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

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )

83






Studio and Year: Sony Classic Pictures - 2010
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 99 minutes
Genre: Comedy

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


Audio Format(s): English/French DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: English SDH, French
Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Naomi Watts, Gemma Jones, Frieda Pinto, Lucy Punch
Written & Directed by: Woody Allen
Region Code: A

Blu-ray Disc release Date: February 15, 2011







"Is the grass always greener?"



Film Synopsis:


Two couples discover the grass may not always be greener on the other side in Woody Allen's breezy comedy on wry, You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. Hoping to relive the pleasures of youth, Alfie Shepridge (Anthony Hopkins) dumps his wife of 40 years (Gemma Jones) and pursues a young call girl (Lucy Punch). So when daughter Sally (Naomi Watts) develops a crush on her boss (Antonio Banderas) and husband Roy (Josh Brolin) becomes obsessed with the beauty (Freida Pinto) who lives across the way, the entire clan's fantasies take on reality as their passions not only drive them out of their marriages, but out of their minds as well.



My Take:


You will meet a tall dark stranger is a dark and wry comedy about a pair of married couples, Alfie (Hopkins) and Helena (Jones), and their daughter Sally (Watts) and husband Roy (Brolin), as their passions, ambitions, and anxieties lead them into trouble and out of their minds. Feeling frustrated emotionally stunted Alfie leaves Helena to pursue his lost youth and meets a free-spirited call girl named Charmaine (Punch). Feeling spurned and dejected Helena abandons rationality and begins taking advice from a charlatan fortune teller. Unhappy in her marriage, Sally develops a crush on her handsome art gallery owner boss, Greg (Banderas), while husband Roy, a struggling novelist nervously awaiting the response to his latest manuscript, becomes moonstruck over Dia (Pinto), a mystery woman who catches his gaze through a nearby window. Despite these characters' attempts to dodge their problems with pipe dreams and impracticable plans, their efforts lead only to heartache, irrationality and perilous hot water.

This is a quirky and sardonic comedy that I would best describe as amusing but not wholly satisfying. Its strength lies in its characters which are well conceived but not especially well rounded. I found its awkward moments and subliminal humor to be more effective than those designed to be outwardly funny. This isn't a mirthful film designed to inspire interrelationship harmony as it illustrates how easy it is for our illusions to make fools of us. Conceptually it raises no new questions but stimulates nonetheless via Woody Allen's stereotypical archetypes that prove time again that disillusionment with one's life is tantamount to personal enlightenment. I found the performances by the stellar cast to be thoroughly enjoyable but must admit to being partial to Josh Brolin's Roy and Lucy Punch's Charmaine. This is a mildly entertaining and offbeat comedy that I suspect true Woody Allen fans will be disappointed with. I am not a diehard fan and generally find his films to be hit or miss. I would qualify this as a hit, but would best describe it (using baseball terminology) as more of a bloop single than a line drive.



Parental Guide:


The rating is for thematic material 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: 80


  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:




Video: 86


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

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

You will meet a tall dark stranger comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 1.9 Mbps.

This is pleasing video presentation that boasts plenty of refinement, stable contrast, deeply saturated colors, and strong dimension. Blacks are punchy and stand out when onscreen with mixed content. Visual perspective in low lighting and darkened areas is estimable. The combination gives dark scenes appreciable depth. Images are boldly colorful, film like and perfectly suited for the source material. The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack has good dynamic range, detail rich clarity and discernible channel separation which enable the detection of subtle nuance within the recording. Dialogue is firmly planted in the center channel which clearly renders voices and effects with appropriate distinction and tonal balance within the front soundstage. Low frequency effects aren't intense but the subwoofer works in tandem with the rest of the system to appropriately convey the low level bass associated with the soundtrack.



Bonus Features:

  • (HD) Theatrical trailer



Final Thoughts:


You will meet a tall dark stranger is an offbeat and sardonic comedy that comes from the mind of writer/director Woody Allen. It has its moments but the conventional and unfulfilling script ultimately left me wanting. The terrific performances by the cast served to enrich the material although I suspect that the majority of Woody Allen fans will find it disappointing. It comes to Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in typically good fashion and sports excellent high definition video and resplendent lossless sound. The only bonus feature included is the film's theatrical trailer. I liked You will meet a tall dark stranger however it's the kind of comedy that could be hit or miss which best qualifies it as a rental.















Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS50 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100 16x9 Screen

Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-93 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Samsung BD-C7900 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 HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

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SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator

Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Better Cables, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
 

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Hey! Somebody has this Blu-Ray. The video quality is excellent. The audio, like all Woody Allen's movies, is mono. I thought the film was well acted, but there is nobody to root for. I'd like a Blu-Ray of Woody's "Match Point." "Tamara Drewe" is a good new Blu-Ray I hope you review, Ralph.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnvid /forum/post/20012299


Hey! Somebody has this Blu-Ray. The video quality is excellent. The audio, like all Woody Allen's movies, is mono. I thought the film was well acted, but there is nobody to root for. I'd like a Blu-Ray of Woody's "Match Point." "Tamara Drewe" is a good new Blu-Ray I hope you review, Ralph.

Greetings,


capnvid, Lee is covering Tamara Drew. He should have it posted this week.


Regards,
 

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I've always been a fan of Woody Allen's movie so i'm going to check this one out. This somewhat reminds me of his 2006 movie Scoop.


Cheers
 

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Hey, I went to a friend's house to watch this in Blu-ray. Picture was great and sound effects all present but the Dialog was missing. Other Blu-ray discs play fine on his system. Suggestions - or any one else have this issue. Firmware? SAP?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddell
Hey, I went to a friend's house to watch this in Blu-ray. Picture was great and sound effects all present but the Dialog was missing. Other Blu-ray discs play fine on his system. Suggestions - or any one else have this issue. Firmware? SAP?
Occasionally we see movies with all dialog mixed into the center channel, as opposed to being mixed into all 3 front channels (which is expected). If he has some setup issue with the center channel, the dialog would be absent. Other possibilities are setup issues in the player or AVR resulting in a downmix and loss of the center channel. Best option for him would be to run a test disc in the BD player with channel ID signals for each channel, then go from there.
 
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