Music and Lyrics (2006)

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Released 14-Jun-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Dolby Digital Trailer-Steam
Deleted Scenes
Outtakes
Featurette-Making Of-Note for Note - The Making of Music and Lyrics (13:00)
Music Video-Pop Goes My Heart (2:33)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 99:47
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (52:46) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Marc Lawrence
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Hugh Grant
Drew Barrymore
Brad Garrett
Kristen Johnston
Campbell Scott
Scott Porter
Nick Bacon
Andrew Wyatt
Dan McMillan
Tom Foligno
Zak Orth
Brooke Tansley
Daniel Stewart Sherman
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Adam Schlesinger


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    I wonder if Andrew Ridgeley, one-time pop star and the significantly lesser-known half of 80s megastars Wham has seen this film. I say that because the main character of Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant) could easily have been inspired by Ridgeley and his rapid disappearance into pop-star obscurity after he and George Michael pulled the plug on the successful duo in the mid 1980s.

    Back in the '80s, Alex Fletcher was a huge pop star and member of the band Pop. Unfortunately Pop's stay at the top was short-lived and nowadays Fletcher earns a crust from performing at extremely small-time nostalgia events for screaming soon to be middle-aged woman who long for the glory days of high school. But his luck might be about to turn when he learns that current chart pop princess and Buddhist with a cute butt Cora (think a cross between Shakira and Christina Aguilera) is asking successful songwriters to send her something to make into her next big hit. Fletcher's got a bit of a problem though. He can handle the music side of things quiet nicely, tucked away behind the keys of his sparkling Steinway piano, but he has absolutely no idea about the lyrics. While working in utter frustration with his current lyricist, a chart-topping song is the last thing that looks likely. Enter Drew Barrymore's klutzy yet endearing Sophie Fisher, who while visiting Fletcher's apartment to care for his indoor plants, reveals a penchant for some fairly decent lyrics. The pair soon strike up a professional partnership which seems to be delivering just the song the young diva needs, while also forming a close personal bond, despite the fact that Sophie is still very sore from a recent relationship breakdown.

    This is a pretty formulaic romantic comedy directed by Marc Lawrence (Two Weeks Notice and the ghastly sequel to Miss Congeniality), which is going to end exactly how you think it is going to end about ten minutes after it starts. But it's fun, the songs are catchy, and the main characters played by Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore, while lacking that sizzling chemistry (we were trying to work out the age difference between the two and it has to be in the vicinity of 10-12 years), are warm, endearing and really quite charming. Grant gets to play the bumbling, self-deprecating wally that he does like nobody else - and he does it really well. He can even sing which is quite a revelation. His performance is all charm and will certainly have the ladies swooning as usual. Barrymore is cutesy as always as the bumbling Sophie, who is unlucky with just about everything she does.

    A good film for a cold Friday night in front of the fire.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Somewhat surprisingly, this is a fairly average looking video transfer, that may be free of major fault or imperfection is basically mediocre in terms of colour and vibrancy. It doesn't have any authoring problems to speak of, it simply lacks any real depth or punch that we have come to expect from a modern-day transfer.

    The video is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is also 16x9 enhanced.

    Despite the flat and fairly one-dimensional look, this is still a sharp and detailed transfer throughout, with no evidence of any edge enhancement. Shadow detail is handled very well and grain is virtually non-existent. There is no low level noise.

    Overall the colours are pretty disappointing, with a fairly flat, nondescript palette on display. Even the campy 80s styles which dominate several of the scenes see little vibrancy or bursting colour. Thankfully skin tones are excellent though and black levels are perfect. There are no problems with bleeding or oversaturation.

    Compression artefacts are absent. Being a new film, it was hoped there would be few, if any film artefacts. Thankfully, this is the case with a clean and near-pristine transfer in that regard.

    There's just one subtitle option, this being English. They are mostly accurate and well positioned on screen.

    This is a dual layered disc with RSDL formatting. The layer change is at 52:46.

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

Audio

    There's just one audio soundtrack on this disc, being  a Dolby Digital 5.1 track in English

    Unlike the fairly lacklustre video effort, this is a fun and engaging soundtrack, filled with plenty of vibrant directional effects and laced with some catchy 80s style songs.

    The dialogue is easily understood, clear and in sync at all times.

    The score is credited to Adam Schlesinger and while it could easily be described as archetypal romantic comedy, it is still entertaining. It is naturally left for dead by the songs that make up the soundtrack with several original numbers featured throughout, including the fake song that started it all for Pop, Pop Goes My Heart.

    There is substantial surround channel activity, especially evident during the several concert scenes.

    The subwoofer is fairly quiet, but it is really not missed.

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

Extras

Dolby Digital Trailer

    Steam - haven't seen this one for a while.

Deleted Scenes

    A heap of deleted scenes. Some are quite entertaining, others quite dull.

Outtakes

    A heap of funny and equally not-so-funny outtakes (called a gag reel here) that see the whole crew stuffing up various lines. Unfortunately all of the profanity has been bleeped out. Still worth a look.

Featurette-Making Of

    A reasonably brief (13:00) making of featurette that includes all the usual cast and crew interviews with a little behind the scenes activity.

Music Video - Pop Goes My Heart

  It would be pretty surprising if a film featuring an original pop song that contributes a significant part of the story didn't include that song as a music video and here it is. Running for 2:33 this is the incredibly tacky but funny faux-80s music video for Pop's single Pop Goes My Heart.

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 disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 disc misses out on:

    The differences are limited solely to soundtracks. If you have no need for Spanish or French dubs then the local product is probably the best option. Otherwise call it a draw and pick it up wherever you can get it cheapest.

Summary

    Music and Lyrics is hardly going to win an Academy Award, but it's a fun romantic comedy that offers some originality and proves a great vehicle for Hugh Grant to show off his usual bumbling charm. It will leave a wide smile on your face and not cause you to think too hard about any important messages. A great film to relax to on a cold Friday night.

    The video quality is excellent, though not what I would call stellar, being just a little flat and lacking in vibrancy.

    The audio on the other hand is full, rich, and robust, with ample surround activity and some catchy songs that will get your foot tapping.

    The extras are fairly brief and add little to the package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-42PX600A 42" Plasma. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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