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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Drama > The Women (2008/Warner Blu-ray + DVD-Video)

The Women (2008/Warner Blu-ray + DVD-Video)


Picture: B-/C+/C     Sound: B-/C+/C     Extras: C     Film: C



When George Cukor was dropped from directing Gone With The Wind, which eventually had four directors, he immediately picked up a film adaptation of Claire Booth Luce’s catty book The Women about rich ladies in New York not exactly getting along in what was then the new city and a “man’s world” in 1939.  Nearly 70 years later, Diane English (after many years of development) finally found herself pulling of a remake of a film that has become a favorite above cult status and she decided to direct her own script.


The 2008 version also sports a seriously heavyweight all-female star cast including Annette Bening, Meg Ryan, Eva Mendez, Jada Pinkett Smith, Debra Messing, Debi Mazar, Candice Bergen, Bette Midler, Carrie Fisher, Cloris Leachman, Lynn Whitfield, Ana Gasteyer and a very formidable supporting cast in what amounts to what was hoped to be a classy A-list comedy that showed off its cast to best comic effect.  It did not turn out that way.


English’s directing was not bad and the cast is good, but the problem is that the new script repeats the original too much, has no new edge to offer, no new comedy, is everything we have seen before and worst of all, does not do enough to examine the changes that have happened since the original.  That makes the audience smarter than the film more often than it should.  That’s a shame, because I like the cast and there was some potential here for this to really work.  However, it will be a curio at best with some fans, but not up to the original.  Not that I liked Cukor’s film so much, but it was tighter and more unique.  This is just too plain for its own good.



The 1080p 1.85 X 1 digital High Definition image was shot on Super 35mm film, but Anastas N. Michos comes up with mixed results.  On top of that, the transfer here is weak and almost looks like HD; the victim of overzealous digital internegative work, looking even worse on the double-sided DVD.  The anamorphically enhanced side is even weaker and the pan & scan flipside is so bad, it is embarrassing.  All three versions only come with Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes, also getting worse with the picture and really choppy on the pan & scan DVD side.


Extras include additional scenes and two featurettes: The Women Behind The Women and The Women: The Legacy, the latter of which looks at the Cukor original.  Too bad the Blu-ray at least did not include a bonus Blu-ray disc with their 1939 film, but only the DVD offers Digital Copy (so have a low-def copy on your PC or PC portable device) for those interested.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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