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Valentine’s Day (Blu-ray Review)

Valentine's Day (Blu-ray Review)What can be more indicative of a romantic comedy than the title of Valentine’s Day?  Sure it’s sappy, and sure it’s formulaic as hell, but I just can’t shake the minority feeling that when I say compared to the handful of lackluster films I have seen theatrically these first five months of 2010, Valentine’s Day was one of the better ones.  Many will argue, and I welcome the discussion below, but rest assured, I’m pretty confident that by December of this year Valentine’s Day will be far removed on my list of memorable 2010 films.  So for now, let’s talk about how I believe this film succeeded, why a sequel has apparently already been green lit and of course, whether or not this Blu-ray is a must-see. 

Film 

Before I get philosophical and dive too deep into the synopsis of Valentine’s Day, I just got to say one thing.  How about that incredible all-star cast?  Never before in my recent memory has such a huge cast of modern day popular actors and actresses been involved in a single feature film.  You want to talk about why I believe this film was mildly successful?  Well the all-star cast is one sure fire reason.  I feel what I am about to do is obligatory in nature, but absolutely necessary in order to get my point across.  So I am going to list, in alphabetical order, all the stars attached to this project, in addition to the very beautiful Jessica Alba that is.  Well wait a minute.  Speaking of Jessica Alba…  That gives me a great excuse to post pictures of her.  Don’t worry; I’ll get to that in a moment.

So what was I talking about?  Oh yeah, the incredible cast of actors and actresses you will see, should you go check out Valentine’s Day this weekend.  All right, here we go.  Drum roll please.  As mentioned before, in addition to the lovely Alba we have Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Carter Jenkins, Joe Jonas, Ifran Khan, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, George Lopez, Shirley MacLaine, Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts and Taylor Swift.  Now that we got all those big names out of the way we can proceed with the review.

As I mentioned prior, in my first sentence above, the movie is both sappy and formulaic.  All right, I will come right out and say it.  It is a chick flick!  And I liked it?  You might as well just take my man card now.  But guess what?  It also just happens to take place on the most romantic day of the year.  It’s a win-win!  All women across the U.S. ate this candy up.  Boyfriends around the nation felt obligated to take their girls to see this.  This was perfect for the women as they didn’t have to lie and say they were seeing it solely for the chance to check out all the their favorite onscreen hunks simultaneously.  Although, you and I really know the truth, don’t we?  Point taken.  But guess what guys?  There are some hot females in the movie too, in addition to Jessica of course.

Before moving on, let’s talk a little bit about the subject of the movie being based around a holiday.  It’s really ingenious if you think about it, an instant cash cow one might say.  You know how many people can relate to it?  That’s a rhetorical question.  It just makes it an easy movie to write, an easy movie to make and an easy movie for the audience to relate to.  Heck, Warner Brothers/New Line Cinema wasted no time in announcing they are going to work on a sequel immediately.  And guess what?  Again… It’s based on another famous holiday!  Rumor has it that this time around it will be New Years Eve.  Most everyone celebrates New Years Eve right?  Easy money!  Cha-ching!  Best of all, I also hear that they will be continuing some of the same storylines from this movie in regards to the actors/actresses they can lure back.  Do you think Jessica could be one of them?  Gosh, I hope so.

So you have all the basic ingredients and the dream team ensemble of the actors/actresses, but what’s Valentine’s Day all about?  Well, I am glad you asked because that brings me to my third and final point.  Valentine’s Day was successful in interweaving all the evolving storylines and plot arcs into one cohesive body of work by the movie’s conclusion (sort of like Sin City, but not as cool).  To recap all the mingled storylines would simply take too long so let’s keep it basic.  Simply put, Valentine’s Day takes place solely on the holiday of the same name and allows you to share in the experiences, triumphs and failures of a multitude of different couples and individuals as to how they celebrated and were affected by the famous holiday that almost every guy hates.  There are obviously certain storylines and plots that are more important than others, but almost every one of them intersects and blossoms in some unique way.  We seen it before and it’s nothing new.  It’s just a cash cow for the movie studios that works really well.  The movie studios know that unless there is catastrophic event on release weekend, they will get the numbers they were looking for.  That’s all the matters to them.

So there you have it.  I’m probably going on record as the only Blu-ray reviewer on the World Wide Web saying they actually liked the film, but seriously, you want to know what I liked most about it?  Well, besides Jessica Alba.  I was very happy with the acting of Ashton Kutcher within this film.  And did you see him sporting the pink colors?  Hysterical!  He’s really come a long way since his early television days.  It’s no wonder he landed Demi with his confidence.  His performance is hardly worthy of an Oscar nod, but his character was probably the single-most one I cared about the whole time and as sappy as this sounds, I was hoping his character would receive a happy resolution.  That’s saying a lot too since my main man Bradley Cooper was in the house as well.  So did I ultimately get my wish for a happy ending?  Well, you will just have to find out for yourself. 

