|Category||Romantic Comedy||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.78:1 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0|
|Year Released||1999||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||118:53 minutes||Other Extras||Main Menu Audio & Animation
Cast & Crew Biographies
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
English For The Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, slightly|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I do, on the other hand, have a high opinion of the writer Richard Curtis, who wrote Notting Hill. His most notable other claim to fame is that very minor British film of a few years back - Four Weddings And A Funeral. He is an excellent and very clever writer.
Notting Hill, despite starring Julia Roberts, is a great film. Actress Anna Scott (Roberts) is in London promoting her latest movie. Through a series of coincidences, she literally bumps into William Thacker (a perfectly cast Hugh Grant), a bumbling book shop owner, and the chemistry is inevitable.
We all know what happens in RomComs - the two protagonists spend the entire movie not getting together for one reason or another even though we as an audience simply know that they are MFEO (made for each other). The inevitable pay-off is not the fun part of the movie - the tortuous path getting there is the fun part. In this case, Richard Curtis has woven a marvellously witty and cheeky cast of odd-ball characters into the storyline as only the British can, and we have a marvellous time watching the antics of the supporting characters. Spike (Rhys Ifans), in particular, steals every scene he is in as the flatmate from hell.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. Notably, the fact that this title is 16x9 enhanced is mentioned on the packaging.
The transfer is sharp and clear. It has excellent shadow detail, and there is no low level noise.
The colours are beautifully rendered. Early scenes are a little faded (intentionally), but the majority of the movie is vibrant and colourful with a particularly 'British' look about the colours.
There were some MPEG motion artefacts seen with some minor image wobble present in several short sequences, most notably 13:07-13:31, 64:10-65:53, 69:38-70:02 and 75:57-76:08. This was not especially troubling, and I suspect that most less critical viewers would have these quite minor artefacts pass them by completely.
Film to video artefacts consisted of some very minor and inconsequential aliasing. Film artefacts were very rare and all but unnoticeable.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed in Chapter 9, at 66:42. The layer change is well placed and is minimally intrusive.
Dialogue was natural-sounding, clear and easy to understand - other than some minor problems with Spike's thick Welsh accent.
There were no audio sync problems with this disc.
The score by Trevor Jones is subtle but effective in creating the appropriate atmosphere.
The surround channels were used subtly by the music and by the odd ambient effect. The overall result was surprisingly enveloping and created a reasonably immersive aural experience.
The .1 channel was not used as far as I could tell.
The video quality is generally very good.
The audio quality is very good.
The extras are passable.
© Michael Demtschyna
16th November 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-525, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|