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Chasing Amy (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
attachment.php?attachmentid=158196&d=1258229701
The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

71






Studio and Year: Miramax - 1997
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 113 minutes
Genre: Romantic comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: VC-1
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Lee, Dwight Ewell, Jason Mewes
Written & Directed by: Kevin Smith
Music by: David Pirner
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 17, 2009







"It's not who you love, but how"



Film Synopsis:

Cult comic-book artist Holden (Ben Affleck) falls in love with fellow artist Alyssa (Joey Lauren Adams), only to be thwarted by her sexuality, the disdain of his best friend Banky (Jason Lee), and his own misgivings about himself. Filled with writer/director Kevin Smith's unique ear for dialogue and insight into relationships, Chasing Amy offers a thoughtful, funny look at how perceptions alter lives, and how obsession and self-doubt skew reality.



My Take:

Kevin Smith cemented his reputation as a major voice in American comedy filmmaking with Chasing Amy. This rather frank and edgy comedy about sex and love nineties style holds up quite nicely. Holden, considering himself a ladies man, unknowingly finds himself falling for the ultimate in unavailable women: a lesbian comic book artist named Alyssa. After discovery of her sexuality Holden makes attempts to keep their affiliation strictly platonic and the two become best friends and enjoy each others company immensely. Unfortunately Holden completely falls head over heals for Alyssa and decides to tell her. Her reaction and the series of events that follow offers a thoughtful, complex and fresh take on modern relationships. The script exudes Kevin Smith's brand of clever dialogue, darkly honest humor and features heartfelt performances from Affleck and Adams as well as strong supporting turns by Jason Lee and Dwight Ewell. Jay and Silent Bob make an appearance to interject their unique perspective which includes Silent Bob's chasing Amy defining monologue. That along with Hooper's (Dwight Ewell) long winded but perfectly executed narrative making the distinction between Star Wars/Darth Vader relative to the black experience are priceless and in and of themselves make this film worth seeing. Chasing Amy is considered one of Smith's best films and I would certainly agree.



Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong graphic sex-related dialogue, language, sexuality and drug content.






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: 70



  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

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

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692



Video: 72


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


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109943&d=1210373692

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109944&d=1210373692

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

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373692

Chasing Amy comes to Blu-ray Disc from Miramax/Buena Vista featuring 1080p VC-1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 15 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.2 mbps.

Having never seen Chasing Amy on film or home video I had no frame of reference for how it would look in high definition. It was obvious that the elements present don't lend themselves to razor sharpness, or vivid imagery. The image was generally soft and lacking in resolute definition and sharpness. Colors were not particularly vibrant and appeared a tad faded. Skintones were fairly delineated with complexions that leaned a bit toward pinkish. Blacks were not very deep and shadow detail appeared crushed at times. Grain was present but not evenly layered which may suggest evidence of digital manipulation (but I couldnt say for certain). I didn't notice any overt signs of artifacts related to bit starvation or compression. The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack didn't have the high quality aural presence and depth associated with the better lossless mixes I have heard from films from this era on Blu-ray disc. However I would surmise that this can be attributed more to the film's budget than to the quality of this encoding. Dialogue was intelligible with fair intonation and vocal distinction among the cast. The front three channels delivered the majority of the sound, never felt compressed but lacked appreciable room penetration. Dynamics range was fair and bass response was appropriate but far from laudable. The surround channels were used to convey some sound effects and mild ambience but the integration of the front and rear sound fields didn't create a very enveloping atmosphere.



Bonus Features:


  • (HD) Tracing Amy: The Chasing Amy Doc - 72 minute documentary film

  • (HD) Was it something I said?: A conversation with Kevin and Joey - 18 minutes

  • 10 years later Q&A with the director/cast - 29 minutes

  • Audio commentary

  • 10 deleted scenes

  • Outtakes

  • Theatrical trailer

  • (HD) Sneak peeks: Everybodys fine, Extract, and Surrogates




Final Thoughts:

This being my first experience with Chasing Amy I must say that I really enjoyed it. Writer/director Kevin Smith was on top of his game with this entertaining and unique perspective on romance and how we sometimes let it define who we are. Its high definition debut on Blu-ray from Buena Vista/Miramax may leave fans a little disappointed however my guess would be that regardless it represents an improvement over any previous version found on home video. If you haven't seen it it's definitely worth checking out so throw it in the queue and take it for a spin.









attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
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Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
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Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
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post #2 of 10
lmao @ this movie!

Saw this movie when i was in high school and thought it was a classic comedy. Very funny especially the scene where Ben found out Alyssa's so called "boyfriend". lol

Even though the score's on the low side i think it's still a must have film.

Collect!

Thanks Ralph.

Cheers

P.s. Just noticed there's an Import version of this BR. Any chance you know the difference between the regular and import BR?
post #3 of 10
I owned this film on VHS and DVD, the PQ on them wasn't so hot. Smith has even said the original film isn't the greatest, due to budget.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamE55 View Post

P.s. Just noticed there's an Import version of this BR. Any chance you know the difference between the regular and import BR?

The import does not have the extras that this one has (I'm not sure of the features it has, but I know it definitely does not have any of the new features like the Tracing Amy doc, the 10th anniversary Q and A, the new commentary and the "Was It Something I Said?" feature). I've heard bad things about the transfer as well, but since I haven't seen either blu-ray for myself yet, I don't know if they're the same or different.
post #5 of 10
Quote:


This being my first experience with Chasing Amy I must say that I really enjoyed it. Writer/director Kevin Smith was on top of his game

I personally consider this Kevin Smith's best film. As for the HD quality, I don't consider any of his work a "must have" in HD.

Just my 2 pence.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe6286 View Post

The import does not have the extras that this one has (I'm not sure of the features it has, but I know it definitely does not have any of the new features like the Tracing Amy doc, the 10th anniversary Q and A, the new commentary and the "Was It Something I Said?" feature). I've heard bad things about the transfer as well, but since I haven't seen either blu-ray for myself yet, I don't know if they're the same or different.

Thanks for the info.
post #7 of 10
I have both the Criterion Laserdisc and DVD of this film and the presentation is virtually identical on both.

I'm sure the image quality faults lie in the source, not the transfer.

Other than possibly Dogma, I really can't see the need to upgrade any of my Smith films to Blu-ray. Even Smith himself said, "Can you believe they're releasing Clerks on Blu-ray?! Who needs Clerks on Blu-ray?!"
post #8 of 10
I like some Kevin Smith movies, but my friend in High School was obsessed. He made our group watch all of them at his house one day and called it KS Fest. Chasing Amy seemed the most like a "normal" movie to me.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamespd View Post

I like some Kevin Smith movies, but my friend in High School was obsessed. He made our group watch all of them at his house one day and called it KS Fest. Chasing Amy seemed the most like a "normal" movie to me.

That's because Chasing Amy and Jersey Girl are his only films that lean more towards being a drama. Everything leans more towards being comedies.

Regarding Smith's films worthy of Blu-Ray treatment, my list includes Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Clerks 2. The rest have source issues.
post #10 of 10
I have a problem!

This great review says that Chasing Amy is region free.
Some reviews of Jay & Bob say that Jay & Bob is locked.

A boxset is available with 3 of Kevin Smith's movies... including those 2 and Clerks!

My question: Is the Blu Ray of Clerks Region Free???

I can't find any info on that
Please, help, it's for the birthday of a close friend who hadn't seen a single one of Smith's movies and I really want him to discover Clerks!
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