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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.40:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 56:01)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • 3 Theatrical trailer - Maid In Manhattan, Daddy Day Care, Sleepless In Seattle
  • Animated menus

Maid in Manhattan

Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 100 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

So the time has come for Jennifer Lopezís latest film, Maid in Manhattan, to hit the Region 4 DVD market after a reasonably successful stint at the Australian box office in March 2003. Starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes in the leads, with a backup cast including Stanley Tucci and Bob Hoskins, it revives the feel-good genre and gently sweeps up some romance and comedy along the way. It has the components to sweep you away too, to a new fairy tale world where anything can happen. Then the end credits come and youíre crashed back to your living room. Hmm, well at least you still have the DVD. Sigh. Pacing is surprisingly quick, never slowing down to a snailís pace and never losing the grasp of the audience. Itís (comparatively) brief running time of just under 100 minutes means that it is the perfect length to open up issues, deal with them and tie up all the strings. Oh, would you just wait one minute, the phone has just rung so I will leave my computer unattended for a while...

Psychotic fan:
*Screams girlishly* Itís like totally here! Oh my God, like you know, that chart-topper Jennifer Lopezís Maid in Manhattan has finally reached DVD. Itís been like four months but oh my god so painful, you know? Like totally...

So yeah like for those of you who donít know (yeah, as if!) itís like a comedy staring J-Lo who you know is like an amazing actor-person thing and yeah she rocks. She also sings too, like, you know, that pop stuff on SA-FM and yeah is married to that goooorgeous spunk Ben Affleck. Yeah you know, that guy that was like soooo cute in Pearl Harbor and ooh that had Josh in it too... *dreamy pause* ...double whammy but anyway... She is like soooo lucky - oh my god. Just wait a minute, my hair treatment needs to be washed out, be right back.

"You're beautiful."

OK so yeah, where was I? Oh and by the way thankyou for that quote Mr. Fiennes, youíre too like sweet for your own good. *flutters hands madly* Whoo, is it hot in here or is it just me?

But yeah Jennifer Lopez plays Marisa Ventura, (M: no relation to Ace, thank God) a maid working in a bustling hotel in Manhattan. But in a case of mistaken identity, sheís falsely taken for a like really posh lady, and anyway the pair walk in the park but you know, like, it really hits the fan when, you know, the paparazzi show up and it becomes front page material. But how long can this like total Cinderella conversion last? Hey thereís more mistaken identity, more mishaps and more romance along the way so itís like every girlís dream come true. She is sooooo lucky, I mean o-h m-y g-o-d. You know, but like grab this one and see how a maid lives in Manhattan and how she is turned from like a maid into a maiden. A harmless and enjoyable film that is great for family entertainment, like just so totally.

  Video
Contract

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Do you see what I see?
Jennifer Lopez is like so pretty, and looks so beautiful on the 2.40:1 aspect ratio that is like an-a-mor-phic-ally enhanced. Wow thatís a pretty big word for me... but yeah the picture is like so good to look at, and is up to the usual high standards of Columbia Tristar. Sure it looks, you know, like really good but isnít quite of reference quality. All the pretty colours are just like so good to look at. Lopezís skin is just so golden brown (Iím like sooooo envious) and Fiennesí eyes are so deeply and en-tran-cing-ly blue. Man, she is like soooo totally lucky!

A fine wash of grain, like, covers the image giving it a sort of like soft and unclear look. But this happens with most of Columbiaís 2.35 or 2.40 films on DVD, just look at A Knightís Tale or GO! for two other examples of this. But yeah anyway like this isnít that much of a problem, like Iím a bit of a smart girl, you know, and like itís not like distracting at all. Some film artefacts sweep past too at times but generally this transfer is like nearly totally free of these. See itís just soooo good. Some slight wobble of the image occurs during the like sen-ti-men-tal scenes and has the ability to like ruin the moment a little. Some cases of moire occur like often during the opening half of the film on like the buildings and stuff, and is quite obvious even for me, you know? And Iím like so totally observant too. Very little occurs in the way of aliasing which is like so totally good Ďcos itís really like distracting when it is there. Com-pres-sion related artefacts are like so non-ex-is-tant which is cool because the image is super slick and clean.

