How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. I found a decidedly lackluster transfer here.
Sharpness seemed bland. Most of the movie displayed acceptable delineation, though some exceptions occurred, as the film suffered from more than a few oddly soft shots. Even at its best, the presentation lacked much detail; it looked decent but tended to be rather flat. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering appeared, and I noticed no edge enhancement. Source flaws were minor, as I saw just a handful of specks. Grain was a bit heavier than I anticipated, though, especially for such a recent movie.
Like the sharpness, colors tended to be ordinary. A few shots demonstrated good vivacity, but much of the film showed rather ordinary hues. In general, the tones looked average; they weren’t bad, but they failed to show much life. Blacks were fine, at least, and shadows appeared acceptable. A few interiors were somewhat bland, but they worked well overall. Unfortunately, the whole package failed to deliver the quality I expect of Blu-ray; Days tended to look like a DVD.
I also thought the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack of Days was mediocre, though this wasn’t a surprise, as romantic comedies like this tend to provide subdued audio. The soundfield remained decidedly lackluster much of the time. Indeed, the track focused so strongly on the forward speakers that I started to wonder if my surrounds were working. The Knicks game added some zest to the piece and showed decent use of the back channels, but not much else materialized here.
Even within the forward speakers, not much occurred. Much showed good stereo information, but the effects didn’t bring much to the table. Some light environmental audio occurred, and street scenes showed fair ambience. However, there just wasn’t much auditory information throughout the flick.
Audio quality was also lackluster. In particular, the track didn’t deliver great oomph. Music was clear enough but didn’t bring out much low-end material; the score seemed flat much of the time. Speech was fine, though, as the lines delivered good clarity and accuracy. Effects were also pretty natural; they didn’t do much, but they appeared good for what they were. Overall, the track was forgettable and ordinary.
When we move to the disc’s extras, we start with an audio commentary from director Donald Petrie. He offers a running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, story/character issues and editing, sets and locations, music, various visual choices, and a few other topics.
Despite a lot of basic happy talk, Petrie manages to provide a rather good commentary. He shows a lot of enthusiasm for the endeavor, and he gives us a nice look at the work involved in this sort of romantic comedy. Petrie ensures that we stay interested and involved throughout this likable chat.
A few featurettes follow. How to Make a Movie in Two Years runs 16 minutes, 53 seconds and provides notes from authors Michele Alexander and Jennie Long, producers Christine Peters and Lynda Obst, and director of photography John Bailey. The show looks at the story’s origins, development and adaptation for the screen, cast and performances, costumes, cinematography and locations, and Petrie’s style as director.
The absence of Petrie and any actors zaps some of the oomph from “Years”. Nonetheless, it contributes a lot of good information, especially in terms of the original book. Despite the limited cast of participants, the featurette proves satifying.
Why the Sexes Battle lasts five minutes and features evolutionary expect Shanee Edwards and psychologist and author Dr. Aaron Kipnis. They discuss the ways that men and women choose each other and why they so often don’t understand each other. This is a glossy, superficial little piece without much substance; you’ll get more depth from Oprah.
Finally, Girls Night Out goes for five minutes, 15 seconds and includes remarks from Long and Alexander. They chat about the techniques featured in their book as well as other relationship issues. They’re entertaining ladies, and they make this an enjoyable piece.
Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of nine minutes, 30 seconds. We find “Alternate Opening Sequence” (2:40), “Puppy Palace” (0:50), “Getting Ready for Staten Island” (1:42), “After the Bullshit Game” (1:37) and “Bookend – Andie Dumped” (2:41). “Opening” seems ridiculous; even if we buy that Andie should write political pieces for a fashion magazine, why would she rely on a runway model for her info? “Bookend” offers an okay sequence, though, as it better shows Andie’s state after the break-up. The others are okay but they tend to feel like filler; they would’ve slowed the flick.
We can watch the scenes with or without commentary from Petrie. He tells us a bit about the sequences and usually lets us know why he cut them – but not always. Petrie throws out a few good notes but his remarks are less consistent than his main commentary.
We also get a Music Video for Keith Urban’s “Somebody Like You”. It’s a decent song, but the video’s dull. It just intercuts movie clips with performance shots of Urban, so it doesn’t provide a terribly interesting piece.
If you expect anything inventive from How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, you’ll not find it. Actually, the flick boasts a reasonably clever premise, but otherwise it stays with the standard playbook. That makes it moderately engaging but not better than that. The Blu-ray gives us lackluster picture and audio along with a decent array of supplements. Days provides passable chick flick entertainment but nothing more, and this is a mediocre Blu-ray.
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