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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Hollywood Ending [Blu-ray]

 

(Woody Allen, 2002)

 

    

 

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: DreamWorks

Video: Smile

 

Disc:

Region: FREE (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:52:20.000 

Disc Size: 19,407,178,988 bytes

Feature Size: 19,373,697,024 bytes

Video Bitrate: 21.54 Mbps

Chapters: 13

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 27th, 2011

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB

 

Subtitles:

Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, none

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: When he is thrown off his latest effort (a deodorant commercial being filmed in the frozen north), he desperately seeks a real movie project. Out of the blue, Val receives an offer to direct a big-budget blockbuster movie to be set in New York City. However, the offer comes from his former wife (Tea Leoni) and her current boyfriend (Treat Williams), the studio head who stole Val's wife from him. Pushed by his agent (Mark Rydell), Val agrees to the project, but a psychosomatic ailment strikes him blind just before production is to begin. The movie plays out with an aging director struggling to regain his vision, both metaphorically and literally a... Hollywood Ending.

***

Val Waxman (Allen) is a one-time prestigious film director lately reduced to overseeing cheesy television commercials in order to pay his bills and support his current live-in girlfriend (Debra Messing). Woody Allen stars as Val Waxman, a two-time Oscar winner turned washed-up, neurotic director in desperate need of a comeback. When it comes, Waxman finds himself backed into a corner: Work for his ex-wife Ellie (Tea Leoni) or forfeit his last shot. Is Val blinded by love when he opts for the reconnect? Is love blind when it comes to Ellie's staunch support? Literally and figuratively, the proof is the picture.

 

 

The Film:

"Hollywood Ending" is Allen's 44th film, 35 of which he directed and/or wrote, garnering 13 best screenplay and six best director Academy Award nominations. He's a prolific survivor, a kind of male Mae West in the conceit of his irresistibility to the opposite sex. Woody may age (and he wasn't so hunky to begin with), but his presumably inherent sex appeal never does. Of course, it's his mind, not his body, that makes him such a babe magnet. How could any woman resist the former or crave the latter?

His latest entry is rather long between laughs during its second half, but as always the one-liners -- when they hit the mark -- are worth waiting for.

Excerpt from PostGazette located HERE

Woody Allen has always been an eccentric outsider, someone who doesn’t fit in, both in films and in life. Yet he’s outrageously, authentically funny. He can make people laugh. And in this new romantic comedy, playing Val Waxman, a washed-up, hypochondriacal director, what separates him from everyone else is hysterical blindness. This psychosomatic affliction begins just as he’s starting his big-budget comeback Manhattan movie, “The City That Never Sleeps,” which is being produced by his sympathetic, supportive ex-wife (Tea Leoni) who’s now engaged to a studio boss (Treat Williams). As the complicated plot unfolds, Val’s trusty, loyal agent (Mark Rydell) tries to help him keep his condition secret. But the true hilarity of the satirical farce occurs when this ridiculous deception coincides with Val’s need to communicate his cinematic vision to his cast and crew.

Excerpt from SusanGranger located HERE

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

In our FB group we posted some of our favorite Woody Allen films. There was lots of support for the expected; Annie Hall, Manhattan, Hannah and Her Sisters, Broadway Danny Rose, Stardust Memories etc. - I continue to appreciate Match Point, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Mighty Aphrodite, Love and Death, Small Time Crooks and many others. However, I was the only one that included Hollywood Ending on their list! I think it's hilarious but I see critics were lukewarm on it, too. What.Ever. This 1.78:1 Blu-ray from Scandinavia is the only one I could find for the film. The 1080P image quality shows bright colors, some depth and is superior to SD with decent detail. It's a single-layered disc with a reasonable bitrate. It probably will never look significantly superior to this.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Audio is unfortunately lossy - via a simply Dolby stereo track. As per Woody's penchant there is a lot of vintage music in the film from Bing Crosby, Gene Krupa & Benny Goodman, plus Dick Powell, Frances Langford, Johnnie Davis (as Johnny "Scat" Davis) singing Hooray for Hollywood, two numbers performed by Jackie Gleason etc.. There are optional Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Finnish subtitles (and a 'none' option) and my Oppo has identified it as being region FREE playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

 

Extras :

Nothing - not even a trailer.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
Hollywood Ending never gets stale for me. It always amuses me and has some of the hottest babes in a Woody Allen film with Téa Leoni, Debra Messing and a ridiculously sexy Tiffani Thiessen. This Scandinavian, bare-bones, Blu-ray is far from ideal but gives a superior video presentation than SD. It's not worth the double-dip if you have the DVD but is the best way to see the film until another 1080P release, hopefully, surfaces soon. I fully endorse the film - especially to film fans who may get some of the more subtle nuances of filmmaking humor. Ex. the quote regarding Haley Joel Osment's "Lifetime Achievement Award" (who would have been 14 at the time of Hollywood Ending), was a mocking reference by Woody of his personal distaste and perceived silliness and absurdity over the extensive, self-congratulatory, award shows. I also loved the line "I love you, Scumbag." Such is moi.

Gary Tooze

December 16th, 2016

 

    

 

 


 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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