You know, like, the layer change thing occurs at 56:01 and is like so well placed and doesnít even create like a stutter at all. Itís like so cool. Yeah the subtitles are pretty neat too giving a pretty, like, acc-u-rate ren-dit-ion of the like speechy bits. I mean how totally awesome is that?

  Audio
Contract

So yeah this is like an in-ter-nat-ion-al disc and has like one Dolby Digital 5.1 English track, and like three others in different languages. The English track is a fine example of a 5.1 soundstage for like a romance-type film, and while it may not be the most dy-nam-ic-ally rich it still sounds like totally cool.

Click here to enlarge and send to a friend
Beware of strange men in elevators...

The soundtrack to the film is like made up of heaps of cool songs including the opening song Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard by Paul Simon as well as Iím Coming Out which is like a cover of the song by that old chick Diana Ross. Oh yeah her, sheís the You Canít Hurry Love lady that we hear when we go out for a Retro night... The score for this film is credited to Alan Silvestri who like is so big in Hollywood with scoring memorable films such as Back to the Future and Lilo and Stitch, you know? His score is like so fitting for both the romance and quirks on screen, gently floating over the action rather than being like too invasive. Like the downsides to this soundtrack is like the lack of a J-Lo song and the inclusion of not one but two Norah Jones songs. Like how totally ewwww!

Dialogue is clear for most of the film and comes from the front half of the soundstage with like little sep-ar-a-tion. The downside to the dialogue is that it is like really bass-heavy, giving a rather unrealistic impression, especially when itís like a female speaking. Fiennesís audio sometimes sounds a little distorted too, notably at that scene in the park on the giant like rock thing. The surround channels carry the score and ambient effects, but do carry like a totally cool ďwooshĒ over the audience at the end. The subwoofer heavily supports the score, such as the usage through Iím Coming Out, especially like during the totally funky opening drum beats. Bada-boom.

  Extras
Contract

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, are there any features at all?
So like we have such a fun movie but like Columbia forgot to put the extras on. Like how rude is that? Itís like Panic Room all over again. But anyway we have some animated 16:9 menus with like a bit of Silvestriís score over the top. They are simple and plain, yet like totally effective for the whole mood of the film. One annoying thing though is that the music loops over at like such an inappropriate bit, kinda cutting the score off abruptly. But all that we like have is like three trailers - one for Daddy Day Care (2:07), Maid in Manhattan (2:21) and Sleepless in Seattle (2:31). Sadly thatís like all we get Ė no commentary, no featurette, no music video either. Hmmm oh well. Itís still like really disappointing but what can you do?

  Overall  
Contract

Oh my god this review-thing is like so cool Ė gawd even I can do it, like how totally cool is that? Anyway I have like my daily clothes shopping to do so yeah will like pass back over to Marty.

Marty:
Uh yeah thanks (?) for that one there... um, very, err, eloquent? No, um simple? Uh, no, hmm thanks anyway. We think. But really, Maid in Manhattan is a decent feel-good film that, if youíre willing to be swept away by it, will really take you on a total Cinderella fairy tale story that is great for a rainy day with that special someone. OK, itís no award winner, but it doesnít try to be. It tries to be a romantic comedy and succeeds admirably. Columbia Tristarís transfer is impressive, but not quite perfect, and the lack of extra features for such a modern film is nearly unacceptable. But still if youíre after a nightís mindless yet warm-fuzzy-feeling entertainment, grab this one from the video store, and add it to your collection when it comes down a little in price, unless of course, youíre a die hard Lopez fan.

P.S. We are truly sorry for any misconceptions about Jennifer Lopezís singing and acting abilities which are discussed in this review. Please note that an obsessed female personality had taken possession of Mr. Friedelís brain and all sorts of lies and untruths came out. The author would like to affirm that the absence of a J-Lo song is a good thing, but the inclusion of a Norah Jones song is still a bad thing. Again, we are so sincerely sorry for any discomfort this may have caused. Please enjoy the rest of your stay at DVDnet.


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      And I quote...
    "...Starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes in the leads, with a backup cast including Stanley Tucci and Bob Hoskins, Maid in Manhattan revives the feel-good genre and gently sweeps up some romance and comedy along the way..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Philips DVD 736K
    • TV:
          TEAC EU68-ST
    • Receiver:
          Sony HT-SL5
    • Speakers:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SS-CNP2
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SA-WMSP3
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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