19, 2000
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  11. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

    Sep 13, 1999
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    Chris Caine

    sound for once is loud enough coming from WARNER. Columbia is going in the opposite direction.

    Video is decent.

    this is as 'realistic' a romantic comedy drama you'll get, and thus doesn't come off as Hollywood.

    dunno, maybe it's the post 9/11 New York mood.

    settled my bill quite well.

    very quaint I guess.

  12. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

    Jan 10, 2001
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    I thought Hugh Grant was perfect for this role.

    Anyone remember when Hugh and Sandra introduced Monday Night Football and said "Are you ready for some FootBaaaaahhl" (reminiscent of ForgetabOWWWTitt in "Mickey Blue Eyes")? I'd love to see a repeat of that. It had me ROTFL.
  13. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

    Jan 10, 2001
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    Wow, it looks like my inane babbling (above) killed this thread. Anyway, I got this today, and I'm looking forward to enjoying it as I did when we saw it in the theater.
  14. Stephen Orr

    Stephen Orr Screenwriter

    Mar 14, 1999
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    My wife and I saw it at a .99 second run theater. She enjoyed it so much, she demanded I buy it. I thought it was pretty funny, also.
  15. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

    Aug 15, 2001
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    I haven't seen the DVD yet (will tomorrow) but I just checked and the audio tracks are 448kbps.

    Now why were Greek Wedding and Harry Potter 2 at 384kbps I don't know... But it's good to know that they are back at a proper bitrate.

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