Prime (2005)

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Released 22-Mar-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Menu Animation
Audio Commentary-Ben Younger (Director) And Jennifer Todd (Producer)
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Featurette-Prime Time Players
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 100:58 (Case: 106)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (60:55) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ben Younger
Studio
Distributor
Stratus Film Company
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Uma Thurman
Meryl Streep
Bryan Greenberg
Jon Abrahams
Adriana Biasi
David Younger
Palmer Brown
Zak Orth
Annie Parisse
Aubrey Dollar
Jerry Adler
Doris Belack
Ato Essandoh
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music Ryan Shore


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
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

    Prime is a very strange thing amongst the recent crop of romantic comedies, which is not necessarily bad. Unlike most of the recent entries to this genre it is not a broad, slapstick pratfall style comedy but rather relies on some witty dialogue and some strong acting, especially from the female leads Meryl Streep & Uma Thurman. Unfortunately, despite its different approach it does not completely succeed as a film. It is the second feature for writer/director Ben Younger, whose first film was Boiler Room.

    The plot involves a 37 year old woman, Rafi Gardet (Uma Thurman, doing a wonderful job of acting her age), who is career focused and recently divorced. She lives in New York, enjoys art and jazz and is keen on the idea of becoming a mother. She has regular sessions with her therapist, Lisa Metzger (Meryl Streep), who is helping her to work through her feelings about her divorce and her desire to have a baby, amongst other things. Lisa is also a typical Jewish mother, overprotective of her son and absolutely determined that he marry someone Jewish. The story really kicks off when Rafi meets a young man, Dave (Bryan Greenberg), and he asks her out. Neither of them realise that their age difference is 14 years, with Dave only being 23. Initially they lie to each other about their ages and they become attracted to each other and form a relationship. Unknown to them Lisa is also Dave's mother and when she finds out she is torn between her professional duty to Rafi and her maternal instincts towards her son. The story follows this situation as it develops.

    This is an entertaining but quite low key film, which is definitely highlighted by the excellent portrayal of Rafi by Uma Thurman and the excellent comedic qualities and acting skills of Streep. A side note on Meryl Streep is her amazing range of characters, from her comedic but believable Jewish mother here to her recent portrayal of the conniving mother in the remake of The Manchurian Candidate. The characters had nothing in common except being mothers but both performances were excellent. It's great to see a film with two strong characters for women who aren't 25 or under. My criticisms of this film would be that it was a little slow in places, Greenberg was passable but nothing special and the character of Dave's friend, Morris was unnecessary and unfunny. Younger's script and direction are quite reminiscent of Woody Allen, which is not a bad thing.

    If you go into this film expecting a thoughtful, low key romantic comedy/drama rather than a slapstick comedy, you will come away quite well entertained.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good but not spectacular.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is very close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout without being crisp and there was no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was very good. Light MPEG grain was present throughout.

    The colour was rich and solid throughout with no issues to report.

    The only noticeable artefact was aliasing which was reasonably minor. Examples occurred at 5:46 on a car, 5:59 on a shirt and 45:46 on a skirt.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear, easy to read and virtually exact to the spoken word. They were also helpfully aligned to the position on the screen of the person speaking.

    The layer change occurs at 60:55 and was badly placed and quite obvious.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good, doing everything required by a movie of this kind.

    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 320 Kb/s. My comments refer to the 5.1 track but the difference is negligible.

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

    The score of this film by Ryan Shore is nice but unspectacular. Additionally, there were some nice song choices used during the film such as funk and jazz.

    The surround speakers added some mild atmosphere, mostly in the form of music. This style of film does not really lend itself to surround effects, so this was not an issue.

    The subwoofer added bass to the music but had little else to do.

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

Extras

    A decent selection of extras are included.

Menu

    The menu included some minor motion, music, and the ability to select scenes, soundtracks and subtitles.

Commentary - Writer/Director Ben Younger & Producer Jennifer Todd

    This is a decent commentary track but my overall impression was that they really had very little to say of any great import. They discuss the music, New York, the director's cameo, sets, lighting, goofs, locations, editing and other such topics. Ben thinks he is funny but proves regularly that he is not.

Deleted Scenes (8:27)

    Presented in non 16x9 enhanced widescreen these scenes add very little to the film and were deservedly cut. There are some more improvisation scenes, more of Morris and some extra bits of character development.

Outtakes (3:48)

    Fairly tedious set of outtakes which did not raise a laugh for me.

Prime Time Players (8:38)

    Presented 4x3 this is a fairly standard promotional making of with interviews with the director and stars talking about working with the director, the script and casting.

Trailer (2:20)

    A trailer which unsurprisingly features the only wacky bit in the whole film. 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 release includes a French 5.1 track instead of the English stereo track. Unless you want a French dub, the difference is negligible.

Summary

    A low key romantic comedy/drama which features some excellent performances.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The set has a reasonable selection of extras, however none of them are essential viewing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, May 11, 2006
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
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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