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Ever After

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 116 mins . PG . PAL


Once upon a time there was a beautiful fairy tale about a young lady who lived with two horrible step sisters and their ruthless step mother. Along came a fairy godmother who turned this servant into a dashing woman and sent her off to the ball to meet the handsome prince but she had to be back before midnight or her shoes would turn into a pumpkin and her glass carriage would not be fit for leaving a child in there when she ducked into the pokies on a hot day. Hang on, that's my contempary take on this tale but I did have a chance to review this less fantastical version.

Young Danielle (Drew Barrymore) is forced into a home to live with two step sisters and their mother (Anjelica Huston). Now in a life of slavery, Danielle must endure hardships for 10 long years when it comes time for the Prince of France (Dougray Scott, Mission Impossible 2) to find a bride. Mother dearest has chosen Marguerite, her eldest daughter, to be in the running for the role of Princess of France.

But this deceiteful family is soon outclassed by Danielle as she steals the heart of the handsome Prince, with a little deceit herself. It's up to the Prince to overcome his obligations as royalty and to let love decide who his bride shall be.

Transfer wise, there wasn't anything outstanding on offer.


Video wise, the transfer seemed to emminate from a positive print which had its fair share of dirt smattered throughout the feature. A moderate amount of grain also made its presence felt giving the print a gritty look at times.

The image was of average to decent sharpness, failing to really distiniguish itself and the detail present in the scene. Color saturation was laid back presenting a picture that sometimes lacked richness and vibrancy where it needed it, then provided a burst of greeniness in the landscapes and cast pastures. This can only be attributed to the print used being of moderately poor quality.

Black level was ordinary, leaning toward a blueish hue with shadow detail not producing an impact of any sort. One scene in particular where Danielle is crying in the rain, there is no definition at all to decipher a foreground and background object giving a flat and lifeless look to the picture.

This transfer and alot of the others of the recent Fox titles clearly shows a common fault. The print used is of mediocre quality and the transfer, although probably done to the best of the compressionists ability, can't do much to provide an image that we are used to from the other studios. As the saying goes "You can't polish a t@#d".


Audio on the other hand doesn't suffer from a print issue as the digital audio source is not affected during the dvd mastering process. This movie is not going to win any awards that Star Wars would be nominated for but it does provide an excellent soundtrack for what it tries to achieve.

Dialogue, for all intents and purposes, is clear throughout the entire movie providing a good story telling experience. Surround usage was minimal but opened up during the main ceremony toward the end of the movie which began with a bit of bass during the wide shot of the fireworks display.

A decent soundtrack that shouldn't detract from the movie. There is a packaging error with the 5.1 soundtrack present rather than the 5.0 soundtrack as stated on the slick.


Give us a decent animated menu then only combine it with a theatrical trailer. Please Sir, I want some more.


It's a classic tale revisited without the reliance on the supernatural having a bearing on the outcome, but rather Leonardo Da Vinci coming to the rescue. It has romance, adventure, action, chivallry and of course a comedic touch - "I shall go down in history as the man who opened a door".

Highly recommended for lovers of period piece romance, Drew Barrymore fans and those of you with wives who pick the movies at the local rental store.

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