New York, I Love You (2009) 
Blu-ray Romantic Drama
Written by Noah Fleming   
Monday, 08 February 2010

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"New York, I Love You" is a sequel to an independent film, Pairs Je t'aime, which covered the love relationships of persons in Paris.  This follow-up takes place in New York.  As with most sequels, this film is not nearly as good as the original.  In fact, the film is masked by obscure directors' intentions.

"New York, I Love You" is compiled of segments shot by several different directors.  Leaving out the fact that this is a sequel, many audiences will find the film pointless.  Not knowing about the premise, one would expect the storylines to intersect in the end, much like "Love Actually."  Alas, they do not.  Each segment is so bland that you just want to skip to the next one and then the next one and the next one, out wait we've reached the end of the film in 30 seconds.

There are occasional interesting moments, but they are completely overshadowed by all the dull moments.  In fact, I could even name you one off the top of my.  But they are buried in there somewhere.

The film follows a dozen or so relationships in New York.  Some are unique and some are mundane.  The cast is riddled with household names, each having a couple minutes of screen time.  While I understand the concept of the film, it just doesn't translate well to onscreen entertainment.  You know what you are in for when every scene is centered around smoking.

The film is comprised of comedy, drama and mystery.  However, none of them are strongly developed.

"New York, I Love You" comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p/AVC encode with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio.  This video transfer is deceptive.  Many viewers will be horrified at the picture quality.  However, the image is exactly as the filmmakers intended it.  It is a stylistic choice.  The technical transfer is actually very good.  Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that this is a pleasant image to watch.  On the contrary, it is fairly ugly.  Chalk that up to the shadows cast by the New York landscape.  The image is very dirty looking.  Digital cameras were used to record all the segments, so it is a little jarring to see natural lighting on the big screen.  Contrast is constantly lacking balance.  It becomes distracting when shot after shot consists of both dark spots and overblown spots.  There is nothing proper to focus on.  Again, this is stylistic and not the transfer.  Colors are fairly strong, but can also be drained when called for.  Details are horrendous for the most part.  The segments are made up of panning and handheld camerawork, never a good combination.  If you watch this film on a large screen you will feel like you need glasses.  Backgrounds and foregrounds alike are blurred.  However, when static shots are used the details are strong.  Textures are lacking overall.  For most this is not going to be an easy film to look at.  But, technically this is an efficient transfer.

The audio is presented in DTS-HD 5.1.  The audio track is as bland as can be.  One would expect sequences that take place in bustling New York City to be enveloping.  Sadly, this is a front-heavy mix.  The surround ambience is hardly present and thus not very immersive.  There are a few of discreet effects in the surrounds, but they are placed very well in the soundfield.  Music can either by in the forefront or hardly present.  Either way the music track is forgetful.  Dynamics are flat and the frequency remains in the midrange.  The LFE channel is absent for the most part.  Dialogue is clear and well-prioritized.  While this film is supposed to be centered on the characters, sound still makes up at least 50 percent of the movie experience.  So, the lack of an effect sound design hinders the film.

There are a few bonus materials on this disc.  The main special feature is two deleted segments from the film.  One is directed by Scarlett Johansson and the other stars Carla Gugino.  They total about 30 minutes, so I am for one thankful they were deleted.  There are five interviews with various directors from the film.  Lastly, there is a trailer of the film.

"New York, I Love You" is a not for everyone.  Mainly this is an artsy film that requires a certain patience to get through.  I might give it a rent if you think you might be interested in this genre.
Studio Vivendi Home Entertainment
MPAA Rating R
Starring Bradley Cooper, Natalie Portman, Rachel Bilson, Hayden Christensen, Shia LaBeouf, Blake Lively, Ethan Hawke, Maggie Q, Orlando Bloom, Christina Ricci, et. al.
Director Jiang Wen, Mira Nair, Brett Ratner, Natalie Protman, et. al.
Film Release Year 2009
Release Year 2010
Resolution(s) 1080p (main feature) • 480i (supplements)
Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Running Time 1 hr. 43 mins.
Sound Formats English DTS-HD Master 5.1
Subtitles English SDH
Special Features Two Deleted Segments, Five Director Interviews, Trailer
Forum Link
Reviewer Noah Fleming

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