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Chocolat Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Lionsgate/Miramax
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 19, 2011
  • List Price: $19.99

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BestBuy.com:
Chocolat - Widescreen Dubbed AC3 Dts

Purchase Chocolat on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

From the Joanne Harris novel, Chocolat, is a quietly charming romance starring Juliette Binoche about a single mother, Vianne (Juliette Binoche) and her young daughter in the 1950s who move to a rural village in France and open a chocolatier. The town’s rigid morality, driven by the Mayor, Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina), is instantly at odds with the free-spirited single mother whose chocolate shop immediately flouts the religious ideals by opening with Sunday hours during Lent. Her flashy manner of dress — red shoes, red skirts, red cloaks – don’t help any either. It only gets worse for her when a group of river gypsies settle on the public waterfront and Vianne befriends one of the charming young fellows (Johnny Depp) over the objections of the Comte, who wants them out. Gradually, however, the power of Vianne’s chocolate opens the repressed people of the town up to a whole new way of life and love, slowly bringing them around to her side – but not the Comte who is determined to drive her out.

Chocolat is sweet and understated, finding its strength from the wonderful performance from Binoche, who dominates nearly every frame. Depp puts in a worthy performance as well in this otherwise understated film.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The AVC/MPEG-4 transfer of Chocolat is competent and film-like, but it probably won’t be moving to the top of anyone’s list for reference material anytime soon. Overall, the image looks quite flat and soft and there are a few instances where some surface damage is apparent. Flesh tones look a little too pinkish, but this is most likely due to wanting the reds of Juliette Binoche’s shoes, cloak, skirt, and other pieces of wardrobe to really pop, which they tend to do.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack is rather boring, with surround channels that are nearly dead silent and only somewhat active stereo field upfront. Dialogue is clean and there is only a mildly wide dynamic range.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

With all the supplements here being recycled from DVD and offered in standard definition, the extras aren’t really wellspring and make the release feel barebones.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Audio Commentary with Director Lasse Hallström and Producers David Brown, Kit Golden, and Leslie Holleran
  • The Making of Chocolat (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:28:41)
  • The Costumes of Chocolat (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:04:20)
  • The Production Design Featurette (1.33:1; 480i/60; 00:07:57)
  • Deleted Scenes (1.33:1; 480i/60):
    • Comte Collects Rent
    • Are We Going to Move Again?
    • Milking the Cow
    • Cat Food
    • Boule Game
    • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
    • Armande’s Letter

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3/5]

A subtly amusing and romantic film powered by the characteristically strong performance from its lead Juliette Binoche, Chocolat is a charmingly sweet treat that arrives in a competent, but not completely impressive Blu-ray release from Lionsgate/Miramax. It may make for better rental material than an actual purchase.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B004ZG5F3M[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Chocolat - Widescreen Dubbed AC3 Dts

Purchase Chocolat on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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