|Category||Drama||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.33:1, Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono)|
||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 21 TV Spots|
|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||Yes, 2
Commentary Track 1-John Madden (Director)
Commentary Track 2-Donna Gigliotti (Producer), Marc Norman (Screenwriter/Producer), Tom Stoppard (Screenwriter), David Parfitt (Producer), Martin Childs (Production Designer), Geoffrey Rush (Actor), Sandy Powell (Costume Designer), Richard Greatrex (Cinematographer), Judi Dench (Actor), Gwyneth Paltrow (Actor), John Madden (Director), Ben Affleck (Actor), Colin Firth (Actor), and Joseph Fiennes (Actor)
|Running Time||118:37 minutes||Other Extras||Featurette - Shakespeare In Love And On Film (20 mins)
Featurette - Academy Award-Winning Costume (2 mins)
Deleted Scenes - 4, 1 Alternate Ending, 2 Alternate Versions of Scenes, 1 Outtake
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages
|English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)|
|English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary 1 (Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono), 192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary 2 (Dolby Digital 1.0, 96Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|English for the Hearing Impaired||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|English for the Hearing Impaired
Absolutely and categorically wrong. Shakespeare in Love is definitely one of those rare films that not only lives up to your expectations, but exceeds them. And the fact that Universal have blessed the DVD with such an extras package that is rarely seen in Region 4 only heightens the pleasure.
As for the plot, well to be honest I cannot add any more to that of Michael's review so check out his rave review.
All as I know is this is a gloriously written story, like the works of Shakespeare himself, full of all the emotion, passion, humour, tragedy and drama that is so rarely seen in a film nowadays. Performances were terrific across the cast and the whole film moves at a quite compelling pace. Just how many more superlatives could be thrown at this film, I do not know, but it would need the genius of a Shakespeare to do it, not my inadequate efforts.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.
I doubt that we will find too many transfers that will rival this for clarity and definition. This is truly a wonder to behold that leaves even such luminary films as The Negotiator behind. Shadow detail is exquisite.
The colours are beautifully rendered throughout, and whilst Elizabethan England is not renowned for flashy colours, the vibrancy here is quite marvellous and when the colours do get flashy (such as the peacock gown of Queen Elizabeth) they come up wonderfully. There is not a hint of oversaturation of colour, nor even the remotest hint of colour bleed.
There were no MPEG artefacts noted, and it would be churlish to even mention video artefacts; there may well have been some but I did not really notice them at all if there were. Film artefacts were very rare indeed, and even those few noted were relatively minor and in no way detracted from the film.
Subtitles can be selected via the remote control, and all subtitles are available via the remote, no matter what Region the DVD player is set to. The subtitle menu, however, is dependent on which Region the DVD player is set to.
This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change at 75:33. The layer change is quite well chosen and is not really disruptive to the film at all: the shot of the complete written version of Romeo and Juliet on the bed sheet just lasts a little longer than intended as the player navigates the change.
The audio tracks available on the DVD are dependent on the Region that the DVD player is set to in the same way as for subtitles. They are selectable via the audio menu, and via the remote control. All audio tracks are selectable via the remote control at all times.
There are six audio soundtracks on the DVD: the default English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded, the first English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital track encoded as 2.0 mono, and the second English Audio Commentary track encoded as Dolby Digital 1.0. I listened to the default English soundtrack and very briefly sampled both English Audio Commentary tracks. I also dabbled with the French and Italian soundtracks, which certainly are pale in comparison to the English default.
Dialogue was always clear and easy to understand.
There were no audio sync problems with this disc.
The score by Stephen Warbeck is very good, wonderfully supportive of the film and contributes well to the overall film. This is not a cobbled together effort and clearly some care has gone into making the music suit the film action throughout.
This is a quite detailed soundtrack, with some wonderful work from the rear channels. The overall sound picture is very natural and you are quite nicely placed into it.
The bass channel does not get an awful lot of use, but the film simply does not require much in the way of bass at all.
The video quality is absolutely wonderful.
The audio quality is hardly shamed either.
The extras are very good indeed.
Buy it now.
© Ian Morris
4th October 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|