Laws of Attraction (2004)

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Released 14-Oct-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer
Notes-About The Production
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Deleted Scenes
Alternate Ending
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Connie & Carla, Girl With A Pearl Earring, The Company
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 86:36
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (79:07) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Peter Howitt
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Pierce Brosnan
Julianne Moore
Michael Sheen
Parker Posey
Frances Fisher
Nora Dunn
Johnny Myers
Mike Doyle
Allan Houston
Annie Ryan
Vincent Marzello
Sara James
Annika Pergament
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Ed Shearmur


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Drinks, Television, Hand held computers etc etc
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This romantic comedy from Sliding Doors director Peter Howitt has moved quickly from opening in US cinemas in late April this year to being available for sale on DVD in Region 4 now. It did quite badly at the US box office, only taking $17 million which, considering its production and marketing costs were closer to $50 million, is not much of a return. So, is it really terrible? Well, no, there's nothing particularly wrong with this film and it is a reasonably entertaining way to spend 90 minutes. On the other hand, there is nothing which makes the film stand out particularly except perhaps its likeable stars, Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore.

    Laws of Attraction follows the story of two New York divorce lawyers, Daniel Rafferty (Brosnan) and Audrey Woods (Moore). Rafferty's approach is one of win, regardless of the tactics used whereas Woods tries to take the moral high ground. Neither of them have ever lost a big case until they meet head to head. Early in the film, Rafferty gets the upper hand by using underhanded tactics against Woods, despite his attraction to her. She is disgusted and wants nothing more to do with him. Some time later they meet again as opposing counsel in the impending divorce of a celebrity couple, rock star Thorne Jamison (Michael Sheen) and his fashion designer wife, Serena (Parker Posey). This case leads them to Ireland to depose witnesses and their relationship is rekindled.

    This is quite a reasonable romantic comedy, however it doesn't add much new to the genre. There are some amusing scenes, however sometimes it feels like they are just scenes cobbled together rather than being part of a concise plot. I think the script needed some more work although I noticed in the credits that there were 5 writing credits in addition to the main ones. Supposedly there was significant outcry in Ireland about the way Irish people are portrayed in the film, which I can understand, as they use every Irish cliché imaginable including the music and nonsensical behaviour. Having said that it doesn't outstay its welcome and is quite entertaining and amusing.

    This is a film for buffs of romantic comedies and should be watched when you are not in a particularly demanding mood.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. There was some extremely light grain in some scenes. The shadow detail was excellent.

    The colour was excellent, well saturated with no colour artefacts.

    There were no noticeable artefacts of any kind.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read.

    The layer change occurs at 79:07 and caused a noticeable pause.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is very good and does everything required for a film of this type.

    This DVD contains two audio options, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Edward Shearmur is very good during the New York-based scenes but very clichéd Irish in the Ireland-based scenes. I especially liked the music during the credits.

    The surround speakers added some minor directional effects and atmosphere to the music. This is not really a film which requires significant surround activity, however, it was quite immersive.

     The subwoofer was used as required but this film did not contain too much LFE activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu included a nice intro, some cool music and was clear and easy to use.

About The Production

    10 text pages of promotional fluff, probably straight out of the press kit.

Biographies

    Text based biography/filmographies for Pierce Brosnan, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, Michael Sheen, Frances Fisher and director Peter Howitt.

Deleted Scenes / Alternate Ending

    A collection of 5 deleted or alternate scenes which are definitely the most interesting extra. I think that three of these scenes would have improved the film and should have been left in. The scenes are:

Theatrical Trailer (2:06)

    Not a bad trailer, which introduces the film well.

Preview Trailers

    Trailers for Connie & Carla, Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Company.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

   I am going to run with the assumption (without specific knowledge) that the DVD-ROM features cover similar ground to the extra menu based features available in Region 4. With the PAL/NTSC differences, I will give the Region 4 version a slight edge.

Summary

    A reasonable but unspectacular romantic comedy starring Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc has a small selection of extras with only the deleted scenes sparking my interest.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, October 21, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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