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

Film:


Extras:



Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

76






Studio and Year: 2008 - Magnolia Pictures
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 84 minutes
Genre: Comedy/Crime/Romance

Disc Format: BD-25
Encoding: VC1 (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Starring: Meg Ryan, Timothy Hutton, Kristen Bell, Justin Long
Directed by: Cheryl Hines
Music by: Andrew Hollander
Written by: Adrienne Shelly
Region Code: Free

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 9, 2010







"a love/hate comedy."



Film Synopsis:


After she arrives at her country home for a romantic weekend getaway, things don't go exactly as planned for high-powered Manhattan lawyer Louise (Meg Ryan). First, her husband of 13 years, Ian (Timothy Hutton), tells her that he's leaving her for a younger woman (Kristen Bell). Then, one thing leads to another, and pretty soon Ian finds himself held captive by an oddly cool Louise who explains that she won't release him until he professes his love for her and commits to working on their marriage.




My Take:


Written by the late Adrienne Shelly,'Serious Moonlight' was to be her follow-up to 2007's promising 'Waitress'. Shelly's husband, Andy Ostro produced. 'Curb Your Enthusiasm's' Cheryl Hines, who was in 'Waitress' made her directorial debut. Hines was comfortable in the director's chair and this material resonated with her.


When Louise (Meg Ryan) is told her husband Ian (Timothy Hutton) is leaving her for a younger woman (Kristen Bell) she nonchalantly ends up taking him hostage. Telling him she will not release him until he loves her again, Meg Ryan is perfected as the calm and twisted Louise. The Film feels more like a play, having very limited locations. Most of it takes place in a Bathroom where Ian is duct tapped to a toilet. I found 'Serious Moonlight' dark, with a bent sense of humor and a realistically frightening take on a woman doing what it takes to make her man fall in love with her...again. Things get a bit more complicated when a thief (Justin Long) notices the captive Ian in the window. He decides to rob Louise and Ian and ends up taking them hostage in their own home.

'Serious Moonlight' is not for most. I enjoyed it while one person I was watching with left the room, feeling it lacked any connection and character development. I felt that was its strongest feature. We were to find out more and more about each character as there moods, opinions and feelings changed due the unnatural circumstance's they are put in. It has a very unstable feeling, going from sweet and lovey one moment to pretty cruel violence the next. I can see this turning a lot of folks off as its far from your standard fare. It's a strange female perspective into infidelity that is mostly dialogue driven (some of the dialogue is a bit silly). It’s sad, brutally honest, very darkly comedic and one of the more interesting idea's I have seen lately. A nice twist at the end leaves the viewer guessing. I found that last challenge made the whole movie worthwhile. Even though Cheryl Hines did a fantastic job, I can only imagine what would have happened if Adrienne Shelly was alive to direct her script. 'Serious Moonlight' is certainly a bitter pill.



Parental Guide:


Rated R for pervasive strong brutal violence and some 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)

Audio: 76


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:




Video: 76


  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

'Serious Moonlight' comes to Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment featuring 1080p VC1 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 21.7 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.7 mbps.

Filmed in 35mm, 'Serious Moonlight' has a lovely bit of grain with no offensive noise to be seen. The Transfer seems true to what was filmed. It has standard cinematography, with mostly brighter interiors that look real but somehow lack the level of fine detail I would expect. It’s a bit flat and softer than I like to see. Black levels are sufficient, and there are not many dark moments to really test them out. The color pallet fits the films mood well, its dreary and depressing. There really is nothing terrible about the video quality, it’s just not very inspiring either. The DTS-HD Master Audio track does a decent job with the material. All dialogue is crisp, clear and in-your-face. There is not much activity in the surround channels, nor would I expect there to be. It sounds like 2 people talking in a bathroom...and that's exactly with it is. I must admit that the score was a bit annoying, though it did sound nice. There is nothing thrilling or too offensive here, both the audio and video get their respective jobs accomplished.




