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PHOTOGRAPHY

ALFIE

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 105 minutes, two audio commentaries, deleted scenes, Alfie Round Table, Women of Alfie, The World of Alfie, Gedde Watanabe dance footage, Script Gallery, Storyboard Gallery, Production Gallery, Let The Music In featurette, original theatrical trailer, and previews.

STUDIO: PARAMOUNT

RELEASE DATE: 3-15-2005

ANALYSIS: I love ALFIE. It's a very nice movie that people can relate to it. This remake/reinvention (of the 1960s classic starring Michael Caine) is a grand mix of comedy and drama. Jude Law shines as Alfie, a playboy who can't settle down with one woman. Until things start to affect him and the people around him, he is content with his life. The songs with vocals by Mike Jagger fit this remake to a tee. ALFIE is very well cast from Marisa Tomei who is Alfie's sometime girlfriend to Sienna Miller (playing a girl that Alfie falls for) to a female version of Alfie (Susan Sarandon). The production design is amazing with the single word billboards to reflect Alfie's feelings at that point in the movie and making Manchester look like New York City (with some location shooting done in NYC). The changes of the color is something to keep an eye on as the movie goes on. I really enjoyed this movie and I was never really bored by it (and it gets better with each viewing). Guys will appreciate the nudity from Sienna Miller's character.

VIDEO/AUDIO: ALFIE is presented in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen. Colors are good and blacks are nice. Image detail is great. Not a bad transfer at all.

You can hear ALFIE in English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 DD, and English 2.0 Dolby Surround with the option of English or Spanish subtitles. Dialogue can be heard clearly always, The music is loud (at it's high moments) and rich.  Most of the extras (except the commentaries) have the option of English, Spanish, or French subtitles.

SPECIAL FEATURES: I loved the extras on this DVD. They really cover the production of the movie and include some good deleted scenes.   They want me to go out and watch the original ALFIE starring Michael Caine.

Two audio commentary tracks were recorded for the movie. The First Commentary is with Writer/Director Charles Shyer and Film Editor Padraic McKinley and it focuses on the production of the movie (very interesting track with lots of info). The Second commentary is with writer/director Charles Shyer and Writer/Producer Elaine Pope. They focus on the story and what they changed from the original version.

ROUND TABLE OF ALFIE goes into how ALFIE was updated and reinvented, the cinematography, and production design. THE WORLD OF ALFIE is about how ALFIE was updated and why Jude Law chose to play Alfie. THE WOMEN OF ALFIE is about the women they changed from the original movie to fit today's women (featuring interviews with the actresses playing the women in the remake) with highlights being footage from Sienna Miller's casting session and behind-the-scenes footage with Susan Sarandon. ALFIE: DECONSTRUCTION OF A SCENE shows how many elements went into putting together an early scene in the movie (Alfie riding his scooter as he passes many beautiful women) and difficulties they had getting the scene together. Also included is a deleted scene not included in the deleted scenes section of the DVD (I hate it when they do this).

Gedde Watanabe Dance Sequence (with optional commentary by Charles Shyer and Elaine Pope) is fun to watch. LET THE MUSIC IN is a behind-the-scenes look at the songs of the movie with footage of the recording sessions and interviews with Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart. Eight deleted scenes (with optional commentary by Charles Shyer and Padraic McKinley) are included on the DVD (the shower scene is good and Alfie's scenes with the single mom's kid). They are scenes cut for pacing or they didn't fit the story that ended up on the screen.

Also included are a Script Gallery of six scenes (with hand written notes on the script pages), Storyboard Gallery covering six scenes (funny to look at some of these storyboards), and a Production gallery (production stills and art). The original theatrical trailer (in 5.1 DD) is included as well in addition to previews for other movies.

FINAL ANALYSIS: ALFIE is a very enjoyable remake on a DVD loaded with fantastic extras.

this DVD Review is (c)3-9-2005 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com and look for additional content at http://www.livejournal.com/users/enterlinemedia