|Monte Carlo (2011)|
|Blu-ray Romantic Comedy|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Friday, 21 October 2011|
The film lacks conviction, motivation, inspiration, passion and every other descriptor that you can possibly think of. The 109-minute runtime feels more like that of “Gone With The Wind.” It is excruciating to get through.
I thought there might at least be some charm in this tween romance, but nada. Selena Gomez delivers one of her most stale, lifeless performances. In all fairness, she didn’t have much to go on. The script is beyond horrible.
Stop me if you have heard this one before. Two best friends, joined by a chaperoning step-sister take a trip to Paris where all goes wrong so they are mistaken for socialites and whisked away to Monte Carlo where every seems fine until the inevitable reveal.
That’s right, this is nothing more than a story told a million times, and a story told a million time better than this one. Selena Gomez normally has such appeal on the big screen, but here, not so much. The relationship stories of the three main girls is contrite and overly drawn out. I lost track of how many obnoxiously long pauses occur between characters in the film.
It seems as if the filmmakers didn’t know what to do with this film either, hence the pauses. Any part of the story that actually does have a train to follow is utterly predictable. There is really simply nothing to enjoy about this film. That is harsh considering it is coming from someone that finds even the ounce of enjoyment in every feature film and television presentation. I just can’t bring myself to think of any here. I didn’t laugh or display any other sort of emotion in this film. Bad scripting. Bad directing. Just bad all around.
The video quality of this Blu-ray transfer is not much better than the actual quality of the film, odd considering the highly AVC bitrate, stated as 35.5 Mbps. Watching this disc you may be thinking what a crummy transfer. In fact, the original intentions of the video quality have been much preserved. However, this is not good news. The cinematography is amateur at best. Shots are inconsistent, in and out of focus, which is how you can tell this is not the fault of the transfer. The overall image is soft, to the point that details are noticeably lost. In particular it is the lack texture that makes every look dingy and flat. Facial and hair textures are absent. The end result is an image that looks much like a TV presentation with the motion and compression artifacting. At least that is noticeably absent. The colors range from nicely saturated to murky. Shadows, particularly at the beginning are heavy, swallowing whatever detail was present. Black levels are not fully resolved and as such objects such as Selena Gomez’s silky black hair turns into a blob. As mentioned earlier, much of this seems to be a problem with the original production. Without a complete overall in post-production I doubt this film would look any different on Blu-ray.
The audio track, presented in DTS-HD MA, is perfectly fine. However, it is nothing memorable and falls in with every other rom-dram. The surround channels contain only bled information. There is not one moment of discreetness in the rear soundfield. The LFE is noticeably absent with the exception of one brief segment with fireworks. The mix is largely front heavy and the balance of the mix is typical of a low-budget tween film. The dialogue is clear but hardly weighty. Frequency response is limited by the original mix and the dynamic range is flat as a pancake. Nevertheless, the audio track is the best part of the release, which is hardly saying a lot.
“Monte Carlo” comes to Blu-ray with a fairly typical set of bonus materials. There are a few deleted scenes, an interactive game, a featurette on the boys of the film, a backstage featurette on the make-up, giggling girls, costume design, location shooting and a trailer. Oh, and a Digital Copy of the disc so you can take this with you when you travel to Monte Carlo. Just kidding.
As I said, razzie award, perhaps even for the Blu-ray release itself. Steer clear on all accounts: film, video and audio qualities.