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PHOTOGRAPHY

A GOOD YEAR

DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 114 minutes, featurettes, trailers, TV spots, and A GOOD YEAR Promo spot

VIDEO: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO: English 5.1, French, Spanish 2.0 Dolby Surround

Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

RELEASE DATE: 2-27-2007

A GOOD YEAR is like a souped up Hallmark Channel film with the cast and crew involved. Russell Crowe is Max, a highly successful London investment expert (trader) who take s a trip to France when he learns his Uncle Henry (Albert Finney) has died. His intention is to sell his Uncle's house and vineyard, but he starts to remember the grand memories he had when he stayed for year at age 10. He finds love with a French cafe owner (Fanny) and his life starts to turn upside down at that point even before the daughter Harry never knew shows up. A GOOD YEAR may not be a great film, but it is an enjoyable one with plenty of romance, drama, and comedy. A Ridley Scott film is always interesting to watch whether it is a masterpiece or a misfire. A GOOD YEAR falls in-between the two. Russell Crowe and director Ridley Scott have wanted to work together since they did GLADIATOR. They got their chance finally after TRIPOLI fell apart twice before production (a project that Ridley and Russell wanted to do badly). I have great faith that Ridley Scott will make another mastrepiece like A KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, ALIEN, or BLADE RUNNER since it looks like he just did A GOOD YEAR for fun while not worrying whether it would be a great film. A GOOD YEAR is charaming. It just grows on you as you watch too see if Max will change his life and stay in France. The dinner sequence is one of my favorites in addition to the one where Max falls into the pool and when he goes out with Fanny.

SPECIAL FEATURES: Three theatrical trailers and four TV spots for A GOOD YEAR are included on this disc in addition to three music videos and short ads for MASTER AND COMMANDER, THE ILLUSIONIST, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN Director's Cut, and SIDEWAYS. Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe do a fun 2 1/2 minute promo for A GOOD YEAR. POSTCARDS FROM PROVENCE is a behind-the-scenes experience you can view with the film as an edited together audio commentary with director Ridley Scott (Ridley mentions a deleted scene not on the DVD) and the screenwriter and 9 featurettes that look at A GOOD YEAR (including how they created the swimming pool sequence) with various interviews with cast and crew. You can play the featurettes each on their own.  The problem with the interactive experience is I usually just listen to audio commentaries and watch featurettes. Combining the two isn't the best thing to do.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A GOOD YEAR is an enjoyable Ridley Scott film. It isn't a masterpiece, but I enjoyed the comedy and the romance of the film.

this review is (c)2-24-2007 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission (except for excerpts and a link to the review). Look for additional content at http://enterlinemedia.livejournal.com and send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com