Love Actually (2003) 
Blu-ray Romantic Comedy
Written by Noah Fleming   
Monday, 02 November 2009

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“Love Actually” is a little known British romantic comedy.  This is about as good as it gets for modern romantic films.  There is something in this film for everyone.  It is truly the perfect holiday date movie.

The film’s basis lies in the connections among strangers.  The story follows several British individuals that are seemingly all linked.  This is a film of joy, happiness and belief in loving mankind.  Aside from the intricate storylines, the film boasts a tremendously talented cast.  Some of the lead performers are Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney and Keira Knightley.  In addition to the leads, there are numerous cameo spots by actors such as Elisha Cuthbert, Denise Richards, and Shannon Elizabeth.  The list goes on and on.

The film deals with finding love, maintaining love and repairing love among several couples.  This is a heartwarming tale that will sure to impress.

Universal releases this title with a 1080p/VC-1 encode and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio.  The video transfer is much better than the standard DVD, but it still is not as good as I would have liked.  The contrast fluctuates, primarily remaining too hot.  Film grain has been disturbed by noise reduction.  Some scenes are grain filled, while others have been smoothed out, while others still have haphazard grain levels.  Edges are a bit blurred, with edge enhancement present.  On the plus side, the transfer boasts a rich color palette.  While England’s settings are rather dull, the colors remain rich.  Black levels are good, as is shadow delineation.  There is no significant artifacting or crushing.  The source print has some dust and dirt, but nothing too intrusive, save one or two giant blemishes.  Fleshtones fluctuate, but are usually accurate for the atmosphere.  Overall, this is a decent transfer that will leave fans happy.

On the audio side of things, this disc comes with a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track.  As is the bane of romantic comedies, this track is largely front heavy.  There are less than a handful of moments in which the ambience truly surrounds you.  Forget about any discreet effects popping up in the surround channels.  Where this track truly shines is in the music track.  The pop/rock music of the film comes across nice and rich.  All the dynamics in the audio track are contained within the music sequences.  Apart from the music, the track is primarily dialogue driven.  Dialogue is clear and intelligible, though it feels just a bit weak.  LFE support has been neglected.  Even the music sequences don’t contain as much bass as I would have liked.  Nevertheless, this track is true to the original mix.

In terms of the supplemental features, the disc contains the original DVD’s bonus content, as well as some extras available on other releases of the film.  All the features have been left in standard definition, but have been enhanced for widescreen instead of letterboxed.  The original length of the movie was well over three hours.  This Blu-ray contains about 40 minutes of deleted scenes.  Each segment is introduced by the director.  Director Richard Curtis’ introductions are lengthy and incredibly redundant.  I highly advise skipping his intros.  “The Music of ‘Love Actually’” contains more explanations by the director in terms of music choices.  There are two music videos: Kelly Clarkson’s “The Trouble With Love Is” and Billy Mack’s “Christmas Is All Around.”  “The Storytellers” briefly examines the different plots in the film.  Lastly, there is an audio commentary by director Richard Curtis and actors Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy and Thomas Sangster.  This track is okay, but far from truly entertaining.  There are some laughs, but I would suggest it for fans only.  The disc is also enabled with BD-Live.

“Love Actually” is a terrific romantic comedy that is sure to brighten your holidays.  The video and audio transfers are more than adequate, but still leave consumers with something to be desired.  I still highly recommend getting this Blu-ray disc.
Studio Universal Studios Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating R
Starring High Grant, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Bill Nighy, Keira Knightley, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Martine McCutcheon, Billy Bob Thorton
Director Richard Curtis
Film Release Year 2003
Release Year 2009
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
Running Time 2 hrs. 15 mins.
Sound Formats English DTS-HD Master 5.1 • French DTS 5.1 • Spanish DTS 5.1 • German DTS 5.1 • Italian DTS 5.1
Subtitles Dutch • English SDH • French • German • Italian • Spanish
Special Features Director and Actors Commentary; "The Music of 'Love Actually'"; Kelly Clarkson “The Trouble With Love Is" Music Video; Billy Mack "Christmas is All Around" Music Video; "The Storytellers"; Deleted Scenes; BD-Live
Forum Link
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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