No Strings Attached (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)
No Strings Attached - Blu-ray Review
Overall: 4.1 Stars (out of 5)
Emotionally unencumbered and sexually satisfied, friends with benefits Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) have an open relationship that suits them just fine. That is, until those pesky little things called feelings enter the picture. Ivan Reitman directs and Kevin Kline and Cary Elwes co-star in this comedy that explores the perks and pitfalls of modern romance.
Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Olivia Thirlby, Greta Gerwig, Mindy Kaling
Blu-ray Release Date:
May 10, 2011
English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Overall rating weighted as follows:
Audio 40%, Video 40%, Special Features 20%, Movie - its just our opinion so take it with a grain of salt
Audio 3.6 Stars (out of 5)
Dolby and DTS Demo Discs used as basis for comparison
● Subwoofer - 4.0 Stars
● Dialog - 4.0 Stars
● Surround Effects - 3.0 Stars
● Dynamic Range - 3.5 Stars
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
When the movie first starts up you hear "I Wanna Sex You Up" by Color Me Bad, booming through your system. Music is featured quite a bit in this movie, and believe it or not there are a couple of dance sequences that sound very good as well. In fact they are the best sounding thing in this film. Dialog is okay for most of the film, although I did have to rewind a few times to here the words some of the mumbling actors were saying. The surround effects are barely used with a few crowd noises here and there, and few bird chirps in a garden. Other than that their isn't much action to be had on this Blu-rays audio presentation.
Video 4.7 Stars (out of 5)
Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray Edition used as basis for comparison
● Color Accuracy - 4.5 Stars
● Shadow detail - 4.5 Stars
● Clarity - 5.0 Stars
● Skin tones - 5.0 Stars
● Compression - 4.5 Stars
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC, Resolution: 1080p, Aspect ratio: 2.40:1, Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
I think movie studios know romantic comedies don't have much to offer in the audio department, so they compensate by have great video performance, this movie is no exception. The clarity is stunning. I feel like they purposefully wore clothing with very detailed patterns and designs to show off how crystal clear the film could be. I couldn't help but notice hair in all the scenes, a few loose hairs in the wind, beard stubble, and chest hair all looked crazy clear. Colors also come to life and are very vibrant, it almost made me want to buy a yellow Michigan sweatshirt.
Bonus Features 3.0 Stars (out of 5)
● Audio Commentary with the film's director Ivan Reitman.
● Sex Friends: Getting Together (1080p, 20:46): A featurette with interviews of the cast, director, and writer.
● Inside the Sassy Halls of Secret High (1080p, 11:22): Making of the high school dance sequences.
● Modern Love: The Dos and Don'ts (1080p, 8:47): Cast and crew discuss the give advice on how to survive modern-day relationships.
● Deleted Scenes (1080p, 11:04): 6 scenes.
● Alternate Storyline Scenes (1080p, 3:44): 2 scenes
● Digital Copy.
● DVD Copy.
Movie - 3.0 Stars (out of 5)
Like most romantic comedies, this movie is predictable. You can tell from the title of the film what is going to happen. Since they can't surprise you with the plot, they need to get you like the characters and sympathize with them. I think they did a pretty good job of it.
Natalie Portman is a great actress. She gives a solid performance in this film, it's so good it makes her stick out like a sore thumb. Don't get me wrong, Ashton Kutcher did a decent job and is charismatic and likeable in this movie. However, when he has to share emotional scenes with an Oscar winner and it makes him look stiff and a bit silly. The rest of the cast does a fine job at keeping the movie light and funny at times.
Overall, would have to say this move is enjoyable. It reminds us love is much more intimate and fulfilling than sex. At times it even tries its hand at showing how "modern unconventional relationships" still lead to the same place they have for thousands of years ... love.
Posted by The HT Guys, May 10, 2011 7:18 AM
About The HT GuysThe HT Guys, Ara Derderian and Braden Russell, are Engineers who formerly worked for the Advanced Digital Systems Group (ADSG) of Sony Pictures Entertainment. ADSG was the R&D unit of the sound department producing products for movie theaters and movie studios.
Two of the products they worked on include the DCP-1000 and DADR-5000. The DCP is a digital cinema processor used in movie theaters around the world. The DADR-5000 is a disk-based audio dubber used on Hollywood sound stages.
ADSG was awarded a Technical Academy Award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2000 for the development of the DADR-5000. Ara holds three patents for his development work in Digital Cinema and Digital Audio Recording.
Every week they put together a podcast about High Definition TV and Home Theater. Each episode brings news from the A/V world, helpful product reviews and insights and help in demystifying and simplifying HDTV and home theater.