Bonus Features:

  • Commentary with Director Cheryl Hines and Producers Andy Ostroy and Michael Roiff

  • (HD) HDnet: A Look at Serious Moonlight

  • Making of Serious Moonlight

  • BD-Live



Final Thoughts:


I think I enjoyed this more than most will. The packaging will trick some into expecting a romantic comedy, boy will they be in for a surprise. They need to pay attention to the word "serious" in 'Serious Moonlight'! Magnolia's Blu-ray is a bit light on the supplements and has average sound and video production. It is completely watchable...just nothing noteworthy. I can't recommend this as a great movie; however, I did find enjoyment in its 80 minute runtime (though I can't imagine it being any longer). If its legacy or cast interest you, I say give 'Serious Moonlight' a rental.











Lee Weber
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews




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I'll give anything with Kristen Bell in it a shot. (Though, I'm betting she isn't in too many scenes).
 

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I've grown tired of Meg Ryan over the years (used to think she was amazing!), but I agree about K.Bell....I'll watch anything with her cuteness in it
 

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Didn't get a chance to see this one when it first came out but saw the previews and it looked hilarious. Definitely going to check this one out.


Cheers
 

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I watched it last night. For me, it was meh. Not the best, although not the worst.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber /forum/post/18177842


How many stars is "meh"?
slight spoiler below







Sadly, I had the ending figured out a few minutes after Justin Long showed up. But a good performance by Hutton! (A very under-appreciated talent, IMHO.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel Clemons /forum/post/18179031


Sadly, I had the ending figured out a few minutes after Justin Long showed up. But a good performance by Hutton! (A very under-appreciated talent, IMHO.)
slight spoiler below







Did you? To me there was no definite answer to the ending..it could have been a few scenarios...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber /forum/post/18179480


Did you? To me there was no definite answer to the ending..it could have been a few scenarios...
slight spoiler below






Not for me...she was SO sure how things would turn out. Don't want to spoil anything (don't know how to hide it so don't read further) but suffice it to say that landscapers don't just arbitrarily show up at peoples homes.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber /forum/post/18177842


How many stars is "meh"?

2 1/2 stars.


Also, I'm with Joel, the thought crossed my mind several times regarding Justin's character, and the end kind of sealed the deal on those thoughts. I didn't listen to the commentary, but I could see the ending having multiple meanings.
 

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I did listen to half of the commentary today, and it seemed to me that the filmmakers pretty much confirmed my take (around the scene of the breast-fondling)...they even castigated themselves for giving it away. But they realized that no one listens to the commentary before viewing the film proper, so it was okay. However, although it seemed pretty cut-and-dried to me, I can see that the finale on its own did not offer any absolute declarative resolution, so I'd be interested in hearing differing interpretations of the ending that others might have.
 

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*WARNING*

Following post may contain spoiler.


I did not understand the ending at all. I don't want to spoil it for anyone so if you haven't seen the movie, please do not read any further. I simply do not get the ending. She sees the landscaper and he says "whats up" and says it in a way to where its just a simple hi and said it to where he doesn't know them and then you see Lou walking off. If someone can PM me what the significance is I would appreciate it. While the movie itself was not that great the ending is really bothering me.
 

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To answer your question:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show) It's the look that the landscaper gave her, and the slight smile she returned to him. It's as if she was in on it the entire time, in order to save her marriage. Also, the look on the husbands face seems to indicate he just figured it all out, that his wife was in on it the entire time. That's how I interpreted it anyway.
 

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Thanks for answering my question taz. The only thing with that is that she walked away looking disgusted and upset.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt /forum/post/18225710


Thanks for answering my question taz. The only thing with that is that she walked away looking disgusted and upset.

Sure...disgusted with herself over what she did, so long after the fact. And, possibly, upset that the husband may have noticed the acknowledgement.
 

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Ah, I see. That clears it up for me. Out of all the scenarios I was thinking of it never crossed my mind once that the scenario you mentioned was the one. Interesting indeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Matt /forum/post/18230416


Ah, I see. That clears it up for me. Out of all the scenarios I was thinking of it never crossed my mind once that the scenario you mentioned was the one. Interesting indeed.

Thats what I liked about the ending! It can leave people with many different ideas...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Weber /forum/post/18231632


Thats what I liked about the ending! It can leave people with many different ideas...

Agreed, I love movies like that. "Let the Right One In" was the same way.
 
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