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Alan Partridge (Blu-ray Review)

alan partridge whysoblu thumbI have made it clear in other reviews that I am a big fan of Steve Coogan.  Between his great comedic work in England and America, his performances in Michael Winterbottom features such as 24 Hour Party People and The Trip, and his move to more dramatic work in films like Philomena, I think he is a genuine talent all around.  Alan Partridge or Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (as it is titled outside the U.S.) is Coogan’s return to the character that gave him plenty of notoriety.  This is a film version, based around the fictional news personality, putting him in the place of a radio DJ/former talk show host and an action plot that unfolds around him.  It is hilarious and while this Blu-ray limits the great extras that should have come with it, this is a very funny movie for people to check out.

Film: 

The Alan Partridge Movie

When the radio station Alan Partridge works for is taken over by new management, he is quick to save his own hide by suggesting to the new partners to let him keep his job, while others get the sack.  This does not go over well for Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney), who decides to hold the station hostage, after getting fired.  Now, Alan is not so much a captive, but a man walking between the lines, as he finds himself out of the situation pretty quickly, but wants to have plenty of notoriety, and decides to keep himself a hostage, so all can see him on the television.  Saving the hostages comes second.

If it is not clear already, Alan Partridge has issues with being famous.  He craves attention and does everything to make sure he is in the public eye.  Alan is also shallow and narcissistic, but these are aspects of his personality that somehow make him very enjoyable to watch from the outside.  At the end of the day, he is a good person, which helps, but Coogan also knows how to have this character be constantly embarrassed, which works well in keeping his persona in check.  I am not sure how Alan Partridge and Ricky Gervais’ David Brent from The Office would get along, but surely their personalities would lead to something interesting.

Anyway, getting back to the film, I really like this sort of Die Hard meets British humorist idea, which seems to stem naturally from all the folks that have written for the character since the early 90s.  Coogan is obviously right at home with this character and the plotting around him makes for a very entertaining feature in its own right, which did not seem to bother me with its various British references.  While I have watched enough film and television stemming from the UK to have a good enough sense of some cultural differences, it seems like Alan Partridge knows how to play broad and big in a good way, making for a fairly approachable film overall.

Really, it comes down to how much you enjoy Coogan and his character.  Colm Meaney and the various side characters work well into the film as well, but mainly due to it all centering on Alan Partridge, which makes sense.  It is in no way a one-man show, but this film is easily a culmination of what many have liked about the character over the years, let alone a great way for those unfamiliar to have reason to check out just where this Steve Coogan character came from.  Alan Partridge has a lot of fun to offer, just make sure you keep your eyes on him, or he will be upset.

Video:

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Clarity/Detail:  It is almost humorous to see this film look so great on Blu-ray.  Yes, this is a feature film, but apparently the decision was made to have Alan Partridge look fairly cinematic and wonderfully clear on Blu-ray.  The surroundings may be drab, but the film looks cleanly detailed throughout.

Depth:  Aspects of the production make for scenes that provide a solid level of depth within this comedy.

Black Levels: There are a number of darker scenes in this film, which lead to seeing solid black levels on the whole.

Color Reproduction: There are some scenes that feature more dynamic uses of colors than others, but for the most part, this is a film set in an office-type environment, with some outdoor shots that offer nothing special either.  That said, colors scene are presented quite crisply, as far as a film like Alan Partridge is concerned.

Flesh Tones: Facial textures look great throughout this film, as the details of these British folk are always clean and clear, fitting of the Blu-ray.

Noise/Artifacts: None to be found.

 

Audio:

alan partridge whysoblu 4

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French

Dynamics:  While not quite as impressive as the video quality, this audio track does a fine job making its simple mix play well throughout the film, for this Blu-ray.

Low Frequency Extension: Some of the source audio and a few action sequences provide a bit of lift, as far as the LFE channel is concerned.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a well-structured audio track, with the lossless presentation doing a fine job to really show off the effectiveness of this mix overall.

Dialogue Reproduction: This is a dialogue-heavy film and all of Partridge’s witticism are clear to hear.

 

Extras:

Alan Partridge in the studio

It is incredibly irritating to know that plenty of what I am sure or hilarious extra features are only available on the region-B version of this Blu-ray and we only get a handful of standard making-of featurettes.

Features Include:

  • Making of Alan Partridge – A 12-minute look at development of this film, with interviews with Coogan, Meaney, and many of the writers.
  • Behind the Scenes – An unnecessary feature showing a collection of pictures from the set.
  • AXS TV: A Look at Alan Partridge – A pretty basic promo, with some repeated parts from the ‘making-of’.
  • Trailers

Summary:

Alan Partridge The Movie

Lack of better extras aside, this is a very funny movie, especially for fans of Steve Coogan.  Alan Partridge is a hilarious comedy that takes a simple story, a popular character, and some clever writing to make for a good time all around.  The fact that the decision was made to actually provide a cinematic experience to go along with this goofy character makes for a solid Blu-ray release, as far as the technical presentation is concerned.  Check out the film if you’re in a mood to laugh.

Order Your Copy Here:

alan partridge whysoblu thumb

Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS4.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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