The Love Letter (Universal) (1999)
Main Menu Audio
|Year Of Production||1999|
|Running Time||83:47 (Case: 88)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (54:09)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Peter Ho-Sun Chan|
Universal Pictures Home Video
Tom Everett Scott
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The story is mostly told from Helen's (Kate Capshaw's) perspective, and it goes something like this: The seemingly lonely Helen comes across a love letter in her book store, and she starts to wonder who left it for her. Its words invoke such passion in Helen's heart that she allows herself to be seduced by a boy named Johnny (Tom Everett Scott), who works at the book store, thinking the letter was from him.
Much later on, Janet (Ellen DeGeneres) also accidentally comes across the letter, just after talking to George (Tom Selleck) and she believes that it was from him to her. Janet has been keen on George for quite some time, but Helen immediately tells Janet that the letter was not for her. This causes some friction between these once best friends. Eventually, the writer of the love letter is revealed as is its intended recipient.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
Foreground detail is excellent, but grain does disrupt it on many occasions. Background detail is pretty good, but also gets disrupted by grain a lot. Any shots that contain blue sky are just riddled with noticeable grain. Unfortunately, the grain isn't restricted to just the sky scenes - it pops up frequently in pretty much any type of scene (indoors, outdoors, light, dark) so there's just no escaping it. Don't get me wrong - this is still a very good transfer, but it is really spoiled by this noticeable grain. There isn't much shadow detail, but the picture still looks natural and balanced. There are several dark scenes, so if you want to get the most out of the picture I would suggest you block out any ambient outside light. No low-level noise, edge enhancement or edge bleeding was noticed.
The colour is very good. Everything is well-saturated and the skin tones are realistic and natural-looking. I have seen better colour, but there isn't anything to complain about here.
No definite MPEG artefacts were noticed and there are only a couple of trivial instances of aliasing. At 81:15, a small strange line moves part-way across the screen and then disappears. It is as if the affected area had been mis-aligned. There is a really big film editing blunder at 27:26, where the film appears to jump backwards by 2 seconds and then continue on, as if someone had pressed the repeat button on a two second section of the film. This is very distracting. There is no audio disruption during this jump and the dialogue that is being spoken at the time continues to flow throughout the jump. The video otherwise remains perfectly intact. To me, this indicates that this is a film editing fault and not a transfer fault, but I could be wrong. Another minor fault occurs at 69:22 where either the camera shakes left-to-right or the fault could have been introduced during the telecine transfer stage. Either way it is minor and is a one-off occurrence.
Film artefacts are extremely rare and small, with only two small ones being noticeable enough to get a mention here; 73:02 and 78:43.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed between Chapters 12 and 13, at 54:09. The layer change is well-placed and is not disruptive to the flow of the movie, even though I had no trouble spotting it.
The dialogue was extremely clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie. No audio sync problems were noticed. Some low-level hiss was noticed, but it is at a very low level so it never becomes distracting.
The musical score is by Luis Bacalov.
There is very little surround channel use, and what is there is extremely subtle. Not once was I actually aware that there was any sound coming from the surround speakers. The soundfield is all up-front, but this is not a totally disastrous thing as this is a completely dialogue-driven movie.
There is little for the subwoofer to do in this movie as you can imagine, but it does get some nice use at 24:56 for some fireworks.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Easy choice; R4. Reasons: both suffer from grain, but the PAL version has no 3:2 pull-down artefacts and better picture resolution.
Overall the picture quality is good, with only the presence of some rather noticeable grain reducing its rating.
The audio is of good quality, with no transfer-induced faults. All limitations are from the film's original sound mix, which has little surround use.
The extras are very limited, but they are of very good quality.
|DVD||Sony DVP-725, using Component output|
|Display||Sony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Fronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)|