Penelope (Blu-ray) (2006)

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Released 30-May-2011

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Making Of
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 99:23
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Mark Palansky

Magna Home Entertainment
Starring Richard E. Grant
Catherine O'Hara
Nick Prideaux
Michael Feast
Christina Ricci
Ronni Ancona
Simon Woods
Paul Herbert
Simon Chandler
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $19.95 Music Joby Talbot

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/24 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     This little seen film from 2006, Penelope, is getting a slightly surprising Blu-ray release from Magna. Surprising not from the perspective that it is not a worthy film, just that it is not very well known. It can best be described as a fairy tale/romantic comedy made for an adult audience. It is whimsical, features a quality cast and is quite an enjoyable way to spend an hour and a half if you enjoy a bit of whimsy.

     The story involves an aristocratic family, the Willherns. One of their ancestors brought a curse upon the family that the next daughter born into the family would be born looking like a pig. Boys were born for the next few generations and it is not until modern times that a girl was born into the family. Her name is Penelope (Christina Ricci) and she has the nose and ears of a pig. The legend is that the curse will be lifted when Penelope is loved by 'one of her own'. Her parents, Franklin (Richard E Grant) and Jessica (Catherine O'Hara) attempt to get someone from another aristocratic family to fall in love with her to break the curse. They have kept her away from the world since she was very small and many of the potential suitors run away screaming. An unscrupulous reporter, Lemon (Peter Dinklage) hires a young aristocrat who has lost all his money gambling to see if he can get a photo of her for his paper. The young man, Max Campion (James McAvoy) initially goes along but starts to develop feelings for Penelope. Will they fall in love and break the curse? Of course, there are more surprises in store.

     This film features a number of cameos such as the producer Reese Witherspoon in a small but pivotal role and Burn Gorman from Torchwood. There are also a number of famous English comedians making quick appearances including Lenny Henry, Nick Frost and Russell Brand. This is a cute and whimsical film based on a quite different premise which also has something to say about girls and body image. It was directed by Mark Palansky and was his first feature film. One slight annoyance for me was that the film was obviously shot in England with a mostly English cast, however, many of them were sporting American accents. Just weird really.

     An enjoyable and fun fairy tale for whimsical adults.

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Transfer Quality


     The video quality is pretty good but disappointingly 1080i. The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080i.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout although is not as stunning as the picture on some Blu-rays. The shadow detail was very good. The sharpness was affected by interlacing artefacts especially during faster motion. The colour is very good showing off the set design and costumes. There were no other obvious artefacts.

     There are no subtitles which is disappointing.

    There is no obvious layer change during playback.

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


     The audio quality is very good. This disc contains an English PCM 5.1 48kHz/24 bit soundtrack.

     Dialogue was very clear and easy to hear. The music by Joby Talbot suits the fun and whimsical nature of the film and provides a rich sound field. The surround speakers were well used for atmosphere, car noises, wind in trees and more. The subwoofer was used mostly for music support.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     The extras included here are pretty slim.


     The menu is plain but functional.

The Making of a Modern Day Fairy Tale (9:27)

     In standard definition. A fairly standard promotional making of covers story, project development, makeup, sets and costumes.

Theatrical Trailer (1:39)

R4 vs R1

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

    There is a German version of this film on Blu-ray which includes a DTS HD-MA soundtrack (in English) and more bonus features, however, the local product is fine.


     A fun and whimsical fairy tale romantic comedy.

     The video quality is pretty good but 1080i. The audio quality is very good. The extras are pretty scant.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, 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 into BD player. 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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