Blu-ray
Skip It
2.5 stars
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Overall Grade
2.5 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
2 Stars
HD Video Quality
3 Stars
HD Audio Quality
3 Stars
Supplements
1 Stars
High-Def Extras
2 Stars
Bottom Line
Skip It

Valentine's Day

Street Date:
May 18th, 2010
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
June 16th, 2010
Movie Release Year:
2010
Studio:
Warner Brothers
Length:
125 Minutes
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Valentine's Day is one of those holidays that Hollywood would like you to think is a bigger deal than it really is. The new star-studded ensemble film 'Valentine's Day' follows various ongoing stories of love in LA during the dubious Hallmark holiday. The studio executives are hoping you'll be drawn in by the endless list of names – a whopping 19 recognizable names are provided on the Blu-ray cover – and not care about the lameness of the rest of the film.

It would take way too much time to go through each of the stories happening. Everyone is connected, 'LOST'-style, as they pass in and out of each other's lives by pure coincidence (or fate).

Reed Bennett (Ashton Kutcher) is more or less the main character. He's just proposed to the love of his life (Jessica Abla), but she's having second thoughts. Reed runs a busy floral shop. Many of the characters come in and out of the shop getting flowers for their loved ones. Dr. Copeland (Patrick Dempsey) is a philanderer and wants to get flowers for both his ladies. While he has a wife, he's carrying on an affair with a cute teacher from the suburbs (Jennifer Garner) who just so happens to be Reed's best friend. Do you see how this is all working out now?

With the credits packed with stars, and the romantic quotient amped-up to " ULTRA chick flick," this may be one of those films wives will have to coax their husbands to watch. I have no problem with taking in a chick flick or two, but when they're as dumb and unoriginal as 'Valentine's Day' it can be painful.

You know the romantic comedy formula, right? Guy and girl are meant to be, they seem to be getting along just fine, but then there's a misunderstanding between the two. Instead of sitting down and figuring it out like normal people, we're left floundering as the two leads wander around for much of the movie before having The Revelation. Imagine that, but happening around 10 or 12 times. That's what it's like watching 'Valentine's Day.' Like a bunch of mini rom-coms spliced together into a rom-com mess.

It would be simple to make up a drinking game based on how many times a character has The Revelation. By that I mean when a character, just after having witnessed or engaged in a life-altering moment, suddenly realizes what they are supposed to do. We know they've realized it because their head tilts up, their eyes widen, and they crack a smile. Happens every time.

It's impossible to cover every actor who's in 'Valentine's Day,' but we can talk about the ones that make you wish you'd never watched it. Mr. Kutcher I'm looking at you. His acting is so hammy, so ridiculous, that it's like you're watching 'That 70s Show' all over again. Why he's the main focus of this whole thing is a really annoying mystery.

After watching this with my wife, who is a fan of rom-coms, I think she summed it up perfectly with the following three words" "Well, that sucked." There you have it. Guys, you knew you'd probably hate it, but thought you'd tough it out for your lady. Turns out she may hate it just as much as you.

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

'Valentine's Day' comes on a 50GB Blu-ray disc, but is also accompanied by a combo DVD/Digital Copy disc.

The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

'Valentine's Day' 1080p/VC-1 transfer isn't nearly beautiful enough to feature all these sexy stars.

Far too often, the entire thing looks flat and lacking in detail. It's a serviceable transfer, but isn't anything that will jump off the screen. Blacks engulf faces and detail in darker scenes. Colors are devoid of liveliness. And fleshtones take on a reddish hue. The entire transfer is just boring. To top it all off, digital artifacts such as a few instances of light blocking rear their heads. Source noise also pops up every now and then.

All of this adds up to a very underwhelming video experience.

The Audio: Rating the Sound

Even though I never expected 'Valentine's Day' to blow me away with its sonic prowess, I did expect it to do well enough with what it had. Sadly, this DTS-HD MA 5.1 lossless isn't even up to par with average rom-coms when it comes to audio presentations.

A lot of the dialogue sounds canned. Some dialogue comes across as hushed and inaudible. LFE has little need to even be engaged. The only time we get is some bass when "California Love" is pumped through the speakers as transitional music. Ambient sound is a welcomed novelty, but when it happens it still comes across as too soft. Crowded restaurants, outdoor movies, and offices just don't give out that enveloping feel.

Like the video, the audio is truly underwhelming, and never approaches greatness, even compared to other rom-coms.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

  • Sex and the City 2 Sneak Peek (HD, 3 min.) - Just an advertisement masquerading as a special feature.
  • Deleted Scenes (HD, 22 min.) - 14 Deleted scenes are included, along with optional director commentary. It must have been hard making all these egos happy. Figuring out who has the most face time would not have been an enviable task.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

  • Audio Commentary - Director Garry Marshall, who also directed 'Pretty Woman,' (as well as 'Dear God(!),' 'Exit to Eden(?!?),' 'The Runaway Bride (see a pattern here yet?),' and 'The Other Sister') gives a no nonsense commentary. He's straightforward, giving us information on how he felt when he became part of this project, what it was like to work with all these established actors, and how it was shooting around LA.
  • The Stars Confess Their Valentine's Day Stories (HD, 6 min.) - You knew this was coming. One of those features where we focus on how many stars are actually in this movie and find out they're exactly like us. They have Valentine's Day horror stories, and love stories.
  • The Garry Factor (HD, 5 min.) - A congratulatory piece where everyone in the movie can't help but say how amazing it is working with Garry Marshall.
  • "Stary Here Forever" Music Video (HD, 3 min.) - Just what was needed to round out this set of bland extras, an obligatory music video from Jewel.
  • Blooper Reel (HD, 6 min.) - Laughs, guffaws, and chuckles. That's what you'll get here. Oh, and Ashton Kutcher just can't work his damn seatbelt.

Final Thoughts

It's just not worth it, even with all the pretty people they got to be in it. 'Valentine's Day' is like watching a dozen run of the mill romantic comedies play out in a single movie, each carrying their own set of clichés. The video is bland, the audio is flat, and there are just so many other films out there that would be worth watching. I didn't even mention Queen Latifah's role in this film and how seeing her talk dirty on the phone gave me nightmares. It's just sad. Skip it if at all possible.

Technical Specs

  • Blu-ray Disc
  • DVD/Digital Copy Combo

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p/VC-1

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround Sound
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • English SDH, French, Spanish

Supplements

  • Exclusive Sex and the City 2 sneak peek trailer
  • 14 Deleted Scenes with Intro from Garry Marshall

Exclusive HD Content

  • “The Stars Confess Their Valentine’s Day Stories”
  • Gag Reel
  • Jewel “Stay Here Forever” Music Video
  • The Garry Factor
  • Audio Commentary
  • Standard definition version of the movie and digital copy

All disc reviews at High-Def Digest are completed using the best consumer HD home theater products currently on the market. More about our gear.

Puzzled by the technical jargon in our reviews, or wondering how we assess and rate HD DVD and Blu-ray discs? Learn about our review methodology.

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