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post #1 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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attachment.php?attachmentid=205348&d=1300116859
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373647

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373647

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

85






Studio and Year: Columbia Pictures - 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 121 minutes
Genre: Romance/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, English/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, Jack Nicholson, Katherine Hahn
Written & Directed by: James L. Brooks
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 22, 2011







"Ennie Meenie Miney Moe"



Film Synopsis:

From legendary director/writer James L. Brooks comes a humorous and romantic look at the How Do You Know question. When everything she's ever known is suddenly taken from her, Lisa (Reese Witherspoon) begins a fling with Matty (Owen Wilson), a major league baseball player and self-centered ladies man. Before their relationship takes off, Lisa meets up with George (Paul Rudd) a straight-arrow businessman facing his own serious issues, both with his father (Jack Nicholson) and the law. Just when everything seems to be falling apart it doesn't.



My Take:

Writer/director James L. Brooks has an impressive resume. I consider myself a fan and looked forward to seeing How do you know. The cast looked promising and the romantic comedy based premise, predictable or not, seemed fun. The story centers on Lisa, a 31 year old USA Olympic softball player who is extremely focused and devoted to her career. Relationships are secondary in her life but like most athletes she prefers dating other athletes. Case in point her latest boyfriend Manny (Wilson). A narcissistic and bubbly baseball player with a roving eye but commitment in his heart. Content with Manny and looking forward to the upcoming season, Lisa is hit hard with disappointing news that leaves her head spinning. Trying to remain upbeat she agrees to a blind date with George, a white collar corporate type who up until recently was living large and involved a serious relationship. Troubles at work have left him in financial straits, without a girl, and facing serious legal problems. Trying to remain upbeat he calls Lisa (via a mutual friend) and asks her out on a blind date. Lisa finds George vaguely interesting but far from her type. George sees something in Lisa but doesn't actively pursue her. The two informally decide to remain friends however there is a noticeable yet unspoken attraction. George's mounting problems begin to close in while Lisa's relationship with Manny is full of hills and valleys. The pressures on Lisa and George bring them together for support and they soon come to realize that perhaps they need to reexamine not only their lives but their blossoming relationship.

This film isn't exactly a swing and a miss. I guess I would classify it as more of a long foul ball. Good potential but misses the mark. It has it share of amusing moments and the characters are pretty likeable. At just over two hours the movie runs too long and at times seems to be running in place. The trouble lies in the muddled script which gets bogged down with over run sequences, an unnecessary character/subplot and long winded dialogue. The character of Annie (played by Katherine Hahn) is completely superfluous and adds nothing tangible to the story. George's work problems don't make a lot of sense but do give Jack Nicholson the opportunity to polish up his skills by unloading a typically entertaining diatribe aimed at poor George. He is one of my favorite actors but characters like this have become all too common for him of late. Witherspoon, Wilson and Rudd carry the ball nicely and with a different script would have made this a more enjoyable romantic comedy. I want to point out that Paul Rudd's performance is the film's highlight. He steals the show and comes across as boyishly charming, physically funny and plays very well opposite the always solid Reese Witherspoon. Owen Wilson is typically affable and owns Manny. At the end of the day I think that How do you know has merit but fails to deliver the kind of enriching entertainment we have come to expect not only from writer/director James L. Brooks but from the better romantic comedies out there.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for sexual content and some language.






AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

Audio: 82



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373692



Video: 88


(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

How do you know comes to Blu-ray from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.5 Mbps.

This video presentation from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is consistent with most newer release films coming to Blu-ray and looks great. Colors are bright, with vivid primaries, and natural levels of saturation which makes them visually pleasing. Contrast and brightness are nicely balanced which adds punch to colors and brightly lit scenes while keeping darker elements dynamic and gradational. Complexions are rich in tonal delineation with lifelike highlights that look great in high definition. Images are crisp with stable sharpness and appreciable refinement that brings out plenty of subtle texture within the objects and people onscreen. I didn't see any obvious compromises to fidelity and thought that this high definition rendering looked pristine.

The DTS-HD MA soundtrack features a solid surround mix that capably renders the elements present in the recording. Dialogue is crisp, well intonated and lucid through the center channel. Sonic detail is rendered with subtle clarity and high fidelity that draws out appreciable subtle nuance. Dynamics are robust and add solidity to the film's music. Surround use is limited but its presence opens up the soundstage nicely.



Bonus Features:


  • Filmmakers commentary

  • Select scene commentary with James L. Brooks and Owen Wilson

  • The George with optional commentary

  • (HD) 16 deleted scenes including an alternate ending and animatic

  • (HD) Blooper reel - 2 minutes

  • (HD) Extras innings - Making of/behind the scenes look - 15 minutes

  • (HD) A conversation with James L. Brooks and Hans Zimmer - 25 minutes

  • (HD) Interactive script gallery

  • BD-Live enabled
attachment.php?attachmentid=205349&d=1300116859

Final Thoughts:

How do you know is a mildly entertaining romantic comedy that falls short thanks to a muddled script and bloated runtime. I didn't find fault with the well placed cast who made the most of what they had to work with, especially Paul Rudd. At the end of the day I think that How do you know has its moments but fails to deliver the kind of enriching entertainment we have come to expect not only from writer/director James L. Brooks but from the better romantic comedies out there. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in a well balanced offering that features excellent audio/video quality and a complimentary assortment of bonus features. If you are already a fan this is worth picking up but otherwise no more than a rental.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 07:21 AM
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Thought this was an ok film. The comedy part was so so. Watching Paul Rudds character go through what he did was painful but became ok after awhile. Overall a decent film.

