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Baby, It’s You (Blu-ray Review)

Baby-Its-YouRosanna Arquette (After Hours) and Vincent Spano (Rumblefish) star in writer/director John Sayles’ romantic-drama, Baby It’s You. Set in 1966 New Jersey, middle-class high school senior Jill (Arquette) finds herself inexplicably drawn to a suave, blue collar bad boy (and aspiring singer) known as “The Sheik” (Spano). Exuding mystery and danger, “The Sheik” woos Jill until she succumbs to his charms, which baffles her friends and horrifies her parents and teachers. Baby It’s You recounts the ups and downs of the lead characters from young love to hook-ups & break-ups to college life and the toll of unfulfilled dreams. With his extraordinary ear for dialog, John Sayles (Lone Star, Eight Men Out, Return of the Secaucus 7) fashions a period piece with contemporary relevance. Featured in supporting roles are Tracy Pollan (TV’s Family Ties), Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket) and Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit).

Film 

In 1966 New Jersey, Jill Rosen, a frustrated high schooler, is intrigued by an enigmatic new student known only as the Sheik. Sheik is an Italian whose primary interests are his car, Frank Sinatra, and Jill. At first she is taken aback by his forwardness, but they soon develop a relationship, much to the chagrin of their parents. Sheik gets expelled from school, and Jill is accepted at an all-girls college. After a fight, Sheik goes to Florida to work in a club lip-synching Sinatra songs. Sheik becomes dissatisfied with his Florida lifestyle and goes back to New Jersey to try to win Jill over.

Baby It’s You is an interesting little romantic drama set in the 1960s.  That means it brings with it a nice classic soundtrack with songs that will tug at your emotions based on principle.  I love hearing Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” play during a random billiards scene, for instance.  Little lifts like this help to make one feel a little more fond of the film than maybe if it wasn’t there.  When something is woven together with music, its a nice feeling for sure.

However, this film is a bit of a drag.  Its almost like Tarantino’s Death Proof in that we meet a whole bunch of characters and familiarize, only for the film to jump ahead and most all of them are gone and we have to start over again.  Maybe part of what didn’t work for me is that I wasn’t really buying into the film’s romance as an equal thing on both sides.  Which, you don’t find out til much later on that it really wasn’t.  Rosanna Arquette is gorgeous and adorable as all hell in this movie, providing a confident, smart girl.  But, The Sheik…yeah, I have no idea what she’d really much see in the guy and I hated his approach and execution on dating her.  Maybe I was jealous?  I don’t know.

This film is more a “strong decent” than anything else.  It did drag for me for quite a while.  It was neat to see little appearances by actors like Fisher Stevens and Matthew Modine.  The film itself was both eventful and uneventful all at the same time.  Little bits of the story I found more interesting weren’t really explored and stuff that was route or boring they put a little too much time on.  Overall, its a decent film if you have the time, but nothing really special.

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Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1o80p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  This transfer looks really good.  Olive Films once again has its “hand off” approach going on here, but its clean looking and crisp.  Detail is pretty strong on things like car surfaces, fuzzy clothing and street tops.

Depth:  Nice depth.  Characters look free and move cinematically throughout all environments.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep.  In poorly lit scenes, it does consume some detail.

Color Reproduction: Colors are accurate and solid throughout.  Necessary colors stick out and when its as 60s as it can be, the palette delivers.

Flesh Tones: Natural and consistent.  Facial details, such as stubble, make up and pores are quite visible in close ups, but lessen the further back a shot gets.

Noise/Artifacts:  Really good print.  Just pretty much grain which shows up much more in darker scenes.

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Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: N/A

Dynamics:  This one gets the trick done.  There is some light peaking and blending in the track.  But, it does get the job done.  Most of the time the balance of effect, vocal and scoring tracks are loose and free of once another.

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction:  Clean, loud and clear.

Extras 

Baby, It’s You contains no supplemental features.  Menu offers “Play Movie” and “Chapters”.

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Summary 

Baby, It’s You is a film I could easily see people being a sucker for.  To be quite honest, I’m surprised I wasn’t.  Rosanna Arquette is absolutely cute as shoes in this film and I’d be hard pressed to find someone who wasn’t charmed by her here.  The video and audio presentation on this are definitely commendable and should deliver for fans.  Unfortunately for the fans, this contains no extras as per most Olive Films releases.  But, would you rather not have the film on Blu-ray?  For what this is, its worth the jump.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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