"The Notebook Ultimate Collector’s Edition "
Overview: In a nursing home, an elderly man reads to an elderly woman, telling her a story about young lovers who are separated by the girl’s disapproving parents, then get an unexpected second chance to find happiness. As he reads, the story weaves a spell, taking reader and listener into a romantic realm that transcends time and place. Based on Nicholas Sparks’ bestseller and starring Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner and Gena Rowlands, The Notebook lifts viewers out of the ordinary with beauty, tenderness and an unshakeable belief that love can create miracles.
My Thoughts: The Notebook was adapted from the novel by Nicholas Sparks and is a story of lost chances, growing up and the power of enduring love. Behind every great love is a great story. As teenagers, Allie and Noah begin a whirlwind summer romance that soon blossoms into something much deeper. The young couple is quickly separated by Allie’s upper-class parents, particularly her mother, who insists that Noah isn’t right for her. Several years pass, and they meet again, which rekindles their passion forcing Allie to choose between her soul mate and class order. This tale has a particularly special meaning to an older gentlemen who regularly reads the timeless love story to his aging companion.
If you have a romantic bone in your body you are sure to be taken in by this endearing story. As a romantic I have always found it to be an involving, idealistic and heartwarming film. The story is capably supported by the terrific performances of the two young actors and Hollywood veterans that portray the core characters. The Notebook was my first experience with Rachel McAdams who I find to be enamoring onscreen. It is among my wife’s favorites and is one of those movies that is tough to turn off should you happen upon it while channel surfing. It has been part of our video library since its release and holds up very well under repeat viewings.
This Ultimate Collector’s Edition Release marks The Notebook’s second foray onto Blu-ray with the original releases, a standard and Limited Edition set, coming last January. Along with the Blu-ray and DVD versions of the film this set Includes here is a charming collectible antique golden locket, 6 authentic postcards featuring scenes from the film, 96 page vintage leather-style blank journal with gold edging and ribbon marker; pages designed with watermarked letters and images from the film. The set comes housed in a flimsy feeling cardboard box with a compartment for the discs (which come in a standard blu-ray case), journal, and postcards envelope. The locket gets its own compartment where is “hangs” and can be seen through a viewable window on the front. The box is roughly the same height (and about three deep) as a standard amaray blu-ray case.
This set doesn’t offer anything new relative to the previously released home video versions of the film but contains some goodies that might be enticing for diehard fans. I am pleased to add it to my collection and recommend it for those that love the film as well as gathering collectible memorabilia.
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
This is a solid looking high definition Blu-ray catalog release from Warner Home Video. It boasts clean, well depicted colors that offer a good mix of secondary hues that appear natural. The softer hues and sepia tones offer spot on tonal balance. Facial complexions and skin tones are warm, with pinkish highlights that rarely appear unnatural. The level of detail present is notable and gives the video’s 2.35:1 framed image good dimension. There are minor fluctuations in apparent resolution that are more than likely related to the original photography as fidelity is rarely infringed upon. In most cases I had no trouble making out the thread patterns in clothing/furniture or the texture of surfaces. There are instances where the video takes on an edgy quality but I didn’t feel it was excessive. Black and white levels are stable which gives a fair level of pop to colors and brighter exterior sequences while keeping darker or low lit segments looking noticeably punchy with crisp, quiet blacks and visibly gradational detail in shadowy backgrounds. Having owned the DVD releases I can state without equivocation that I have never seen this classic film look better on home video.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack is presented in a front oriented mix that is highlighted by Aaron Zigman’s marvelous music score. The orchestrated elements are spread across the front of the room with subtle articulation that blends perfectly with the rest of the mix to create an evenly balanced, multi-dimensional presentation enlivened by the music. Excellent directional spacing and imaging across the main three channels enables smaller background sounds within the mix to be detectable. Dialogue is definitively authoritative with excellent clarity and room penetration through the center channel. The soundstage opens up during several sequences, including the war segment, as the rear channels add depth to the soundstage. There isn’t much in the way of deep bass however low frequency detail appropriately supports the recorded elements. This is a great sounding audio presentation that hit the high points quite well.
Video rating = 86 Audio rating = 84
- Audio commentary with director Nick Cassavetes
- Audio commentary with novelist Nicholas Sparks
- All in the family: Profile on Nick Cassavetes
- Nicholas Sparks: A simple story well told
- Southern exposure: Locating The Notebook
- Casting Ryan and Rachel
- Rachel McAdams screen test
- 12 deleted scenes
- Ultraviolet Digital Copy
- Bonus DVD
Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 30, 2013
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Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable 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)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal 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
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package