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Vicky Cristina Barcelona BD impressions

Blu-ray

When the lights came up at the end of Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona (a review copy of which I received on Friday), I was very much left with the impression that not a lot had actually transpired in its 96-minute duration. The film is pleasant, but incredibly insubstantial. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work as a comedy, as it’s not particularly funny (“You tried to kill me… with a chair!” notwithstanding), nor as a drama, as there’s no real depth to the characterisation and Allen’s observations about relationships rarely get more complicated than “love’s a bitch”. Penélope Cruz undoubtedly steals the show and, in many respects, saves it from being completely pedestrian. The rest of the cast try valiantly, but something about this film feels amazingly indifferent in its writing and direction. And, let’s face it, when it comes to giving characters distinctive voices, Woody Allen is every bit as bad as Quentin Tarantino.

Optimum’s Region B-coded UK release looks rather pleasing on the whole. Ever the classicist, Allen opted to do his colour timing in the lab rather than processing the film digitally, and, while the image does look rich for the most part, any shots involving opticals do end up taking a hit as far as detail is concerned. Unfortunately, Woody is a little too fond of fades, which means that a fair number of shots are affected in this manner. The whole film has a deliberate orange-yellow glow, which is perhaps a little on the oppressive side but is undoubtedly down to artistic intent rather than any problem with the disc itself. 7/10

Vicky Cristina Barcelona
studio: Optimum; country: UK; region code: B; codec: VC-1;
file size: 18.8 GB; average bit rate (including audio): 28.03 Mbit/sec

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Posted: Sunday, May 17, 2009 at 3:20 PM | Comments: 5
Categories: BD Impressions | Blu-ray | Cinema | Technology

 
Comments

1.

I agree, I never for once buy that these people exist (as I've said in my DD comment, it's a movie about young people written by old people) and I also agree that Cruz literally saved this one from being a waste of time. Her Oscar was well deserved. With a few lines aside (I also enjoyed the lines involving Christina being able to speak Chinese) the film is strictly unfunny and for some strange reason I never even felt like the characters were sexually attracted to each other.

The rest of the cast (especially Scarlett) is unremarkable.

Woody's masterpiece of the decade is still Match Point.

Posted by: Marcus, May 17, 2009 10:22 PM

2.

>> And, let's face it, when it comes to giving characters distinctive voices, Woody Allen is every bit as bad as Quentin Tarantino.

You may have a point there, but I think most people whatch Quentin Tarantino flicks for it's writerspeak and not the deep characterizations.

I have yet to discover why anyone would watch a Woody Allen movie though...

Posted by: Peter von Frosta, May 18, 2009 8:09 AM

3.

Because from the late seventies to the late eighties (as well as some of his 90s films) he was simply one of America's finest filmmakers and made fantastic films.

Watch the following:

Annie Hall
Interiors
Manhattan
Zelig
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Hannah and her Sisters
Radio Days
Another Woman
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Deconstructing Harry

Posted by: Marcus, May 18, 2009 5:07 PM

4.

@Marcus
At some point I might look into your list, however at the moment I've got 173 unwatched DVDs/Blu-rays/HD-DVDs that will keep me busy for a while.

Posted by: Peter von Frosta, May 18, 2009 6:07 PM

5.

So do I at the moment, but I always make room for one intruder that requires a quicker look. :) I honestly envy anyone who has yet to discover the wonder of Allen's cinema at its peak for the first time.

Posted by: Marcus, May 18, 2009 11:06 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

https://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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