Match Point (Warner) (2005)

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Released 9-Aug-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 118:55
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (54:49) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Woody Allen
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Alexander Armstrong
Paul Kaye
Matthew Goode
Brian Cox
Penelope Wilton
Emily Mortimer
Janis Kelly
Alan Oke
Mark Gatiss
Scarlett Johansson
Philip Mansfield
Simon Kunz
Case Amaray-Opaque-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Georges Bizet
Gaetano Donizetti
Carlos Gomes


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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 Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

'The man who said "I'd rather be lucky than good" saw deeply into life. People are often afraid to realize how much of an impact luck plays'

    I have reviewed quite a few Woody Allen DVDs in my time here as a reviewer, but I think I can pretty safely call this the best one I have seen for some time, certainly compared to his recent efforts. To be fair, Melinda and Melinda is a good film; however, this one is better. Match Point is a very different film compared to his recent efforts, with a number of changes compared to others of his films. These changes include setting the film in London (most of his films have been set in New York); exploring drama and thriller conventions; and replacing his usual  jazz soundtrack with opera. Additionally, Allen does not star in the film and includes no character like him, a method he has used a number of times when he is not in the film himself.

    The plot follows the life of a young Irish ex-professional tennis player, Chris Wilton (Johnathan Rhys Meyers), as he moves to London and takes a job as a tennis coach at an exclusive club. He is from a fairly poor background and has very little money. One of his first students is a young man from a very rich family, Tom Hewitt (Matthew Goode). Due to a joint appreciation of opera, they quickly form a friendship and Chris starts a casual friendship/relationship with Tom's sister, the sweet and naive Chloe (Emily Mortimer). She quickly falls in love with Chris, however, the feeling is not completely reciprocated. At a weekend in the Hewitt country house, Chris meets Tom's fiance, Nola Rice (Scarlett Johansson) without realising who she is. Chris immediately falls in lust with her, but knows he needs to back off once he realises she is his friend's fiance. Tom's mother Eleanor (Penelope Wilton) disapproves of Nola, as she is American, a bit temperamental and a struggling actress. Tom's father, Alec (Brian Cox), is not as concerned. As time passes the relationship becomes further strained between Nola and Eleanor, which prompts Chris to start an affair with Nola. This is despite the fact that he is already planning to marry Chloe, and knows only too well that she is too good a catch to dump.

    The main theme of the film is the role that luck plays in our lives, as mentioned in the quote above which comes right at the beginning of the film. This is an excellent drama/thriller featuring some excellent dialogue, a wonderful (and very photogenic) ensemble cast and a very different tone to most Woody Allen films. The only other of his films anything like Match Point at all is Interiors; but that film is far more serious. There is not much humour in this film, but this is certainly not a problem as Match Point is such a strong character based drama with an excellent twist into thriller in the second half. The film is very naturalistically shot with  natural lighting and a lot of outdoor settings.

    An excellent film for viewers who enjoy strong drama/thrillers based on characters rather than action.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced, in its original aspect ratio.

    The picture was very clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. The bitrate is consistently high which helps with the excellent picture quality. Shadow detail is pretty good, although  probably restricted somewhat by the original lighting choices rather than the transfer.

    The colour is excellent, although this is not an overly colourful film reflecting the London location and the film's tone.

    I noticed one little spot of aliasing at 44:27 on a small grille but this is a very minor issue indeed.

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

    The layer change occurs at 54:49 causing a slight pause.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is good but, as with all Woody Allen films, is essentially mono despite the encoding.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s, although there is nothing in 4.1 of the channels.

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

    The music used here is mostly classic recordings of grand opera (by Enrico Caruso and others), a deviation from Allen's usual choice of old jazz recordings.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

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

Extras

    The most you can usually expect from a Woody Allen DVD in  terms of extras is a trailer, but even that is too much to ask for this film. Nothing, nada, zilch, zero!

Menu

    The menu included music, stills from the film and options 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 movie is available in essentially the same format globally. The Region 1 release also includes a French mono soundtrack. Unless you speak French this is a draw.

Summary

    An excellent character based drama/thriller and Woody Allen's best film in years.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is good but mono.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, August 10, 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

Other Reviews NONE
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