My Life in Ruins (2009) 
Blu-ray Romantic Comedy
Written by Noah Fleming   
Friday, 16 October 2009

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“My Life In Ruins” is another one of the few films that is set in Greece.  It has a simply story that doesn’t really take the audience on much of an adventure as one might hope.  I was hoping to see a bunch of wonderful ancient ruins, but alas the ruins are only secondary to a rather dull story.

Georgia (Nia Vardalos)is a touring guide in Greece that is always slave to the worst group of tourists.  She longs to be a professor of ancient Greece, but is rejected by every university.  Her tours are very structure, fully of historical facts.  Her tour groups are bored out of their minds.  However, when a lonely widowed-man and a reserved bus driver interfere in her life, she begins to relax and open up.  She begins to tell interesting stories and start a romance with the bus driver.

So, as is the nature of romantic comedies, everything is happy go lucky in the end.  The story is simply lacking any depth.  Other than that the film has some laughs.

The film comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC encode and a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  This is a low-budget film, but the video quality is quite sublime.  The colors are pleasing and nicely saturated.  Fleshtones are natural for the most part.  The black levels are fairly strong, but suffer a little due to occasional overblown contrast levels.  It is difficult to shoot sequences in the bright sunlight of Greece and so a lower F-stop was used to cut the light and thus darken the scene.  In telecine the image was boosted and that artificial boost is noticeable on Blu-ray.  Details are fairly sharp, though there are a few soft shots.  Textures are decent and the slight layer of film grain adds a nice quality to the image.  Foregrounds and backgrounds are nicely delineated.  Shadows are also distinguished.  Compared to other low-budget films, this film has probably the best video transfer.

The audio is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.  This is a typical audio track for a romantic comedy.  There is nothing really happening in the surround channels.  There is some typical music bleed and fake ambience, but you have to struggle in order to hear them.  Dialogue is clear for the most part.  There is a balance issue between the dialogue and music.  Sometimes the dialogue gets lost.  The front heavy mix is nicely separated from left to right.  There is no real LFE impact.  Dynamics are decent, as is frequency response.  This track will not provide the end all be all sonic experience, but it works well for the type of movie.

“My Life in Ruins” comes with a simple supplements package.  There is an alternate ending and a few deleted scenes, which come with an optional director’s commentary.  “Everybody Love Poupi” is a brief segment that makes Poupi the center of attention.  Lastly, there are three separate audio commentary tracks.  The first is with Nia Varadalos, the second with director Donald Petrie and the third with writer Mike Reiss.  None of these tracks work as a standalone.  This is a case in which all three should have been combined into one track.  There are also some Fox movie trailers and previews available.

“My Life in Ruins” is a simple film that has some entertainment value, but its repeatability is not very high.  The video transfer is quite pleasing, while the audio transfer is more typical of this genre of film.  This one is worth a look.

Studio 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating PG-13
Starring Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Alexis Georgoulis, Rachel Dratch, Harland Williams, Caroline Goodall, Ian Ogilvy, Sophie Stuckey, Maria Botto
Director Donald Petrie
Film Release Year 2009
Release Year 2009
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Running Time 1 hr. 35 mins.
Sound Formats English DTS-HD Master 5.1 • French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English SDH • French • Spanish
Special Features Actor Audio Commentary; Director Audio Commentary; Writer Audio Commentary; Deleted Scenes; Alternate Ending; “Everybody Loves Poupi”
Forum Link
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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