Notting Hill (HD-DVD)
B†††† Sound: B†††† Extras: C-†††† Film: C-
Mitchellís Notting Hill (1999) is a
strange and unsuccessful attempt to recreate the success of the Hugh Grant hit Four Weddings & A Funeral bringing
back Grant and teaming him up (as a bookseller) with Julia Roberts (as a movie
start he becomes interested in) and hoping sparks fly.† Roberts was red hot at the time and the
pairing makes sense, but the film (from Four
Weddings writer Richard Curtis) never really works.
It was a
moderate hit at the time, but you never hear too many people talking about
it.† It is pleasant passive entertainment
at best, but very lightweight and stays flat throughout.† The only novelty it has going for it is
Roberts in England, the locations of which is a plus for the film.† Otherwise, this is dull.† Rhys Ifans also stars.
2.35 X 1 VC-1 digital High Definition image was shot by Michael Coulter, B.S.C.
in Super 35mm and this is an older HD transfer with more than a few soft
moments.† Universal rightly thought this
master would suffice and that softness is form the transfer, not from the way
it was shot.† It looks better than a DVD
and is likely the old master used for the D-VHS version.
Digital Plus 5.1 sounds like a second-generation copy of the original DTS
tracks that the film sported, though his was never a sonically superior film in
the first place.† The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 is
a little better, but nothing spectacular and more like the old DTS.† Trevor Jones supplies the predictable
score.† Extras include two Music Videos,
music highlights, deleted scenes, theatrical trailer, Spotlight On Location featurette, Hugh Grantís Movie Tips, The
Travel Book and full feature length audio commentary with Mitchell, Curtis
& Producer Duncan Kenworthy.
-†† Nicholas Sheffo