- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
- Resolution: 1080p/24
- Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
- Region: ABC (Region-Free)
- Rating: PG
- Discs: 1
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Blu-ray Release Date: November 2, 2010
- List Price: $19.99
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)
Thomas Kinkade’s Christmas Cottage is a trite and saccharine holiday movie based on true events from the life of famous artist Thomas Kinkade. It is typical holiday fare, family ready and designed to tug at every heartstring, during practically every frame.
Thomas, played by Supernatural’s Jared Padelecki returns home from college to his small northern California town only to find out that the family home is soon to be foreclosed, his mother (Marcia Gay Harden) has been laid off from her job, and efforts to boost the local economy through tourism have failed. Seeking to aid his mother, and inspired by a local artist who lives next door (Peter O’Toole), Thom decides to paint a town mural for $500, discovers his inner voice as an artist. The mural goes on to inspire the small town — a Christmas miracle!
This film has “trying to be a holiday classic” written all over it. Unfortunately, it falls way short of that. It’s good, clean family entertainment and you can’t go too wrong throwing it on to pass the time around the holidays when the kids are around, despite the PG rating (there’s a “hell” here and a “damn it” there), but it tries so hard to be poignant and uplifting that it really tells not much of a story at all. The acting is solid, particularly the always superb Peter O’Toole, but that’s about it.
The image is detailed, with strong shadow delineation, natural flesh tones and a lack of video noise are compression artifacts. Everything looks textured and lifelike. There is only some occasional softness in some shots, but nothing to hamper the overall presentation.
Christmas Cottage is a quiet, dialogue driven film, for the most part, and its mix reflects that, but that isn’t to say that it’s a boring mix. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack fully surrounds the listener, making good use of that lossless codec, filling surrounds with plenty of atmospheric effects like rain and ambience, and there are even some discrete effects panned around the room on occasion. Dialogue is clean, and it is a truly solid mix for the material.
The full cast as well as Kinkade appear in the supplemental featurettes, and there is an audio commentary with the director Michael Campus and Thomas Kinkade as well, making for a solid, if typical set of extras. The lack of anything in high definition is also a disappointment — come Lionsagate (or any other studio that might be reading this), this is BLU-RAY, not DVD.
The supplements provided with this release are:
- Audio Commentary with Director Michael Campus and Thomas Kinkade
- Deleted Scenes with Optional Commentary (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:12.07)
- Building the Christmas Cottage (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:18.14) — A making of featurette featuring Kinkade and Michael Campus.
- Home for Christmas: A Conversation with Thomas Kinkade (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:10.32)
- On the Set with Ed Aknik (1.78:1; 480i/60; 0:02.21)
- Christmas with the Cast (1.78:1; 480i/60) — Members of the cast offer their favorite Christmas memories.
The Definitive Word
Christmas Cottage probably won’t become a holiday classic, but it still works as safe holiday entertainment. Rent it for the holidays.
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