The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 2008
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 97 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/French/Spanish/Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
Starring: Diane Lane, Richard Gere, Christopher Meloni, Viola Davis, James Franco
Directed by: George C. Wolfe
Music by: Jeanine Tesori
Written by: Ann Peacock and John Romano based upon the novel by Nicholas Sparks
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 10, 2009
"It's never too late for a second chance"
The stars of Unfaithful rekindle their screen chemistry in this rich tale of hearts awakenings from the bestseller by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Message in a Bottle). Richard Gere is Paul, a surgeon who long ago unwittingly traded career for family. Diane Lane is Adrienne, a devoted mother trying to move on after her husbands infidelity and struggling with his desire to return to their marriage. At a remote inn on the Outer Banks, both separately expect to do some serious soul-searching. But an approaching storm forces each to turn to the other for strength, setting the stage for a life-resonating romance.
This is the third film that Diane Lane and Richard Gere have done together. I have seen all three and this one just doesn't work as well as the other two. The problem here isn't the chemistry or performances by the two stars but rests within the story. I found its pacing to be sluggish and its plot one dimensional. It clearly had one goal, and everything that happened leading up to it was a predeterminate. There are plenty of films where this works but in romance like this one it made it feel like one big setup. The beautiful cinematography, music and performances among the supporting cast were solid. Gere and Lane just gel while onscreen which really helped to maintain interest during this rather contrived story. James Franco has a small part but doesn't have enough dialogue or time onscreen to generate any real feeling about his character which I thought was a waste. I think that for fans this film may be worth the experience of seeing these two fine actors together again. The problem is that the payoff isn't very rewarding which is a shame.
The rating is for brief sensuality.
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:
Nights in Rodanthe comes to Blu-ray from Warner featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 19 mbps and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 channel sound that has a constant bitrate of 640 kbps.
This high definition video presentation looks great and boasts vibrant primary colors that are warm and inviting while being just slightly over saturated. Fleshtones are balmy with appreciable texture and limited complexional description among the majority of the cast members. Images are well resolved and filmic in quality. Detail in close ups is revealing of subtle variations in facial features and patterns in the weave of clothing. The long distant pans of the seashore have excellent two dimensional depth with stable sharpness and good definition. The video lacks resolute sharpness and definitive clarity but offers varying degrees of each and never appears flat or soft. Black levels and contrast strike a good balance between light and dark onscreen elements. Bright sequences and colors have plenty of pop while dark sequences exhibit quiet, dynamic blacks and distinguishable shadow detail.
Warner opted for a Lossy Dolby Digital mix for this new release Blu-ray Disc. I continue to be unclear as to why this is the case but be that as it mayThis is a film that is driven by dialogue however its music plays an important role as well. The mix is front channel dominant. I never had any trouble with vocal intelligibility when it was integrated with other sounds through the center channel speaker. The music of Dinah Washington, Brook Benton and Emmy Lou Harris was presented clearly, with conservative soundstage presence and good tonal distinction. Surround activity was limited to mild atmospheric ambience with the exception of the hurricane sequence. During this brief but noteworthy scene things kicked into high gear as the power of the wind and rain pummeled the house. Dynamics were potent and bass was room filling as the house shook and creaked in a circular pattern that bombarded the listening position from multiple angles. The sounds of breaking glass, clanging shutters and falling debris were rendered with good clarity and excellent spacing within the sound field. Bass response was ample but it felt sluggish and not as deep or engaging as I would have liked. I couldn't help but wonder what this entire sequence would have sounded like with lossless sound. I also needed to increase the volume 4db to 5bd to achieve the volume levels I generally listen at. This mix delivered the source elements present in this recording just fine but certainly could have benefited from the higher fidelity of a lossless audio encoding.
- (HD) The nature of love - 21 minute featurette
- (HD)In Rodanthe: An intimate look at Nights in Rodanthe with Emmy Lou Harris - 12 minutes
- (HD) 5 alternate scenes with Director Commentary
- (HD) A time for love: Keeping up with Nicholas Sparks - 11 minute documentary
- (HD) Love remains the same - Music video by Gavin Ross
- Warner Bros. BD-Live enabled
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc - Contains a standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC to a portable playback device
Nights in Rodanthis a blasé romantic film that is made better by the efforts of its two stars. I think that genre fans may be more tolerant of its contrived story which I felt was too slow and manipulative. Warner brings it to Blu-ray Disc featuring a very decent VC-1 encoded video presentation and adequate Dolby Digital sound. The bonus supplements were humdrum but do include BD-Live access and a Digital Copy Bonus disc. Worth checking out for genre fans.
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