The Other Boleyn Girl
Written and adapted for the screen by Peter Morgan (The Last King of Scotland), The Other Boleyn Girl does its best to compress a nearly 700-page novel into a two-hour movie. The resulting screenplay seems rushed, incomplete, and too tame for the subject matter, which I'm sure was a conscious effort to garner a box office-friendly PG13 rating. Also, the miscasting of Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn and Scarlett Johansson as Mary didn't help the story much either.
While the film is less than impressive, the same can't be said for the AVC encode. Shot on Genesis HD cameras, the video presentation is nearly flawless. Colors are bold and rich, highlighted by deep reds and emerald greens. Black levels are a bit inconsistent and slightly elevated due to the digital photography, but the print is pristine, making me wonder if I was watching a feature film or a Discovery Channel nature documentary. Flesh tones change throughout depending on the lighting, from a natural look in the country to golden in court to ashen at the end of the film. This was undoubtedly done for stylistic reasons, but I found it more distracting than artistic.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel soundtrack drew me into the film with a dynamic and immersive musical score by Paul Cantelon. The surround channels provide enveloping ambience, and the soundstage across the front is wide and deep. Low frequencies come into play on many occasions, especially as horses gallop across the screen. Dialog intelligibility is never an issue in this strong audio presentation.
All the bonus features are presented in HD and include some deleted and extended scenes, some behind-the-scenes featurettes on the production and the characters, and a Picture-in-Graphics track with some facts and trivia, which is exclusive to this Blu-ray release. I found the historical biographies the best of the bunch, but then again, I enjoy history.
I really wanted to like this film, but the story was too shallow for my taste. The A/V presentation makes it worth a rental, but if you are interested in Henry VIII's love life, I suggest you watch The Tudors (available on DVD). It offers a more in-depth view on the subject.
Release Date: June 10, 2008
Film: 5 out of 10
Picture: 9 out of 10
Sound: 9 out of 10
JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)
Onkyo PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 Amplifier
Belkin PF60 power conditioner
M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer
Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector