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Kate & Leopold: The Director’s Cut Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Run Time: 123 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Miramax/Lionsgate
  • Blu-ray Release Date: April 10, 2012
  • List Price: $14.99

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Purchase Kate & Leopold on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:1.5/5]
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

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:1.5/5]

Remember when Meg Ryan was the “it” girl when it came to romantic comedies? Kate & Leopold may have been one of her last hoorays, but not necessarily a good one. The 2001 film from director James Mangold (Knight and Day; 3:10 to Yuma) is another addition to the endless list of vapid romantic comedies that Hollywood pushes out. Sometimes it seems like they don’t even try, really. This half fantasy/half romance melds the unlikely story of time travel and love across time and space.

When the story begins, we meet Leopold (Hugh Jackman), an English Duke who has come to New York City in search of a rich bride (his fortunes have dwindled and his uncle is urging the unenthused man to wed into money). It’s the 19th century and Leopold is standing in front of the “East River Bridge” whilst its construction is in progress, speeches being given, and ladies swooning, etc., etc. Of course, this ‘East River Bridge” will eventually become the Brooklyn Bridge, but that’s neither here nor there. Leopold spots an odd man talking pictures with an unusual device. Later on at his party, where he is meant to announce whom he has chose as a bride, he comes across this man again rummaging through his things. A chase ensues and when the mystery man tries to jump from the top of the East River Bridge, Leopold tries to save him, but they both end up falling. The next day, they are in present day New York City. Stuart (Liev Schreiber) was the mystery man, and he had gone back through a time portal to spy on his great, great grandfather, Leopold, who is now in his apartment. Meanwhile, Stuart’s ex-girlfriend from downstairs, Kate (Meg Ryan; When Harry met Sally) who heard the ruckus from the night before comes sniffing around and meets Leopold. She, of course, doesn’t believe for one minute that he is a 19th century Duke, but sparks begin to fly.

Of course, in any good rom-com, there has to be some sort of setup to get our protagonists together, and the writers decide to get Kate’s ex Stuart out of the way by having him fall down an elevator shaft while trying to walk the dog. Yeah, they went there. Stuart miraculously survives, but ends up in hospital for the entire film. Despite his warnings to Leopold to stay in the apartment lest the universe explode or something, Leopold ends up straying, hanging out with Kate, getting involved in her life, and, well, you know, the two fall in love. But Leo must get back to his own time or the entire present may collapse – oh, no, what will happen?

In all honesty, whoever came up with this sad, barely romantic nonsense needs to have their head examined. It’s disappointing to see Meg Ryan, star of When Harry Met Sally, one of the better romantic comedies to come out of the 1980s, starring in this badly pieced together film.

Video Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

Kate & Leopold certainly doesn’t look as if it has gone through any sort of extensive or expensive restoration, and I wouldn’t expect a film like this to be given that sort of attention. Fortunately, the source doesn’t look to be too bad, although grain is quite heavy, verging on noise at times. There is some evidence of a little source damage from time to time, but nothing too overwhelming, detail can be strong in the foregrounds, but there is an overall flatness to the image; it lacks dimensionality. This might not be the best transfer from Miramax, but it’s not the absolute worst either, that crown might go to Reindeer Games, at least for the U.S. Releases. It appears in an AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 1.85:1 framed encodement.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

A competent DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack is offered for Kate & Leopold. It’s a relatively straightforward, rom-com mix with little activity and most sound weighted to the front three channels. The surrounds carry some mild ambience and a few low-level discrete atmospheric sounds.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2.5/5]

Everything here is ported over in standard definition and nothing is offers anything exceptionally compelling to watch. The audio commentary from James Mangold might be the only thing worth sitting through.

The supplements:

  • Audio Commentary with James Mangold
  • “On the Set” Featurette (1.33:1; SD; 00:14:30)
  • Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary by Director James Mangold (1.85:1; SD):
    • Bathtime with Otis
    • Marty…4th Floor
    • Elevator Repairman
    • Dream of Otis
    • Bathtime with Otis Redux
    • J.J.’s Life Lessons
    • Taxicab Revelation
  • Costume Featurette (1.33:1; SD; 00:02:54)
  • Sting “Until” Music Video (1.33:1; windowboxed; SD)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

Unless you truly live for torturing yourself with the most mundane, vapid, and ridiculously inane forms of romantic comedies, then I suggest staying away from this film altogether. Kate & Leopold is one of the biggest pieces of nonsense to be labelled a “romantic comedy” in recent memory. I really don’t understand why this genre is so filled with such poorly thought out, cliché and eve ridiculous films.

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product]B00709GTGS[/amazon-product]

Purchase Kate & Leopold on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:1.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:2.5/5]

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