Melinda and Melinda (2004)

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Released 13-Feb-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Web Links
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 95:07
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Woody Allen

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Wallace Shawn
Neil Pepe
Stephanie Roth Haberle
Larry Pine
Radha Mitchell
Michael J. Farina
Jonny Lee Miller
ChloŽ Sevigny
Matt Servitto
Arija Bareikis
Brooke Smith
Zak Orth
Will Ferrell
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

††† Woody Allen has had a long and successful directing and writing career including quite a few hit movies and Academy Award wins and nominations. He has won three Academy Awards, two for writing and one for directing. Despite this impressive pedigree, his recent output has been a bit average by his high standards, including films such as Hollywood Ending and Anything Else. This film has been heralded as a return to form and accordingly I was keen to see it, having been a fan of Woody's work for many years.

††† The film has a very interesting construct as it tells two parallel stories somewhat akin to Sliding Doors. The difference here is that both stories are made up over dinner by two playwrights based upon a story told by a third friend at the dinner. One of the playwrights specialises in tragedy and the other in comedy and accordingly one version of the story is a relationship drama tragedy and the other turns into a romantic comedy. Both stories feature a similar beginning, in which a young woman arrives unannounced†while a dinner party is underway in a New York apartment. Her name is Melinda Robicheaux (played in both by Radha Mitchell, the only common cast member between the stories) and she is recently divorced.

††† In the tragic version, she arrives at the home of a friend who she went to school with, Laurel (Chloe Sevigny) and her husband, Lee (Johnny Lee Miller). Their relationship is strained and when Laurel agrees that Melinda can stay as long as she needs to, Lee is not impressed. Laurel is a Park Avenue Princess and Lee is a struggling actor with a drinking problem. Laurel and another of their friends try to find a boyfriend for Melinda.

††† In the comic version, Melinda (who lives in the same building)†stumbles into the dinner party after taking 28 sleeping pills while depressed. The married couple here are Hobie (Will Ferrell) and Susan (Amanda Peet). Hobie is an out-of-work†actor and his wife is a movie director/producer. The purpose of their dinner party is to try to convince someone to invest in her latest movie. A relationship develops and they try to find her a boyfriend. Hobie is†the character†Woody Allen†would have played if he cast himself in the film. Will Ferrell gets the best lines and acts like Woody would have in the role.

††† To my mind the comedy story works better than the tragic one but both are certainly interesting and the movie is one of Woody's best of recent years. Definitely worth a look for fans of Woody Allen and people who enjoy films with a different approach to their subject matter. This disc only seems to be available for rental at this stage.

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Transfer Quality


††††The video quality is†very good.

††† The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio or close to it.

††† The picture was†clear and sharp throughout without being spectacularly so, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was also very good. Some very light grain was visible throughout.

††† The colour was†wonderful, rich and solid throughout.

††† There were no noticeable artefacts.

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

††††There is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


††††The audio quality is†good but mono (as all Woody Allen films are).

††††This DVD contains†an English†Dolby Digital†2.0 mono†soundtrack encoded at†192 Kb/s.

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

††††The score of this film consists of jazz and classical pieces.

††† The surround speakers†and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


††† None.


††† The menu included music, and the ability to select scenes and subtitles.

R4 vs R1

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

††††This film has been released in basically the same format globally except that the Region 1 version also contains a†1.33:1 version of the film.†Call it a draw.


††††An enjoyable return to form for Woody Allen.

††† The video quality is†very good.

††† The audio quality is†good but mono.

††† The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
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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