Letters to Juliet appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. Though not flawless, the visuals satisfied.
Sharpness usually pleased. A few wide shots suffered from mild softness, but nothing terribly ill-defined appeared. Instead, the majority of the flick was concise and accurate. I witnessed no examples of jaggies or moiré effects, and I noticed no edge haloes. Source flaws also remained absent in this clean presentation.
With its romantic tone, Letters opted for a warm, sun-dappled palette. The movie favored a tan, earthy feel that made the colors look quite nice. They consistently appeared full and attractive. Blacks came across as dark and deep, while shadows showed nice clarity and smoothness. Only the mild softness kept this one from “A”-level consideration.
I didn’t expect much from the film’s audio, and the lackluster DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked along the anticipated lines. The soundscape remained consistently ordinary. A few minor effects popped up in the side and rear channels, but these offered little more than general atmosphere. Music boasted good stereo presence and also used the surrounds in a passable manner; the score was the most inviting aspect of the mix. Effects just didn’t have much to offer.
At least audio quality was satisfying. Speech always came across as concise and natural, without edginess or other issues. Effects gave us nothing to tax our speakers; they were accurate in their own wimpy little way. Music seemed full and lively, though. All of this worked fine for the movie, but none of it was enough to prompt a grade over a “C+”.
When we shift to the set’s extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director Gary Winick and actor Amanda Seyfried. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at cast, characters and performances, sets and locations, story and editing, cinematography and music, and a few other production areas.
While not the most fascinating commentary I’ve heard, this one does its job. Winick provides most of the info, but both parties contribute useful material. They interact well and create a reasonably lively chat, though Winick does narrate the film a bit too much in early moments. We also find out he vetoed a scene in which Seyfried would’ve been clad only in bra and panties, which puts him on my enemies list. Despite that problem, this is a good track.
Two featurettes follow. The Making of Letters to Juliet: In Italia goes for 12 minutes, 40 seconds and includes notes from Winick, Seyfriend, producers Mark Canton and Caroline Kaplan, production designer Stuart Wurtzel, and actors Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave, Gael Garcia Bernal, Luisa Ranieri and Franco Nero.“Making” examines the film’s development, story, cast and characters, and shooting in Italy. In terms of content, expect a lot of the usual fluff; we don’t really learn much here. We do get some decent shots from the set, but this remains a forgettable piece.
A Courtyard in Verona lasts five minutes, 40 seconds and offers remarks from Nero, Seyfried, Bernal, Redgrave, Ranieri, Kaplan, authors Lisa and Ceil Friedman. “Courtyard” looks at the history behind the movie’s story. Despite the program’s brevity, it provides a good amount of material. It’s certainly more involving than “Making”, as we learn some good info here.
Eight Deleted and Extended Scenes occupy a total of 10 minutes, 53 seconds (including a 57-second intro from Winick). We find “Get Him Back!” (0:43), “Overlooking Verona” (0:49), “Joining the Journey” (1:43), “Wine Auction” (1:16), “Another Wrong Lorenzo” (1:38), “How Did You Two Sleep?” (0:54), “Lunch at Lorenzo’s” (2:04) and “Wedding Toast” (0:49). The first two are the only actual deleted scenes, and they focus on issues related to the titular letters. They’re unnecessary exposition.
The other seven extend existing sequences. They give us more of the search for Lorenzo, and we spend more time with those characters. The clips add a bit of depth to the supporting roles, but I think they’re good cuts; the flick already seems slow and long, so additional footage wouldn’t have helped matters.
A few ads open the disc. We get clips for Ghost Writer, Red, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Remember Me. No trailer for Letters shows up here.
On the flipside of the Blu-ray, you’ll get a DVD Version of the film. I think a lot of people dislike the dual-sided disc format, and I can’t blame them; it’s an awkward way to include the DVD. It’s nice to get the DVD as a bonus, but I’d prefer it if the two remained separate.
Somewhere out there, you might find a male who likes romantic claptrap such as Letters to Juliet, but I’m not that male. With its thin characters and silly premise, it provides nothing more than tired melodrama. The Blu-ray offers very good picture, adequate audio, and some decent extras. I have no complaints about this release, but the movie itself is a dud.