Cinderella Story (Family Double Feature)

Discussion in 'High Def' started by Chunkblower, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. Chunkblower

    Chunkblower Member

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    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Reviewer: Chunkblower
    Review Date: April 1, 2011

    Format: Blu-ray
    Released by: Warner
    Release date: September 14, 2010
    MSRP: $24.98
    Region A
    Progressive Scan
    Codec: VC-1, 1080p
    Widescreen 1.85 | 16x9: Yes
    2004 & 2008


    inline ImageOnce in a great long while we, as filmgoers, are treated to a spectacular one-two punch of a film and its sequel that resets the cinematic standards for years to come. I’m talking about the films that represent the beginning of new chapters in American cinema. Star Wars and Empire. Godfather and Godfather II. Batman Begins and Dark Knight. Now, we can add to that esteemed list: A Cinderella Story and Another Cinderella Story. With Hilary Duff, in her most complex and challenging role, we witness the arrival of the greatest young talent since Judy Garland.

    The Story

    I’m sure most readers are familiar with the Brothers Grimm story of Cinderella (or at least the Disney interpretation of it), so I’ll not beat dead horses by reiterating the basics. I’ll just get right to tell you why these two films represent a singular achievement in the history of American cinema.

    A Cinderella Story

    inline ImageFrom the opening shot of a mystical kingdom and a fairy-tale castle and the reveal that they exist in a snow globe while the story proper is set in reality, to ending where the princess and her prince charming ride off into the sunset not on a horse, but in a convertible, A Cinderella Story cannily uses our foreknowledge of the story to set up expectations and then takes great joy in smashing those expectations to pieces. By the end, we are left reeling from the sheer virtuosity and audaciousness of the story telling. It’s the greatest narrative oopty-oop since Tarantino gave us Pulp Fiction.

    inline ImageThe virtuosity of the storytelling is matched measure for measure by the performances. This is the most talent young cast since Coppola’s The Outsiders. Not enough can be said about 17-year-old (at the time) Hilary Duff. While she showed seeds of greatness as Lizzie Maguire in the eponymous TV show, it wasn’t until A Cinderella Story that we saw those seeds blossom. She combines a sweet earnestness with an undertone of sensuality that redefines boundaries of juvenile performance. She deftly slips from tomboyish loner, to belle of the ball, to jilted would-be lover, to the concluding scenes of the movie where she finds herself. It’s a rallying cry for female empowerment that’s long overdue, asserted with such force that one can see the influence this film will have on future feminist thought.

    inline ImageChad Michael Murray also gives a career defining performance, taking a stock character and twisting it on its head. We’ve seen a lot of jocks who aim to be something more in teen cinema that the character has become a cliché. But never has an actor subverted cliché so cannily. Murray reveals the wounded heart of a poet in the shell of a warrior with such raw intensity your hair might just be blown back. In any other film his performance would have been the centrepiece but, alas, it can’t help but pale in comparison the Duff’s magnum opus. I would say it’s a shame, but it’s really hard to feel bad about such a ground-breaking movie showcasing two dynamic performances.

    inline ImageDirector Mark Rosman (House on Sorority Row) returns to his roots and pulls out all the stops to bring us a genre bending masterpiece. While a teen romance on the surface, Rosman uses his canny knack for composition and montage to show us a deeper, insidious evil that lurks at the heart of the American dream. At once a touching love story, cutting social satire and a peek into the darker side of suburbia, A Cinderella Story never falters in providing something of value for all audiences.

    Another Cinderella Story

    inline ImageI have to admit right off the bat: Another Cinderella Story is not the same kind of masterpiece as the original film. It’s a different kind of masterpiece, working from a different tradition so the two films, while equally amazing, do not bear direct comparison. While A Cinderella Story borrowed from the traditions of fairy tales and teen dramas, Another Cinderella Story pays homage to the current teen dance genre. Drawing influence from such watershed film as Step Up 3D and You Got Served, Another Cinderella Story plunges us headfirst into the dark world of pop music and competitive dance, where young hopefuls ride the razor’s edge between catching their dreams and the dark abyss of failure.

    inline ImageWhereas Hilary Duff drew upon her years of experience as Lizzie McGuire to craft the sweet and innocent Sam, Selena Gomez brings a welcome Latin fire to the role of Mary. The diminutive Gomez draws a complex and tortured portrait of a young girl aspiring to follow in the footsteps of her mother, a dancer, while her dreams are crushed under the yoke of her guardian (Jane Lynch, in her best role yet) and her daughters (Ginger Snaps sisters Katherine Isabelle and Emily Perkins, in tour de force performances). It’s a truly heart-wrenching performance, one that will shake you to your very soul. The only negative mark against her is that she doesn’t quite live up to the game-changing performance delivered by Duff in the first movie. Really, though, who could? It’s an unfair standard to hold any actor to and still Gomez rightfully takes her place alongside Duff as the defining actresses of their generation.

