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Paul Thomas Anderson
Adam Sandler, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Luis Guzman, Mary Lynn Rajskub
Writing Credits:
Paul Thomas Anderson

A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.

Box Office:
$25 million.
Domestic Gross

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $39.95
Release Date: 11/15/2016

• Deleted Scenes
• “Mattress Man Commercial”
• “Blossoms and Blood” Featurette
• “”Scopitones”
• Interview with Composer Jon Brion
• “Jeremy Blake” Featurette
• 2002 Cannes Interviews/Press Conference
• “The Pudding Guy” News Segment
• Trailers
• Booklet


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Punch-Drunk Love: Criterion Collection [Blu-Ray] (2002)

Reviewed by David Williams/Colin Jacobson (November 20, 2016)

With 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love, we get a film inspired by the true story of a man who redeemed over 1,000,000 frequent flyer miles via the purchase of $3000 worth of packaged pudding. While this may seem as an odd inspiration for a romantic comedy, it’s just the type of territory director PT Anderson does best.

In Punch-Drunk Love, we’re introduced to Barry Egan (Adam Sandler), the mild-mannered owner of a company that manufactures decorative and novelty toilet plungers. Underneath Barry’s docile and shy exterior lurks repressed rage.

The only boy in a family with seven sisters, Barry’s been bossed around forever and the women meddle in all aspects of his life. They constantly call him at work and offer nosy comments/questions with no sense of boundaries.

Barry witnesses a violent car crash near his business and then finds an abandoned harmonium that he “rescues”. He also meets Lena (Emily Watson), a woman shows up to drop her car off at a repair shop that neighbors Barry’s business.

Lena’s a little early for the garage located next to Barry’s office and she asks if Barry can help her out. Little does he know that this chance meeting will lead him to the love of his life.

To Anderson’s credit, he gets a performance out of Sandler that I didn’t think existed. Sandler manages to repress his usual gimmicks to a surprising degree.

That being said, Barry doesn’t offer as much of a departure as you might expect, as he still shows some of Sandler’s usual “man-child”. Evenso, Barry offers a more human character than usual for the actor.

Sandler’s scenes with Emily Watson are charming and the actors play off of each other nicely. Anderson regulars Luis Guzman and Philip Seymour Hoffman show up in Punch-Drunk as well and they own their respective roles.

Not quite the masterpiece or classic that I hoped to find, Punch-Drunk Love still offers a great way to spend 95 minutes. An off day for Paul Thomas Anderson still fares better than many directors at their best and Punch-Drunk Love proves that.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus C+

Punch Drunk Love appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Replete with unusual visual choices, the image seemed to represent the source – for good and bad.

This meant more than a few shots that came across as a bit soft. These tended to be intentional choices, but they did leave the film as less than distinctive at times. No signs of jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and print flaws remained absent.

In terms of colors, Love pushed its hues to an intense level at times. Like the softness, this was intentional but it also could look “off”, especially when it came to skin tones, which tended to veer purple. Blacks were dark and tight, while shadows showed reasonable clarity. Again, the image wasn’t the most attractive, but it appeared to replicate the original material.

Though not a rock-em, sock-em affair, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack added to the project. In particular, music used the various channels well, as the unusual score became an active partner in the story.

Effects played a smaller role. These elements stayed atmospheric, with a few shots that created move activity – like a car accident early in the film – but effects didn’t bring a lot to the picture most of the time.

Audio quality appeared good. Speech remained distinctive and natural, without edginess. Effects sounded accurate and concise, while music was warm and full. This turned into a mix that fit the material.

As we shift to extras, we find two deleted scenes. We get The Sisters Call” (7:18) and “’Are You From California?’” (2:23). “Call” offers more of the constant phone intrusions from Barry’s sisters, while “California?” gives us a short chat between Barry and the thugs who rob him. “California?” proves to be the more interesting, but both seem superfluous.

Under Mattress Man Commercial, we see a quick fake promo. It goes for 52 seconds and provides outtakes for an ad created by the Philip Seymour Hoffman character. It’s fun but inconsequential.

Next comes the 11-minute, 58-second Blossoms and Blood. It provides nothing more than a montage of film clips and Jeremy Blake imagery set to Jon Brion’s score. There’s not a whole lot to learn here, as the supplement serves as nothing more than a fancy music video.

With Scopitones, we find 12 segments with a total running time of six minutes, 20 seconds. Essentially interstitials, these show art mixed with music and film snippets. They fail to become especially interesting.

An Interview with Composer Jon Brion lasts 27 minutes, 19 seconds. As expected, Brion tells us about his work for the film, with some emphasis on his collaboration with director Paul Thomas Anderson. Brion offers a taut, involving chat.

We also get nine minutes, 56 seconds from a Brion recording session. This takes us to Abbey Road and shows the musicians at work. It doesn’t prove to be illuminating.

Two components appear under the banner of Jeremy Blake. “Gangitano and Connor” provides a chat with New York gallerist Lia Gangitano and curator Michael Connor. In this 20-minute, 25-second piece, they discuss artist Jeremy Blake’s work, with some focus on his creations for the film. Though Gangitano and Connor walk the pretentious side of the street, they manage to offer some decent details.

“Additional Artwork” also accompanies this section. It gives us two minutes, 42 seconds of Blake’s imagery. It leaves me cold.

Cannes Film Festival splits into two areas. “Studio Interviews” fills seven minutes, two seconds and includes comments from director Paul Thomas Anderson and actors Philip Seymour Hoffman, Emily Watson and Adam Sandler. They discuss some basics of the movie and its shoot. The piece seems fairly promotional and lacks a lot of depth.

A “Press Conference” takes 37 minutes, 52 seconds and features Anderson, Sandler, Watson, Hoffman and producer Jo-Anne Sellar. Unsurprisingly, the conference mostly involves questions to Anderson and Sandler.

Also unsurprisingly, little substance emerges. The members of the press usually ask trivial questions, and these receive glib replies. Little in terms of useful material emerges.

In addition to three trailers, we get The Pudding Guy. This 2000 interview with David Phillips lasts five minutes, four seconds and provides about the person whose tale loosely inspired this movie’s lead. Phillips seems a lot more normal than Barry, and it’s fun to hear about his scheme.

Finally, the set includes a booklet. This offers an essay from filmmaker, author, and artist Miranda July. It’s not a great addition but it offers a little merit.

Punch-Drunk Love is the type of romance that could only come from the universe that someone like PT Anderson lives in and he gets a surprisingly good and restrained performance from Adam Sandler. The Blu-ray presents largely good picture and audio but the supplements seem less engaging than I expect from Criterion. Both movie and Blu-ray seem good but not great.

To rate this film visit the DVD review of PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE

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