The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Touchstone/Disney - 1990
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 120 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English 5.1 uncompressed PCM, English/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Jason Alexander, Hector Elizondo, Laura San Giacomo, Ralph Bellamy
Directed by: Garry Marshall
Music by: James Newton Howard
Written by: J.F. Lawton
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 10, 2009
"She walked off the street, into his life and stole his heart"
When successful corporate mogul Edward Lewis meets independent and carefree Vivian Ward, their two lives are worlds apart. But Vivian's energetic spirit challenges Edward's no-nonsense, business-minded approach to life, sparking an immediate attraction. He teaches her about the finer things in life; she teaches him that love could be the best investment he ever made.
Vivian is a spirited, streetwise diamond in the rough when she meets no-nonsense billionaire Edward in a chance encounter. This turns a week long business arrangement into a timeless rags-to-riches romance when Edward hires Vivian to be his date and discovers there's a lot more to her than meets the eye. This film is the consummate chick flick and is considered a classic in the romance film genre. I find it to be one of those movies that pretty much gets everything right. Garry Marshall has quite a string of successful films and this one is definitely among his best. My wife was pretty excited when it arrived for review and we watched it together. I own it on DVD and have seen it probably half a dozen times. I never tire watching Gere and Roberts portray these well written characters. The film strikes a great balance between soft humor and drama through the careful guidance of Marshall's direction. The supporting players in Elizondo, San Giacomo, Bellamy, and Alexander feel right within the story and do quite well respectively. Roberts looks stunning and simply steals the show with a fresh, funny, and at times moving performance. Gere lets her shine and plays perfectly to his strengths. Yeah, the ending is corny but it's a feel good romance that really shouldn't end any other way. I share my wife's enthusiasm for and am glad to see its release on Blu-ray Disc.
The rating is for thematic material and brief 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)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Pretty woman comes to Blu-ray disc from Touchstone/Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 31 mbps and lossless uncompressed 5.1 PCM audio that has a constant bitrate 6.9 mbps.
I found this video presentation to be somewhat disappointing when compared to the better quality catalog release titles available on Blu-ray. The film doesn't lend itself to consistently bright imagery and the presence of grain is obvious. Those characteristics are present here with interior and nighttime shots often appearing drab, soft and lacking in resolute sharpness and depth. Exterior sequences such as those at the Polo match offered better depth and deeper colors but never rose to the a level that drew out fine detail within the image. Primary colors are well saturated and depending on the lighting, appear vivid and eye catching. Blacks levels are just average and detail in shadows doesn't offer appreciable perception which leaves dark sequences looking a bit flat. Contrast is stable and slightly elevated which boosts brighter onscreen elements making them look punchier. These qualities are inherent and are shared by the DVD also. This presentation offers a marginal but discernible improvement over the DVD. I was glad to see a lossless audio encoding on this release. This is predominantly a dialogue driven film but its music score could certainly benefit from the higher fidelity of uncompressed audio. This soundtrack offers little in the way of rewarding surround sound however I enjoyed the subtle ambience that flowed through the rear channels. The title track and James Newton Howard's music score were delivered using the entire front soundstage and had a smooth, open sounding presence that was enriching. Dialogue was clearly rendered and always intelligible. Dynamic range was limited but not deficient. The sounds of the pounding horses hoofs during the Polo Match had notable impact and ample dynamic energy. Some aspects of the recording sounded a bit dated but overall I found this sound mix to be just fine.
- Blooper reel
- Live from the wrap party - featurette
- LA; The Pretty Woman Tour - Documentary of the locations featured in the film
- Audio commentary
- 1990 production featurette - 3 minute making of
- Wild women do - music video by Natalie Cole
- Theatrical trailer
Pretty woman has rightfully earned a special place in the hearts of many and this Blu-ray Disc would make a great Valentine's Day gift for the fan in your house. It may not have the high gloss finish and visually stimulating picture quality of the best high definition discs available but it seems to present an honest view of the film. It offers an improvement over the two previous DVD releases and contains the latest set of bonus supplements which makes upgrading a bit more enticing. This is a film that should be in every collection so feel free to pick it up.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BD55K Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Marantz DV7001 Universal Disc Player
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 seven Channel amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld Ultraviolet & BetterCables Silver Serpent Reference HDMI Cabling
Best Deal Cables - Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
Knowledge isn't Truth; it's just mindless agreement.
Not sure if you are a fan of chick flicks but if you are I would love to hear which one (s) you would consider deserve a 5 star rating...
He's entitled to his personal opinion certainly ... and so are we.
I have to agree with Ralph, in the context of the year of its release, it was a great film...
I'll start the bidding with Notting Hill. A just-plausible-enough story, iconic characters for Roberts and Grant, a stellar supporting cast (including Rhys Ifans stealing scene after scene), and Coulter's camera add up to one charming movie.
Thanks for the review. The latest DVD release sounds like it's good enough. From the DVD quality, and your description of the BD PQ, it appears a great print of this one is nowhere to be found. Too bad.
I don't think you will ever see it looking or sounding better. If you are a fan than you have to pick it up..