Love Birds (Blu-ray) (2011)

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Released 13-Jul-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 101:49
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Paul Murphy
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Rhys Darby
Sally Hawkins
Emily Barclay
Craig Hall
Bryan Brown
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $49.95 Music David Donaldson
Plan 9


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 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

     A few months ago, I reviewed a 2008 New Zealand comedy drama, Second Hand Wedding which was low-key and charming. I mentioned at the time that the director and writer of that film had collaborated on another film, Love Birds, which was also a New Zealand set comedy. Now I have had the opportunity to see and review that film, this time on Blu-ray. Like its predecessor, this film is quirky, low-key, amusing and quite entertaining.

     The story revolves around a well-educated man, Doug Gordon (Rhys Darby), who is happy with his life as a road crew supervisor, listening to his Queen record collection and living with his girlfriend, Susan. As the film opens Susan decides he doesn't have enough ambition for her and decides to leave him. As he starts to try and cope with this change in his life he finds that a duck which has been shot has crash landed on his roof and cannot fly anymore. He is not sure how to help the duck and despite some less savoury suggestions from his road crew, he decides to take the duck to the local zoo to see if someone there can help. He makes contact with the bird keeper, Holly (Sally Hawkins) who suggests he talk to a vet, Dr Buster (Bryan Brown). He ends up deciding to keep the duck and starts taking it everywhere with him. Holly has a young son and has been single for some time. Her colleague Brenda (Emily Barclay) encourages her to pursue Doug but she is not sure. When Doug responds to a drainage problem at the zoo it gives him and Holly the chance to reconnect. Will Doug get the girl, or will he mess it up?

     This is a fun film for a quiet night in front of the television. It is not full of big stars or great stunts and action, however it is heartfelt, amusing, quirky and entertaining. There is some beautiful New Zealand scenery which looks great on Blu-ray and lots of great Queen songs which play quite a role in the film. The leads are good and believable in their roles. The duck is very cute and leads to some funny sequences with Darby who viewers might know as the agent from Flight of the Conchords or from his role in the recent Jim Carrey film, Yes Man.

     This is an enjoyable film for those who like low key comedy and/or romantic comedies.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is excellent. The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p coded using the AVC codec.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. The shadow detail was excellent. The colour is excellent showing off the marvellous vistas of the Auckland region. There were no noticeable artefacts.

     There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired which were clear and easy to read. They used different colours for different people which helped clarify who was talking.

    There is no obvious layer change during playback.

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

Audio

     The audio quality is very good but this is not a film which really tests your home theatre. This disc contains an English DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack.

     Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to hear although some lines seemed somewhat muffled which is probably an issue with the source rather than the transfer. The score by Plan 9 is playful and light, perfect for the film. Quite a few Queen songs are featured on the soundtrack and sound great on this high definition transfer. The surround speakers were used for mild surround effects and music. The subwoofer was used mostly for music support.

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

Extras

     Nothing at all.

Menu

     The main menu has one option, Play, however the film plays automatically anyway. There is a pop-up menu which allows for scene access and subtitle control.

R4 vs R1

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

    This film is only available locally at this time.

Summary

     A fun, low key comedy about a man, a duck and romance.

     The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is very good. The extras are flying south for the winter.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, August 16, 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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