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Valentine's Day (2010) Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Image"Valentine's Day" flew in and out of theaters in no time flat.  Blink and you would have missed it.  And it is no surprise why.  This film falls into all the traps of romantic comedies.  Sure, I know that there are only some many plots for romantic comedies, but it is the job of the screenwriters and filmmakers to put an original spin on it.  Unfortunately, that did not happen here.

The film boasts a tremendous cast and that is about it.  The film relies on the big names in the film rather than the actual film.  This may be an intentional ploy as filmmakers realized the film would flop.

I won't go into each and every character and cast member, but to sum up, there are no stellar performances here despite the caliber of the cast.  You can't help but cringe at Taylor Swift's overdone blonde bimbo act.  All the rest of the characters blend together that you can't tell where one performance ends and another begins.

Likewise, the stories all run together.  It seems like the filmmakers were trying to recreate the marvelous "Love Actually" film but creating numerous relationships, cut back and forth among them and then connect them all in the end.  Unfortunately, the film is filled with long-winded scenes that go nowhere.  Predictability is a joke.  It is plainly obvious to see where each relationship is going to end up.  The filmmakers devote too much time to the less interesting of the relationships.

Jennifer Garner and Ashton Kutcher are the primary relationship for the film.  However, the predictability of their best friend relationship is blatantly obvious.  There is some puppy love relationships, teenager angst relationships, cheating husbands, lonely office workers, the works.  Every cliché that could take place in a romantic comedy set on Valentine's Day occurs in this film.

The film may make an okay date night when you don't plan on actually watching the film.  Plus, with its overdrawn, 2-hour runtime there is plenty of time for those extracurricular activities.
"Valentine's Day" has a VC-1, 1.78:1 encode that doesn't leave a thought about it after the finale.  The film is colorful, but the balance of blacks, contrast and brightness don't play very well with each leaving the image less than vibrant.  There is virtually no dimensionality to the image.  Blacks and shadows overwhelm details on many occasions.  Fleshtones are stable but not exactly natural.  There is a bit of artifacting going on in the background of more than a handful of shots that will catch you off guard a few times.  In the end, this is a video transfer that isn't horrible by any means but will certainly not leave a lasting impression.

Here we go again.  Another romantic comedy yielding another boring audio track.  The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track doesn't have much going on.  The rear speakers contain absolutely no discreet effects and bleed in the rear channels goes unnoticed throughout.  There is no real depth to the soundscape.  Dialogue is the primary component as to be expected.  It is delivered without any major glitches.  There is only one line that I could not make out regardless of volume level.  After a dozen rewinds, I finally resorted to turning on the English subtitles to catch the line.  Even then it didn't make sense.  Dynamics are flat.  The LFE channel is absent throughout.  Yet another completely forgettable audio track.

"Valentine's Day" comes with more special features than more deserving films.  There is even an audio commentary by director Garry Marshall.  He is always entertaining and doesn't disappoint with this track.  "The Star Confess Their Valentine's Day Stories" is a gimmick.  "The Garry Factor" is a featurette devoted to kissing Marshall feet.  There is a Blooper Reel and some additional scenes, neither of which are very funny or insightful.  The Blu-ray also contains a music video of Jewel's "Stay Here Forever."  The package also contains a second disc that functions as a DVD Copy and Digital Copy.

"Valentine's Day" is a snoozer.  Plan to have something else to do if this film is on.  This is a rental for any romantic comedy enthusiasts but skip for everyone else.

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