The Other Boleyn Girl—Columbia Pictures (Blu-ray)
I'm always a fan of period drama and despite the rather lackluster reviews, The Other Boleyn Girl was quite entertaining. The film is based on the true story of two sisters who started quite the scandal with King Henry VIII after his queen fails to give him a male heir. Anne Boleyn is propositioned as a mistress for the King to give him an heir but he becomes captivated with her married sister, Mary. From there a downward spiral commences as the King is pulled from one to the other which eventually tears the kingdom apart resulting in the annulment of his marriage with the queen, a separation from the Catholic Church and a string of failed marriages. It was these events that set things in motion for Queen Elizabeth and the feud between the Protestant Queen and the Catholics. If I had to complain I would say the PG-13 rating seemed to tone down the film a bit more than it needed to be. This film focuses on very adult themes that would have been better served with an adult rating in my opinion.
This film was shot digitally using the increasingly popular “Genesis” camera. Films shot with this camera vary in their overall quality but I was impressed with the look of this one. Fine detail was exceptional and the razor sharp image does make for some nice demonstration material. The problem is, it started to feel like watching a made-for-TV show more than a film. I guess this is a setback for films that look this clean. There isn't a hint of noise at all in this transfer. The color palette changes with the mood of the film. In the beginning colors are quite warm and a bit oversaturated but as the darker themes progress the look of the film becomes darker and a tad monochromatic. The Genesis camera seems to have issues with darker material and blacks are slightly elevated. Overall I'd say this is a great looking film but the impact of the image will probably vary depending on one's taste.
Sony has been delivering some outstanding soundtracks lately and this is no exception. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix is quite engaging and dynamics are solid throughout. There is some very nice tight bass in this mix, especially from the horses and dramatic score. Dialogue is balanced nicely in the mix and the sense of space and atmosphere is superb. Surrounds do a great job of creating a realistic sound stage that really helps put you in the moment.
Extras are tuned to the period of the film and give you a look at life in those times. There are features on being a lady in that time period (a HUGE difference from today's world), and bringing this time period to the big screen. You also get a look at the real people being portrayed in the film. Sony has even included a pop-up trivia and facts track during the film that gives you even more insight into the events. Some deleted scenes are also included.
This would be a great film to watch just before Elizabeth since it deals with the events leading up to her reign. The acting is excellent and the production values here are strong. Sony delivers another outstanding A/V presentation and continues to be one of my favorite studios for consistency and breadth of catalog.