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Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009) Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Image"Confessions of a Shopaholic" had potential, but unfortunately, it doesn't know what direction to take.  The film is a farce on shopaholics that attempts to treat it as a serious condition, but ends up falling flat in between the two outcomes.  Despite a tremendous effort by a very talented cast, the film fails to capture the audience and provide much of any entertainment.

I had hope for this film when I learned that Isla Fisher was going to play the lead role.  She was an absolute delight in both "Definitely, Maybe" and "Wedding Crashers."  However, even the warm-hearted Isla Fisher could not pull off this film.  Her opposite in the film is played by Hugh Dancy.  The two don't really display that chemistry on screen that is needed and thus we don't really care about their relationship.

There are a large handful of characters in this film, and none of them seem to offer anything to the film.  There is no common thread.  It feels like a bunch of individual sequences intercut together.  Despite this lack of cohesion, the film is not barren for all entertainment.  A few of the characters that creep up provide some laughs.  Also, it always a treat to watch Isla Fisher's bubbly charisma.

In "Confessions of a Shopaholic," IslaFisher plays Rebecca Blommwood.  She is a young women that writes for a home and garden type magazine and longs to write for Alette magazine, a fashion New York fashion publication.  Bloomwood's one true interest is fashion.  She knows every designer and owns thousands and thousands of dollars worth of clothes and shoes.  This is where she lands herself in deep trouble.  She has more than a couple handfuls of credit cards , each one has reach its limit.  She is so far in debt.  Bloomwood owes about $16,000 in bills.  There is one debt collector however, that is after her for $9,000.  She and her roommate have code signals and various excuses to provide to the debt collector.  However, he is relentless.

Meanwhile, Bloomwood finally gets an interview with Alette magazine, only to find out that the position has already been filled.  The secretary informs her that if she really wants to work for the magazine, she should join one of Alette's sister publications.  Somehow, she thinks she can get a job with a wall street type economic journal.  After embarrassing herself in an interview and have way too much to drink, she writes two letters; one to the editor of Alette and one to the editor of the economic journal.  Unfortunately, she mixes up the letters in her drunken state.

Lucky for Bloomwood, the editor of the economic journal loved her insight into shopping as an addiction and gives her a job.  Don't ever see that happening in the real world.  Bloomwood struggles with her first assignment.  And after only a couple publications she becomes the savior of the journal.  She now has celebrity status, for just a few measly articles in an unpopular magazine. The rest of the film has to deal with the fall of Bloomwood from her high.  The debt collector makes personal contact and embarrasses her on television and her boss finds her to be hypocritical and despicable.  There really isn't any way for this movie to turn out other than for every to go on living a happy life together.  All is forgiven and all is forgotten.  The film almost feels like a sequel to "The Devil Wears Prada," without the wittiness interesting storyline.  A movie centered on shopaholism is just not the best idea.  When used as a sideline it works.  The filmmakers seemed to realize this fact part way through the film as the shopaholic portion fades into the background.  The film is just to wishy washy.

"Confessions of a Shopaholic" comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p, MPEG-4 AVC encode and an aspect ratio of 2.40:1.  The video quality is very good, but not the best the format has to offer for new movie releases.  The image is very vibrant.  All the colors are bold and lush.  The saturation becomes far too heavy at times.  This causes shadow delineation to suffer.  The contrast has been boosted to create this oversaturation, thus objects tend to blend together.  The black levels are strong with no apparent crushing.  The image does pop from the screen.  The details are impressive for the most part.  Like I stated earlier, the saturation seems to swallow objects, so details and textures of some of the objects and costumes are marred by the contrast.  Whites retain their shape with no blooming effects.  There is some minor edge enhancement, which is hardly noticeable.  As expected the source print is impeccably clean.  In fact, the cleanliness of the image creates an almost artificial look to the image.  Overall, this is a very competent transfer.

The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, despite the back cover of the case stating that the disc contains "DTS-HD High Resolution Audio."  The audio is very competent for this genre of film.  The score is the most noticeably dynamic element.  It is spread throughout all the channels.  The LFE channel is present but hardly has a noticeable impact.  The dialogue is anchored in the center and is always intelligible.  There is absolutely nothing memorable about this audio track.  Ambience is kept front heavy for some reason.  There is no enveloping feeling, except for some bled music.

The bonus materials in this package are disappointing, but the movie doesn't it lend itself to great special features.  Despite the amount of stuff to click on, the special features section doesn't take that long to get through.  Half the special features are exclusive to the Blu-ray and half are also included on the standard DVD.  Exclusive to the Blu-ray are three brief production featurettes and two music videos.  The disc also contains some standard features including, bloopers, deleted scenes and another music video.  The second disc in the package is a digital copy.  It appears that Disney did not feel like creating a three-disc edition of this film, which would also include a standard definition version of the film.

"Confessions of a Shopaholic" isn't one of the best films by any means, nor is it a great romantic comedy.  However, there are some entertaining moments in the film and it may just be worth a look for date night.  The audio and video qualities are more than suitable.

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