The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Touchstone/Disney
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 108 Minutes
Genre: Romantic comedy
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Malin Akerman, Oscar Nunez
Directed by: Anne Fletcher
Music by: Aaron Zigman
Written by: Peter Chiarelli
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 13, 2009
"Here comes the bribe.."
Sandra Bullock is at her funniest in the fresh, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy The Proposal. On the verge of being deported and losing the high-powered job she lives for, the controlling Margaret announces she's engaged to her unsuspecting, put-upon assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds). After proposing a few demands of his own, the mismatched couple heads to Alaska where they have four short days to convince his quirky family and a very skeptical immigration agent that their charade is real.
Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) terrorizes her publishing house co-workers with her abrasive, take-no-prisoners management style, especially her overworked assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). But when Margaret is threatened with deportation to her native Canada because of an immigration technicality, the quick-thinking exec announces that she and Andrew are engaged to be married. Ambitious Andrew agrees to go along with her schemeif there's a long-awaited promotion in it for him. Everything is going according to Margaret's plan, until an overzealous immigration official makes it his business to prove that the couple's engagement is bogus. To demonstrate her commitment to her new fiancé, Margaret agrees to celebrate the 90th birthday of his colorful grandmother (Betty White) in Alaska. Margaret's type-A personality put her at odds with her eccentric but amiable future in-laws with hilarious consequences, until the Paxtons teach Margaret a thing or two about family.
It can be tough to differentiate between romantic comedies because they pretty much all use the same basic formula. As a fan of the genre I have no problem with that and when trying to evaluate them I look for a decent story, likeable characters, and a well executed ending. The Proposal tends to be a little weak in the early development of its main characters. I would have preferred more of an established connection between Margaret and her bitch on wheels reputation around the office. At the same time this would have provided a basis for Andrew's disdain for her which would have given more of a build up to the events that would follow. I looked forward to seeing both Craig T. Nelson and Mary Steenburgen in this film. Both were underused in the role of Andrew's parents which is a shame. Nelson's character was completely unlikable and is never really given the chance to redeem himself and Steenburgen didn't have enough input to allow you to really formulate an opinion of her. Bullock, Reynolds, Betty White (Grandma Annie), Oscar Nunez (priceless as Ramone!) and Michael Mosley (Chuck) are the catalysts that propel the film's best moments. The story is perfectly suited for a romantic comedy and has enough ups, downs, laughs and romance to be entertaining. The second act has better substance and picks up the slack relative to the establishment of a connection to the two main characters. Margaret reveals a bit of a tender side by offering Andrew an olive branch by opening up a little about her past. Andrew's rocky relationship with his father is briefly touched upon and Gammy Annie (White) adds lots of personality and familial adoration which touches Margaret in a way she never expected.
Knowing romantic comedies it shouldn't be difficult to piece together what transpires for the remainder of the film. I think it rebounded well from its somewhat shallow setup in the opening act and turned into a decent genre flick with a requisite but satisfying ending.
The rating is for sexual content, brief nudity, and 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:
The Proposal comes to Blu-ray Disc from Touchstone/Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 24 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio that has an average bitrate of 3.3 mbps.
A variety of colors are effectively used in this film to help set the tone/setting based upon the mood of the scene and characters within it. The rustic cinematography is beautiful shot. Colors can range from being reserved and inanimate to noticeably vivid with warmer vitality. Skin tones varied as some complexions were more natural looking than others but overall representation offered lifelike depiction. Images onscreen were exquisitely detailed and sharp with excellent depth of field and visible texture. This was regardless of the cameras of perspective. Contrast was spot on with deep blacks and shadow delineation that provided discernible perceptibility during scenes shot in low/uneven lighting. This presentation had a clean, pristine quality that enhanced dimensionality and provided the looking through a window effect.
I applaud Disney for their continued support of lossless DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks on their Blu-ray releases. This isn't the type of film that requires extended dynamic range, frequent surround use or deep bass but it certainly benefited from lossless audio's higher fidelity. The front heavy sound mix features dialogue that is full bodied with defining tonal characteristics and prominent soundstage position. High level detail is readily apparent as subtle sound effects, music and voices are rendered with superior clarity and depth. There is little call for discrete surround activity however the film's music utilized the entire soundstage to provide a satisfying sense of dimension.
- Audio commentary with director Anne Fletcher and writer Peter Chiarelli
- (HD) 3 deleted scenes with optional commentary
- (HD) Alternate ending with option commentary
- (HD) Set antics: Outtakes and other absurdities from The Proposal - 6 minutes
- Digital Copy Bonus Disc - A standard definition version of the film that can be downloaded from a compatible PC/Mac to a portable media playback device.
I enjoyed The Proposal. It started off a little shaky but came together nicely to turn into an entertaining genre film that offers solid turns by its two stars as well as welcomed supporting roles by screen veteran Betty White and Oscar Nunez (From TV's The Office). Its release on high definition Blu-ray Disc from Disney is technically sound with excellent video and good lossless sound quality. The bonus features don't offer anything of real interest but the outtakes and other absurdity piece is fun to watch and the addition of a Digital Copy is always appreciated. If you're in the mood for a romantic comedy on date night throw this in the queue.
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