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post #1 of 13 Old 11-18-2014, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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What If (Blu-ray) Official AVSForum Review



Check out our review of this entertaining modern comedy about romance, friendship and everything in between. “What If" tells the story about Wallace and Chantry a pair of 20-somethings, trying to figure out what they mean to each other and what they might become.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

84



Details:

Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 98 minutes
Genre: Romance/Comedy

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Daniel Radcliff, Zoe Kazan, Megan Park, Adam Driver, Mackenzie Davis, Rafe Spall
Directed by: Michael Dowse
Written by: Elan Mastai
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: November 25, 2014


"…Being friends has its benefits? "


My Take:

WHAT IF is the story of medical school dropout Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), who's been repeatedly burned by bad relationships. So while everyone around him, including his roommate Allan (Adam Driver) seems to be finding the perfect partner (Mackenzie Davis), Wallace decides to put his love life on hold. It is then that he meets Chantry (Zoe Kazan) an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben (Rafe Spall). Wallace and Chantry form an instant connection, striking up a close friendship. Still, there is no denying the chemistry between them, leading the pair to wonder, what if the love of your life is actually your best friend?

I am typically a fan of the rom/com genre and as such hoped that this little indie film would shine, and it does. The plot is all too familiar and revolves around a pair who meet at very different points in their romantic lives. Wallace is coming off of a bad break up, (caught her cheating) and Chantry is in the midst of a seemingly comfortable five year relationship with live in boyfriend Ben. After their meeting at a party they hit it off but Chantry interests in Wallace are merely as friends which she clearly outlines. After spending much time together it’s sort of obvious that there is more to their closeness. Wallace struggles with it while Chantry is kind of in denial. It isn’t long before things surface to the top leaving them wondering if fate is best played out or left to be pondered.

This one worked for me on pretty much every level. The boy meets girl with a nicely spun twist set against a contemporary narrative that asks the question, why are two people drawn to each other? The humor is occasionally up front but is predominantly implied, which is a credit to the script writing. There is a genuineness to the proceedings that is aptly complimented by the performances by Radcliff and Kazan who have excellent chemistry. This comes across very naturally in one of the film’s best scenes which occurs in the dressing room of a small boutique. Speaking of scenes What if is framed by a number of them that capture the essence of its thematic tone. A few of my favorites are: Wallace’s sister returning home after her “date”, Wallace and Chantry bumping into his ex, “do you want to go swimming”?, The nacho and moldy banana, and Wallace meets Ben. The term “it’s complicated” would probably apply as boundaries come exceedingly close to being crossed for Chantry and Wallace. What’s rewarding is waiting to see how and if it all unfolds to our liking. It did for my wife and I as we thoroughly enjoyed [i[What if[/i] and found it to be a perfect date night romantic comedy.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for sexual content including references throughout, partial 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.**



Audio: 80
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialogue Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA


Video: 88
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



What If comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 20 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3 Mbps.

This is a great looking high definition video presentation from Sony. Images are resolved with appreciable detail that reveals plenty of discernible texture during close up camera shots. The exterior pans of the cityscapes are clearly rendered while offering appreciable depth that allows the physical structure of buildings, streets and objects in backgrounds to be discernible. The film doesn’t utilize an extensive chromatic palette but tonal balance is on the money which leaves colors looking quite natural and pleasing. Fleshtones are on the warm side but appear lifelike in depiction. White and black levels are appropriately balanced which provides punchy whites and stable blacks. All in all, I found this to be a pleasing high definition video rendering.

The front heavy lossless surround 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 were rendered with superior clarity and depth. There is little call for surround activity and extended dynamics however there are a few instances that provide a discernable level of spatial envelopment accompanied be punchy low frequency enhancement.


Bonus Features:
  • (HD) 3 deleted scenes
  • (HD) Blurred lines – 4 minute featurette
  • (HD) Behind the scenes of What If – 18 minute featurette
  • (HD) Opposites attract – 4 minute featurette
  • (HD) A modern love story – 4 minute featurette
  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy





Final Thoughts:

What If is a contemporary romantic comedy derived from a formulaic text that has a refreshing and ultimately rewarding essence thanks to a well-executed script, solid casting and excellent onscreen chemistry between leads Daniel Radcliff and Zoe Kazan. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring excellent high definition video, gratifying lossless sound and a repetitive but fair supplemental offering that provides a glimpse behind the scenes. I had a good time with What If and highly recommend it for genre fans.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS4910 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
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
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS PC12-NSD
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-19-2014, 11:45 AM
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Thx for the review. Might consider to watch it. If only I would not see Harry Potter in everything he plays. I tried two other movies and could never forget about his past. I know, unfair but what can one do?
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post #3 of 13 Old 11-20-2014, 12:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boguspomp View Post
Thx for the review. Might consider to watch it. If only I would not see Harry Potter in everything he plays. I tried two other movies and could never forget about his past. I know, unfair but what can one do?
Agreed. Some young actors seems to disappear for a while then reappear as "adults." Rick Schroeder comes to mind.

I'm gonna give this one a try (NF). I have seen D.R. in a few other movies and there seems no wizard spell to "un-Harry" him at the moment as much as I try. No matter, he still does decent acting and for me, that makes it worth it.
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-21-2014, 11:34 AM
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I just watched the trailer and it definitely is one I'm going to at least rent. As much as it bleeds familiarity in terms of plot, I am a sucker for a good rom com. Daniel has proven himself as an actor in my eyes, although it's difficult to not see Harry Potter when he acts. What's weird is that I don't find that with Emma Watson. I didn't see Hermione Granger when I watched the Perks of Being a Wallflower which I found to be a really good movie.

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-21-2014, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blastermaster View Post
I just watched the trailer and it definitely is one I'm going to at least rent. As much as it bleeds familiarity in terms of plot, I am a sucker for a good rom com. Daniel has proven himself as an actor in my eyes, although it's difficult to not see Harry Potter when he acts. What's weird is that I don't find that with Emma Watson. I didn't see Hermione Granger when I watched the Perks of Being a Wallflower which I found to be a really good movie.
Agreed
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-21-2014, 03:18 PM
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-22-2014, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Great review Ralph!
Greetings,

Thanks jhughy2010..!


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post #8 of 13 Old 11-27-2014, 10:27 PM
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Ralph,
Great review!
I enjoyed this movie as well but did not watch on Bluray but rented on iTunes. My teenage daughter loved it so did me and my wife.
The image on iTunes was good but the blacks are not solid (compression), although there was no great explosions, car chases, etc. the sound was well done, lot of ambience.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-29-2014, 07:50 PM
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Just watched this tonight. I thought Harry Potter and Ruby Sparks were great. Absolutely loved this one!
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-30-2014, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Just watched this tonight. I thought Harry Potter and Ruby Sparks were great. Absolutely loved this one!
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post #11 of 13 Old 12-16-2014, 07:16 AM
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Watched this the other afternoon. Really enjoyed it.

Thanks for the review, Ralph.
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post #12 of 13 Old 12-16-2014, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Watched this the other afternoon. Really enjoyed it.

Thanks for the review, Ralph.
Greetings,

Glad to hear it Lloyd and thanks for your post.


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post #13 of 13 Old 12-23-2014, 10:57 AM
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Finally got a chance to watch this last night. I thought it was a very entertaining rom com. I love Daniel Radcliffe and, amazingly, I didn't really see Harry Potter in his acting this time. It's great to see these guys finding success after Harry Potter. I need to see Rupert Grint in a good movie, though.
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