Cheers
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 11:05 AM
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Why even bother reviewing crap movies like this? I guarantee you that the target audience for this movie is women and the target demographic of this site is men. Please don't waste your time and ours.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 01:22 PM
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How do you know that the targeted demographic of men dont want to see something with their wives every once in a while? I am always on the lookout for something my wife and I can enjoy together.

"only a few people are truly awake, and they live in a state of constant total amazement"
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-16-2011, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabroniman View Post

Why even bother reviewing crap movies like this?

This forum does not discriminate whether the movie is good nor bad. If you don't like the outcome of the review then simply skip the thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jabroniman View Post

I guarantee you that the target audience for this movie is women and the target demographic of this site is men. Please don't waste your time and ours.

LOL!!!
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-17-2011, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amplidood View Post

How do you know that the targeted demographic of men dont want to see something with their wives every once in a while? I am always on the lookout for something my wife and I can enjoy together.

Reason #101 I'm not married
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-18-2011, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabroniman View Post

Why even bother reviewing crap movies like this? I guarantee you that the target audience for this movie is women and the target demographic of this site is men. Please don't waste your time and ours.

Haha, agreed. What kicks me in the butt is why even bother giving it an Audio/Video rating? Is any chick flick like this really going to send my A/V system into a frenzy?

C'mon Ralph! 90% of the audience of this site won't find this movie even close to being rental worthy, as you suggested.
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-18-2011, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackOften View Post
Haha, agreed. What kicks me in the butt is why even bother giving it an Audio/Video rating? Is any chick flick like this really going to send my A/V system into a frenzy?

C'mon Ralph! 90% of the audience of this site won't find this movie even close to being rental worthy, as you suggested.
Greetings,

Why give it an audio/video rating? I could ask the same question with respect for your reason for this post JackOften..

Every film isn't designed for the purposes of sending your A/V system into a frenzy. As far as the 90% of the audience not finding it rental worthy, I have a responsibility to the 10% who very well may consider it worth checking out.

As pointed out earlier, if this isn't the type of movie you are interested in just skip over the review.

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post #9 of 16 Old 03-18-2011, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

Why give it an audio/video rating? I could ask the same question with respect for your reason for this post JackOften..

Every film isn't designed for the purposes of sending your A/V system into a frenzy. As far as the 90% of the audience not finding it rental worthy, I have a responsibility to the 10% who very well may consider it worth checking out.

As pointed out earlier, if this isn't the type of movie you are interested in just skip over the review.

Regards,
Hi Ralph,

Would "Freddy Got Fingered" be rental worthy?

10% of individuals may find "Freddy got Fingered" to be good. 90% would rather tear out their eyes than watch it twice. Would you find "Freddy got Fingered" rental worthy? Would 90% of individuals who read your review know that you're review was for only 10% of the masses?

Kinda the same thing here. Maybe this was a "genre" review (apples to apples, chick-flicks to chick-flicks) but I must have missed that.

Sincerely,
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-18-2011, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JackOften View Post
Hi Ralph,

Would "Freddy Got Fingered" be rental worthy?

10% of individuals may find "Freddy got Fingered" to be good. 90% would rather tear out their eyes than watch it twice. Would you find "Freddy got Fingered" rental worthy? Would 90% of individuals who read your review know that you're review was for only 10% of the masses?

Kinda the same thing here. Maybe this was a "genre" review (apples to apples, chick-flicks to chick-flicks) but I must have missed that.

Sincerely,
Greetings,

Here is the bottom line, I have a responsibility to review all of the product that is sent to me but for obvious reasons that isn't always feasible or practical. As a reviewer I understand that my tastes/preferences may be different from those reading however it isn't up to me to decide what everyone likes or might like but to report my technical findings while presenting my objective point of view of the source material.

I don't think this is a difficult concept to grasp nor is my advice to avoid reading reviews of films that don't interest you. Your point about "Freddy got fingered" is both moot and redundant.

I see no reason to further derail this thread with this discussion. Let's simply move on.


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post #11 of 16 Old 03-18-2011, 04:06 PM
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What I think is warranted is a big THANK YOU to Ralph for taking his precious time away from his family and life to do these for you to read. Whether or not a film is your cup of tea is irrelevant.

If we only reviewed things people already liked and were good, then there would be no point now would there? Nothing better than finding that diamond in the rough...

PS I liked Freddy Got Fingered (which is the most left field thing to bring up ever) and I dig chick flicks...
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 09:11 AM
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A big THANK YOU, Ralph. And to you, too, Lee.
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-19-2011, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabroniman View Post

Why even bother reviewing crap movies like this? I guarantee you that the target audience for this movie is women and the target demographic of this site is men. Please don't waste your time and ours.

Hey, some of us like the chicks!
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-20-2011, 06:21 AM
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A big THANK YOU, Ralph. And to you, too, Lee.
You are welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mice View Post
Hey, some of us like the chicks!
Here Here! Think of it as research to know which flicks will work on date night.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-20-2011, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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A big THANK YOU, Ralph. And to you, too, Lee.
Greetings,

You're very welcome George..

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post #16 of 16 Old 03-22-2011, 10:44 PM
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Hey, some of us like the chicks!

I like chicks too... when I don't have to watch them talk for an hour and a half.
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