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(aka 'Woody Allen Summer Project')

Directed by Woody Allen
USA 2005

As I had some opposing viewpoints with friends in email, whom - by the way - I greatly respect, I purposely waited quite a while to post this review after my initial viewing... where I was quite emphatic about how good this film is. I have since seen it twice more and my opinion hasn't changed. If this is not my favorite Woody Allen film, it is definitely in my personal top 5 (I'd include Crimes and Misdemeanors, Mighty Aphrodite, Anne Hall and Love and Death).

Allen is working towards being the most prolific modern director ever to come out of the United States, if he is not already - 42 films to date and holding strong at a healthy 70 years of age. But what separates him from most of his contemporaries is that his films are consistently above grade - almost exclusively ranging from better-than-average to as lofty as masterpiece status. I choose the latter superlative for Match Point not only for its perceptive examination of power struggles in modern relationships, ambition and guilt, as much as I commend his decision to take the chance he did in making it. Don't be fooled - Woody Allen knows how to make popular films folks, but he precariously balances this with desire to make important films. He took a chance with this and hence audiences are quite divided - this alone makes it worthy of examination. The complaints? - Jonathan Rhys Meyers' flat performance - certainly purposeful (reminding one of Bresson) to intentionally elicit focus on the main premise of the film - and thereby heightening emotional impact in the conclusion.

Match Point is sexy, mysterious, suspense-driven, eventful and essentially quite unforgettable. The performances are basically one dimensional - aside from the moral slippage of the protagonist - conveniently reading Crime and Punishment in the beginning of the film. Scarlett Johansson has never looked better (as good as any female has a right to look) and her character generously gives to Rhys Meyers - an extremely important cog in the brilliant evolution of this story. Obvious comparisons are made to Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors - the sterility of murder and the cold blanket of its cumulative effect. For me this is a favorite film of the past few years and one I should have added to this article had I seen it first. Nothing short of perfection and we should be enormously grateful to have Allen as a working filmmaker. Don't miss out on this masterpiece - out of

Gary W. Tooze

Posters

Theatrical Release: May 12th, 2005 - Cannes Film Festival

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Comparison:

Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC vs. TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray vs. Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

1) Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution Dreamworks Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC TF1 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:04:20  2:03:58.764 2:04:45.978
Video 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.52 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s  

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,507,196,568 bytes

Feature: 27,748,374,528 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,071,953,712 bytes

Feature: 27,909,003,264 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

DVD

Bitrate: TF1

Blu-ray

Bitrate: Medusa

Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)   LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit (has forced French subtitles)
LPCM Audio French 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
LPCM Audio Italian 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None French (mandatory when English is chosen), None Italian, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Dreamworks Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1

Edition Details:

• trailer for Munich

DVD Release Date: April 25th, 2006

Keep Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: TF1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,507,196,568 bytes

Feature: 27,748,374,528 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.95 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Making of... (12:56 in English and HD!)

• Trailers

Blu-ray Release Date: November 27th, 2008

Custom Tin
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 24

Release Information:
Studio: Medusa Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 30,071,953,712 bytes

Feature: 27,909,003,264 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.93 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• A Conversation with Woody Allen and cast (17:00)

• Trailer (1:03)

Blu-ray Release Date: November 24th, 2010

Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters: 24

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Medusa Video (Italy) Region 'B' Blu-ray December 10': A/V Quality is about the same as the French TF1 with some differences in color (skin tones) but, thankfully, the subtitles on this Italian Blu-ray ARE removable (not mandatory). The disc defaults to the lossless Italian language and while it cannot be changed on-the-fly to original English (also linear PCM 2.0 channel) you may select via the start-up menu to have English audio and no subtitles. Hooray!

An interesting, 17-minute, 'Conversation with Woody Allen and Cast' is included (with forced Italian subtitles) and while I would still have preferred a director commentary - this is nice to hear him talk about his work and the importance of Match Point. There is also a weak-looking trailer.

It doesn't appear that DreamWorks will ever push this title to Blu-ray and Europeans seem to appreciate Allen's masterpiece to a much higher degree. The Medusa edition is the definitive for those who value Match Point's brilliance and want to see and hear it in its best home theater format. Even the menus are in English!

***

ADDITION: TF1 Blu-ray July 09': Another disappointment in that the TFI Blu-ray has a strong image, excellent linear PCM audio BUT has mandatory French subtitles when English language is chosen. You can see the image quality below - it's good, everything tightens up - but the DVD actually wasn't bad at all - if bare-bones. Skin tones lose their orange/yellow but gain redness and there is a smidgeon more information in the frame. The HD audio is wonderful with all the crackling operatic pieces and there is even a 'making of...' with interviews of Allen and the cast. It's shame that it doesn't allow you to see the film in 1080P with original audio but no forced subs - I assume it's a contractual thing but I really wish this would surface in Region 'A'. I should note that I did have an instance of the Blu-ray playing kind of wonky but it only happened once. Anyway - we recommend passing on this hi-def for now but we do love the tin-case!

***

ON THE DVD: Strong image from Dreamworks - sharp, progressive, anamorphic, good colors and balanced contrast. There are well rendered white optional subtitles - the audio is in Allen's preferred mono (1.0 track doubled over two channels) and there are no extras save a trailer for Spielberg's Munich. Aside from its bare bones status (conventionally smelling of a gamble-less studio move) this is a fine DVD - accurately representing the theatrical appearance. For the value of the film the price is a steal and we strongly recommend.

Gary W. Tooze

 


DVD Menus

 

Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray RIGHT


 
 

 

Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray

 


Subtitle Sample

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

1) Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) Dreamworks - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray MIDDLE

3) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

1) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

1) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

1) TF1 Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray TOP

2) Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


DVD Box Cover

 

Distribution Dreamworks Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC TF1 - Region 'B' - Blu-ray Medusa Video - Region 'B' - Blu-ray




 

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