    inline ImageDrew Seeley, who appeared in the equally masterful The Shortcut, appears poised to take from Paul Walker the title of greatest American actor working today (impressive feat, considering Seeley is Canadian!). In Joey Parker, we are given the distillation of male pop singers: the raw sensuality, the charm, and yet are given the rare and delightful opportunity to peek behind the façade, to see a boy on the verge of manhood, searching for his place in the world, yet beholden to an industry that will spit him out at the first sign of weakness. He says more with his eyes in three minutes of screen time and Tolstoy said in all his writings. Truly, Joey represents one of the cornerstone performances for the next generation of actors to learn from.

    Image Quality

    inline ImageBoth films are presented in their original 1:85 aspect ratio and in stunning 1080p. There is not much to say about these transfers except you will be doing your home theatre a disservice by not watching these movies on permanent loop. The Cinderella Story duo represents the finest home video presentation of any film I’ve ever seen. The picture is amazingly deep and three dimensional, with nary a blemish or compression issue despite both films being on the same disc. High-Def Duff is clearly why Blu-ray was invented.

    Sound

    inline ImageThe audio matches the video pace for pace. I’ve never had the privilege to listen to such enveloping and atmospheric audio as the DTS-HD tracks for the Cinderella Story movies. You will feel as if you’re right there in the movie when it starts to rain at the end of Cinderella Story, or feel like you’re front row centre for the climactic dance-off in Another Cinderella Story. George Lucas, go home. Cinderella Story is the new audio standard-bearer.

    Supplemental Material

    There are no supplements provided, but who needs them? With films this deep and complex, you will spend hours re-watching and analyzing, trying to unlock their mysteries. That’s the greatest supplement of all.

    Final Thoughts

    inline ImageLet me be perfectly clear about this: if you do not rush out right now and buy the Cinderella Story double feature then you do not deserve to own a Blu-ray player. Period. There is no excuse for anybody truly committed to the art of cinema not to have these films in their collection. Nor is there any excuse for a committed home theatre enthusiast not to use this disc as their go-to demo material when showing off their pricey hardware. These films are perfection personified, and their presentation in this set is beyond reproach. So awesome is this disc that I’m going to buy a copy for everyone I know. It would be cruel to deprive anybody with a TV the pleasure of sampling the best American cinema has to offer. The Cinderella Story double feature is a dream come true.

    Rating

    [​IMG] Movies - A+

    Image Quality - A+

    Sound - A+

    Supplements - A+


    Technical Info.
    • Colour
    • Running time - 1 hour and 35 minutes (A Cinderella Story) / 1 hour and 31 minutes (Another Cinderella Story)
    • Rated PG, G
    • 1 Disc
    • Chapter Stops
    • English DTS-HD Audio
    • French Dolby Digital 5.1
    • English SDH subtitles
    • French subtitles
    • Spanish subtitles
    Supplements
    • N/A
    Back Cover

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Conal Cochran

    Conal Cochran New Member

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    Does the site has been hacked or what [​IMG]

    anyway, I will blindly buy it [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Paul_s

    Paul_s Member

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    I see no blood and guts in this review [​IMG] I echo the sentiments of 'Conal Cochran'. [​IMG]

    Chunkblower you big softie [​IMG]
     
  4. SaxCatz

    SaxCatz New Member

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    Check you Calendar, dudes.
     
  5. spawningblue

    spawningblue Deadite

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    haha You got me! Unfortunately at work the pics in the reviews don't show up, and I usually just skim to the "Final Thoughts" sections to see if it sounds like I movie I may be interested in before reading the whole review. So i was like, wtf is this movie!? I've never heard of it, but it is apparently a great disc to show off your home theater set up and the movie itself got an A+. I looked it up on DVD Aficionado and... yeah you got me! Good One!
     
  6. CPT HOOK

    CPT HOOK Well-Known Member

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    Not gonna lie, I loved Another Cinderella Story! Jane Lynch and the Fitzgerald sisters cracked me up!
     
  7. Caspar2112

    Caspar2112 New Member

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    Very good guys, better than the Google Joke !! You had me for a moment...Hilary Duff?!?!
     
  8. Paul_s

    Paul_s Member

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    I've only just realised this is a joke (yes, I am a bit blonde) and for his sins I will be playing a Justin Beiber song at Chunkblowers funeral [​IMG]
     
  9. wago70

    wago70 Surviving on nostalgia

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    I have now seen the light.
     
  10. Matt89

    Matt89 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome joke. Love the effort that went into this. Great job guys!
     

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