Valentine's Day (UK - BD)
Marcus watches Valentine's Day when it's not even Valentine's Day. Rebel!
Garry Marshall’s latest romantic comedy goes straight for the throat and offers a multi character based look at the most romantic day of the year, Valentine’s Day. With stars like Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, and auntie Julia Roberts, you don’t need too much of a plot to get an audience at least interested in the results.
With all the characters' tales of love, break ups, romantic gestures, and finding the ‘One’ this really comes down to being a bunch of short stories that happen to be connected and as you'd gather, end romantically (rather conveniently for some). As the movie travels through its two hour runtime, it becomes more and more about how many of the threads remain enjoyable and how many run out of stream and you could live without before getting to the end of these characters' Valentine's Day.
Now those two opening paragraphs tell one side of the story because the cynic in me really wants to be that down on a movie so obvious it hurts but I can't lie to you, I sort of dig these big star affairs (even if one of those stars is Sharkboy Taylor Lautner). Occasionally I like a movie that I can just sit back and zone out to for a couple of hours. I like watching actresses like Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Anna Hathaway, and Jennifer Garner playing it broad and having a whole lot of fun with it. Hell even Taylor Swift was a blast in this.
Besides the lovely ladies (and honestly they were the only reason I even bothered with this one) Ashton does his usual cut and paste performance that has its own charm, Eric Dane has his moments, and even though Jamie Foxx feels a little out of place, I was even on board with him by the end of the flick.
Look, I'll hold up my hands. I had fun with this same as I had fun with He's Just Not That Into You (though that had a lot more do to with Scarlett Johansen than anything else). You wouldn't catch me in a cinema watching it and if it wasn't for this review copy I highly doubt I would have seen it before it hit TV, but once in a while I like seeing an all star cast celebrating something we all get caught up in one way or another (y'know like Christmas in Love Actually). Yes, it plays for the crowd and it's not an Oscar winning screenplay by any stretch but Garry Marshall is reliable hands and for the most part he keeps this fun (even if it's only screw up and throw away afterwards fun)
ROMANTIC PINKS! ROSE REDS! IT’S VALENTINE’S DAY PEOPLE AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT! The entire point of this movie is to ram the message of Valentine’s Day down your throat, so every version of pink and red the universe can offer is here for you to enjoy.
Surprisingly Valentine’s Day has a more filmic look to it as opposed to the all-out glossy extravaganza that I expected. In fact, I would even go as far to say this was overly dark in some places. There’s a thin veil of grain which adds to the darker elements of the frame and because of that it has a more realistic overall look.
This aids the richness of colour in the transfer. The greens of plants and flowers dotted around the movie all look luscious and warm without looking computer generated like super bright rom-coms can sometimes appear. On the downside though, detail levels are a little below par, especially on faces and in the shadier scenes everything can get a little soft in places. Really this doesn’t take away too much from the overall effect but it does make the movie look a little older than it actually is (maybe around 1997ish as opposed to 2010) and when compared with other recent big Blu-ray releases it’s not a title to show off the format's best attributes.
As straight forward as they come, Valentine’s Day is just clear dialogue and the odd punchy bit of fluffy pop music. There are some attempts at atmospherics with cars passing by in the street scenes and from extras in crowds but really it’s a simple DTS-HD MA track with little in the way of dynamics and a pretty standard mission to deliver the basics. With that said, the audio section of this review ends short with a sigh.
With fourteen deleted scenes (22:38 HD) all of which come with optional introductions from Garry Marshall who gives us a reason for the cut. The majority of the special features selection is all but gone once you’ve got through these.
‘The Stars Confess Their Valentine’s Day Stories’ (06:27 HD) is the fluffiest of fluff pieces where the massive group of actors run through all the Valentine ’s Day clichés. Y’know, who got cards at school, who didn’t, and all that generic guff.
‘The Garry Factor’ (05:03) focuses on the director and the stars' favourite one on his movies (I’d go with Overboard but I have a soft spot for Dear God too). There are also funny little stories with the casts' opinions of him and why he’s so much fun to work with.
‘The Stay Here Forever’ music video (03:10 HD) from Jewel is her usual sickly sweet nonsense of late.
Trying desperately to avoid seeing more of this movie than I have to, there’s a sneak peak for Sex and the City 2, but I didn’t need to watch that for you guys did I? I may have enjoyed Valentine's Day, but that doesn't mean I'm sadistic.
Lastly there’s a solo commentary from Garry Marshall. He’s upbeat, laid back and sarcastic on the track and for the most part it’s an easy listen, even if there are a good few gaps and it falls into telling you what’s happening on screen: ‘it’s a flower shop with a cafe, so there’s a lot going on’.
With a pretty weak disc in the way of presentation and a just about enough selection of features, Valentine's Day isn't aimed at the hard-core Blu-ray collector but caught in the right mood and without sitting in a cinema surrounded by rom-com fans, Valentine's Day is a light bit of fun.
Chicks will no doubt love it, guys have enough eye candy to give them reason to stay on board until the end and come on, this movie did tons at the box office, so don't pretend you're not interested. It's got a pink box and everything.
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 12 years and over
Release Date: 12th July 2010
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English, Descriptive Narration English, Dolby Digital 5.1 German, Dolby Digital 5.1 French, Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish, Dolby Digital 5.1 Italian
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese
Extras: Exclusive Sex and the City 2 Trailer, 14 Deleted Scenes with Intro from Garry Marshall, The Stars Confess Their Valentine's Day Stories, Jewel 'Stay Here Forever' Music Video, The Garry Factor, Audio Commentary, Bonus DVD, Digital Copy
Easter Egg: No
Director: Garry Marshall
Cast: Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel Kathy Bates,Bradley Cooper, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, , Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine.Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts
Genre: Drama and Romance
Length: 125 minutes
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