The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Classic Pictures - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 99 minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts, Gemma Jones, Frieda Pinto, Lucy Punch
Written & Directed by: Woody Allen
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 15, 2011
"Is the grass always greener?"
Two couples discover the grass may not always be greener on the other side in Woody Allen's breezy comedy on wry, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. Hoping to relive the pleasures of youth, Alfie Shepridge (Anthony Hopkins) dumps his wife of 40 years (Gemma Jones) and pursues a young call girl (Lucy Punch). So when daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) develops a crush on her boss (Antonio Banderas) and husband Roy (Josh Brolin) becomes obsessed with the beauty (Freida Pinto) who lives across the way, the entire clan's fantasies take on reality as their passions not only drive them out of their marriages, but out of their minds as well.
You will meet a tall dark stranger is a dark and wry comedy about a pair of married couples, Alfie (Hopkins) and Helena (Jones), and their daughter Sally (Watts) and husband Roy (Brolin), as their passions, ambitions, and anxieties lead them into trouble and out of their minds. Feeling frustrated emotionally stunted Alfie leaves Helena to pursue his lost youth and meets a free-spirited call girl named Charmaine (Punch). Feeling spurned and dejected Helena abandons rationality and begins taking advice from a charlatan fortune teller. Unhappy in her marriage, Sally develops a crush on her handsome art gallery owner boss, Greg (Banderas), while husband Roy, a struggling novelist nervously awaiting the response to his latest manuscript, becomes moonstruck over Dia (Pinto), a mystery woman who catches his gaze through a nearby window. Despite these characters' attempts to dodge their problems with pipe dreams and impracticable plans, their efforts lead only to heartache, irrationality and perilous hot water.
This is a quirky and sardonic comedy that I would best describe as amusing but not wholly satisfying. Its strength lies in its characters which are well conceived but not especially well rounded. I found its awkward moments and subliminal humor to be more effective than those designed to be outwardly funny. This isn't a mirthful film designed to inspire interrelationship harmony as it illustrates how easy it is for our illusions to make fools of us. Conceptually it raises no new questions but stimulates nonetheless via Woody Allen's stereotypical archetypes that prove time again that disillusionment with one's life is tantamount to personal enlightenment. I found the performances by the stellar cast to be thoroughly enjoyable but must admit to being partial to Josh Brolin's Roy and Lucy Punch's Charmaine. This is a mildly entertaining and offbeat comedy that I suspect true Woody Allen fans will be disappointed with. I am not a diehard fan and generally find his films to be hit or miss. I would qualify this as a hit, but would best describe it (using baseball terminology) as more of a bloop single than a line drive.
The rating is for thematic material 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)
- 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:
You will meet a tall dark stranger comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 1.9 Mbps.
This is pleasing video presentation that boasts plenty of refinement, stable contrast, deeply saturated colors, and strong dimension. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are boldly colorful, film like and perfectly suited for the source material. The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range, detail rich clarity and discernible channel separation which enable the detection of subtle nuance within the recording. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel which clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and tonal balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren't intense but the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to appropriately convey the low level bass associated with the soundtrack.
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
You will meet a tall dark stranger is an offbeat and sardonic comedy that comes from the mind of writer/director Woody Allen. It has its moments but the conventional and unfulfilling script ultimately left me wanting. The terrific performances by the cast served to enrich the material although I suspect that the majority of Woody Allen fans will find it disappointing. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in typically good fashion and sports excellent high definition video and resplendent lossless sound. The only bonus feature included is the film's theatrical trailer. I liked You will meet a tall dark stranger however it's the kind of comedy that could be hit or miss which best qualifies it as a rental.
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Hey! Somebody has this Blu-Ray. The video quality is excellent. The audio, like all Woody Allen's movies, is mono. I thought the film was well acted, but there is nobody to root for. I'd like a Blu-Ray of Woody's "Match Point." "Tamara Drewe" is a good new Blu-Ray I hope you review, Ralph.
capnvid, Lee is covering Tamara Drew. He should have it posted this week.
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