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A view from the Blu (-ray) on DVDBeaver by Leonard Norwitz


A Little Background     Openers     


    Modus Operandi     The Scorecard:     

Emotive Connection      Audio     Operations    Extras     The Movie     Equipment





Fool's Gold [Blu-ray]


(Andy Tennant, 2008)







Review by Leonard Norwitz



Theatrical: Warner Bros. Pictures

Blu-ray: Warner Home Video



Region: A

Runtime: 113 min

Chapters: 25

Size: 25 GB

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: June 17, 2008



Aspect ratio: 2.40:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: VC-1



English DD 5.1 Surround, French DD 5.1 Surround, Spanish DD 5.1 Surround



Feature: English, French, Spanish



• Flirting With Adventure: Chemistry Between the Stars (3:54)

• Gag Reel (2:16)



The Film: 3
Excerpting Mike LaSalle in his SF Chronicle review, he writes:
'The funniest thing in "Fool's Gold" wasn't intended to be funny. It comes a third of the way in, and it's the scene in which Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson tell about the shipwreck of a treasure-bearing Spanish vessel hundreds of years ago. This is the scene in which they, more or less, give you the story - the story that's supposed to fascinate and enthrall you. But the story they tell is so intricate, so convoluted and so full of various character names that it becomes impossible to follow.'

But then why should they have it any easier than the audience? "Fool's Gold" is a romantic comedy and an adventure story, but in this case that just means it bombs in two distinct ways. It presents us with a photogenic but estranged couple and invites us to want them to get back together. And it shows the two of them collaborating in the search for ancient treasure. But from the opening credits to the unsatisfying finish, it remains a matter of profound indifference whether these people ever find love or wealth. Good for them if they do, but it would be no more pleasing than reading about strangers winning the lottery.

McConaughey is a charismatic actor, but in "Fool's Gold" he plays a total washout, with big plans and a line of patter, but nothing much going for him. Essentially, he's the comic character, but he's much better at reacting than being zany, while Hudson spends most of the movie looking worried, when she's potentially the more bubbly and skilled comic personality.


Image: 7/8.5
(I've begun to use a new scoring system for the Image in order to have the first number rationalize with the other scores.) The first number indicates a relative level of excellence compared to other Blu-ray DVDs on a ten-point scale. The second number, also on a ten-point scale, places this image along the full range of DVDs, including SD 480i.

Fool's Gold runs the gamut of locations: above and below the coastal waters of Queensland, Australia, and some at the Bahamas; above and below the decks of various boats, some of them bloody luxurious; some nighttime shots and some work in a saloon. Daytime outdoor shots of Fool's Gold on my front projection system tend to have a kind of plasma TV look – like the color is set to Vivid. I thought the image probably reflected the intentions of the cinematographer: more like a Pepsi commercial than a realistic movie. While the outdoor shots of boats, water, babes and hunks all had plenty of snap, I imagine if you were looking at this movie on a typical plasma, it might feel like too much of a good thing. Interior shots were occasionally murky as if to suggest cigarette smoke or fog without actually being either.














Audio & Music: 7/7
The audio here is your basic 5.1: unremarkable, but satisfactory. Considering the intent – meaning that Fool's Gold is neither much of as thriller nor a drama, I didn't feel that I was missing much. I would have enjoyed the improved clarity of an uncompressed mix for underwater sounds and boat noises but, as I say, the audio is satisfactory, but unremarkable.


Operations: 8
As usual, Warner separates itself from those self-promoting DVD studios with their endless "Coming on Blu-ray" previews requiring endless clicking to get to the business at hand. Not so, Warner! As for the menu operations, there are no tricks, nor particularly creative solutions to get from here to there. We can return to the main menu from a bonus feature with ease.



Extras: 5
Two mercifully brief extras hardly add up to what is implied by either "features" or "bonus." Together, they total a mere six and a quarter minutes. One of them, titled "Gag Reels" distances itself so much from the events in question, they appear more like candid shots taken by a passerby. The other, which purports to extol the chemistry between Hudson and McConaughey, might best have been described by Peter Travers in his review of the movie itself: " For the record, you're more likely to discover treasure under your multiplex seat than detect any chemistry between McConaughey and Hudson HERE. Same could be said for "Flirting with Adventure."




Bottom line: 3
Some lightweight romantic comedies rise to the level of "harmless" if we do not feel our time has actually been squandered, let alone the price of a ticket or a rental. Fool's Gold is not one of them: for be warned, it is aptly named - pretty, even dazzling at times (McConaughey and the scenery, at any rate), but about the worth of a chunk of pyrite.

Leonard Norwitz
June 14th, 2008








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