French Film (2008)

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Released 22-Sep-2009

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio
Interviews-Cast
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 84:13 (Case: 88)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jackie Oudney
Studio
Distributor
Slingshot
Madman Entertainment
Starring Hugh Bonneville
Eric Cantona
Anne-Marie Duff
Victoria Hamilton
Douglas Henshall
Kenneth Hooper
Henry Maynard
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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 (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     I have reviewed quite a lot of romantic comedies lately but I can comfortably say this is the best one I have seen for a while. One major point of difference is that this is an English film (despite the title) both in terms of writing and production. This obviously brings a very different approach to romantic comedy that that generally pursued in Hollywood. This is much less silly and more witty and bittersweet than most Hollywood rom-coms. The other thing about this film is that it also extends itself to be a satire about French cinema, and the differences between the French & the English especially in regards to love.

    The story is about two English couples who know each other well. The first couple is Jed Winter (Hugh Bonneville), a journalist and his long term girlfriend, Cheryl (Victoria Hamilton), a magazine editor. After ten years together, Jed has recently asked Cheryl to marry him but she has said 'no'. The other couple is made up of Jed's best friend, Marcus (Douglas Henshall) who is in advertising and the slightly ditzy Sophie (Anne-Marie Duff). Marcus and Sophie got together originally when Sophie found Marcus preparing to jump off a bridge and talked him down.

    The two events which drive the movie's plot are that Jed is preparing to interview a French movie director, Thierry Grimandi (Eric Cantona) who makes films about love (in a very Gallic manner) and that Marcus has just run into a childhood sweetheart again and this makes him question who he is in love with. Jed has decided that Thierry is a complete w***er and tells the others what he thinks which reveals that Marcus is a fan of his work. To say too much more about the plot would spoil the enjoyable surprises in this film.

    This film works both as a romantic comedy and also as a fun satire. All five of the main cast members are great, however, Cantona is fantastic as the floppy haired, cigarette smoking and very French Thierry Grimandi. There is a great quote from his character at the start of the film which I won't spoil but reminded me very much of a French film I reviewed recently, OSS 117 . Another star here is the great writing by Aschlin Ditta. The film covers themes such as falling in love and falling out of the love, the madness inherent in falling in love and the importance of the 'beginning' in a relationship.

    Fans of romantic comedy or English comedy should definitely seek this one out. It is currently available to rent and will be released to retail in late September 2009.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good with no major issues to report.

    The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced which I would guess is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite sharp and clear without being really crisp. Shadow detail is decent. There is also some light grain in some backgrounds plus some minor blocking.

    The colour was good without being overly vibrant.

    There were no obvious artefacts other than those mentioned..

    There are subtitles in English burned-in for French dialogue. There are no subtitles streams.

    There is no layer change in the feature.

   
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is good but only stereo which is surprising for a new film.

    This DVD contains one audio options, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s. As the film is pretty much dialogue focused this is not an 'end of the world' issue but a more explansive audio transfer would have been nice.

    Dialogue was easy to understand and clear throughout.

    The majority of the featured music is a nice collection of pop tunes includes a marvellous cover of Waterloo Sunset which also graces the menu..

    The surround speakers were used for some atmosphere when played using PLII.

    The subwoofer was not used in any noticeable way.

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

Extras

    

Menu

    The menu features a nice red, white & blue theme and the aforementioned version of Waterloo Sunset.

Cast Interviews (19:29)

    Electronic Press Kit style interviews with title cards between each section. Nothing too revealing is included.

B-Roll Footage (11:20)

    Tedious and fairly meaningless behind the scenes footage of shooting.

Theatrical Trailer (1:47)

Madman Propaganda

    Four trailers.

R4 vs R1

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

    This seems to be the first global release of this film on DVD.

Summary

    A witty romantic comedy combined with a satire of French cinema and the relationship between the English and the French.

    The video quality is very good but unspectacular.

    The audio quality is good but stereo.

    The extras are pretty ordinary in quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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