Valentine's Day  

Video 

Here’s where I am somewhat disappointed with this Blu-ray release and where it ultimately becomes a decision between recommending this title as a rental or a buy it now.  New Line Cinema delivers Valentine’s Day to the Blu-ray format with a VC-1 1080p video encode presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1.  I’ve come to expect great things from past New Line Blu-ray releases so this is why I’m saddened to report that this brand new title did not pop off the screen the way so many of their other titles do.  Come to think about it now, I don’t remember the video in the theater being that bodacious either.  It had a rather flat appearance theatrically and that’s kind of what we get here.  So maybe we can’t point fingers at or fault anybody here, but I also can’t go on record saying this is a Blu-ray reference disc, because in doing so, I would lose my credibility. The blemish free presentation won’t offend you, but it also won’t have you in awe either.  It’s just a middle of the road Blu-ray transfer that will pleasantly satisfy fans of the film while at the same time, it will leave a lackluster bitter taste in the mouths of modern day videophiles.  Either way, Alba looks fine.  That’s all that matters anyway, right?  Moving on…

 Valentine's Day

Audio 

You didn’t expect things to get better in the audio department did you?  I mean, come on, it’s a romantic comedy after all.  Romantic comedies are purposely not supposed to sound good, right?  Well, that’s the general consensus nowadays anyway.  Valentine’s Day arrives on the Blu-ray format with a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround soundtrack.  The film is purely dialogue driven.  That’s no surprise to many I am sure.  There are very few moments where sound effects jump out at you, bursts in musical score happen and atmospheres radiantly come to life.  These kinds of events I just mentioned simply don’t happen, usually, in romantic comedies and Valentine’s Day is not about to change that unconventional rule either.  New Line delivers a minimal, but pleasing, soundtrack here.  It technically delivers what it has to work with, but fails short once again in the reference disc department.  I can’t recommend this audio track over Peter Jackson’s King Kong, but I can go on record with that saying I hate the most in life… “It is what it is.”  Don’t you hate that saying?  So do I!

 Valentine's Day

Special Features 

Valentine’s Day comes to Blu-ray with its fair share of extras, but there’s nothing Earth shattering here.  Continuing with their 2010 Blu-ray pledge, I guess Warner still believes it helps sell the format as they have not only included a Digital Copy of the film within this Blu-ray release (available on a second DVD disc included inside the Blu-ray case), but also a DVD version of the film as well.  It’s nice seeing Alba’s mug, but I prefer to only watch her on Blu-ray if I can help it.  If you made it this far in the review, then you probably had enough of my Alba praise, so I’ll spare you from anymore.  Deal?  Good, let’s move on and dissect what we have to work with here in the Special Features department.

  • Audio Commentary – Director Garry Marshall talks about his attraction to the project, the many stars involved and of course, the making of the movie.
  • The Stars Confess Their Valentine’s Day Stories (HD) – This 6-minute feature is exactly what the title implies.
  • The Garry Factor (HD) – The cast seems to really like Garry Marshall in this short 5-minute feature.
  • Stay Here Forever (HD) – This is a music video by the artist known as Jewel.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD) – There are a total of 14 deleted scenes here with optional Director introductions.
  • Sex and the City 2 Sneak Peek Trailer (HD) – Here’s a feature I am sure a lot of female fans will be crazy over.  Check this one out to get a near 3-minute sneak peek of the May 28th release.
  • Blooper Reel (HD)
  • DVD Version of the Film (SD)
  • Digital Copy (SD)

Valentine's Day 

Final Thoughts 

I guess you can say whatever you want about me and throw whatever proverbial stones you want at me.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with me, but I actually like this film.  This Blu-ray marks the second time I have actually seen it too.  It’s a bit on the long side, but in the end, it’s the closing that counts.  Rest assured, all plot lines get resolved and depending on whom you like or not throughout the film, there’s a happy ending to be had for most.  It’s a feel good movie.  Girls will love it and most guys will hate it.  Like I said above, “It is what it is.”  Maybe I’m just getting old or maybe I’m developing a heart, but I am happy to have this title in my Blu-ray collection (and not just because of Alba… oh shoot… I said I would not mention her name again…sorry).  The Blu-ray will never be above average quality in this reviewer’s eyes, but as many people have said to me before, it’s the film that counts, not the format.  I wish I could believe that when talking about DVD versus Blu-ray, but in terms of Blu-ray standards, I am okay with this presentation as I am sure if I tortured myself by sitting through the DVD presentation I would find out that this Blu-ray really looks stellar compared to it.  Hmm…. Maybe I should do jus that.  Nah, I won’t risk injury to my eyes.  I’m a believer in the Blu-ray format and that’s all that matters.  So to all my male Blu-ray readers and enthusiasts out there, do something special this week and grab your favorite girl or that special someone in your life and treat them to Valentine’s Day, on Blu-ray of course.  How many times did they sit there bored through your action movies?  You owe them this much, right?  Although I like this film enough to recommend a purchase of it for fans, I have to be practical and endorse a rental first to all newcomers.  Enjoy! 

 

Bring home Valentine’s Day on Blu-ray today!


 

 

Valentine's Day Blu-ray Cover Art

 

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Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

4 Responses to “Valentine’s Day (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Gregg

    I’m still looking forward to this one. I can only imagine what the payroll was.

  2. Brian White

    That’s interesting. I would love to know what each one took home too. It’s kind of like everyone was a supporting actor around Ashton and Jennifer.

  3. Gerard Iribe

    Well, the budget was 52 million, and it made 214 million gross, so I’ll go with a bit above scale for the cast.

  4. Valkor

    What I can’t believe is how they made such a diverse cast, with the different stories, work so well in just a couple of hours. Great review and a great film.