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Enchanted April
(Miramax Award-Winning Collection)

review by Zach B.

 

 

MPAA Rating: PG (For Some Mild Language)

Running Time: 93 Minutes

Starring: Miranda Richardson, Josie Lawrence, Polly Walker, Joan Plowright, Alfred Molina, Michael Kitchen, Jim Broadbent

Screenplay by: Peter Barnes
From the novel by: Elizabeth Rodney Bennett

Directed by: Mike Newell

 

Studio: Disney

Retail Price: $29.99

Features: Audio Commentary with Director Mike Newell and Producer Ann Scott

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scene Selection (18 Scenes)

Released: May 5th, 2009


 

 

"Enchanted April" is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Sadly, the transfer does not to seem to have undergone any sort of restoration. The worst offense is how excessively grainy the movie is. I know the film was made on a pretty low budget, but nearly the entire transfer is drenched in grain and really quite soft. Not helping matters are the scratches, blemishes, dirt specks and other flaws on the print. While there is no edge enhancement, there is noise and shimmering. Fleshtones are a bit pasty, while color saturation is often underwhelming. In some spots, detail is okay - but that's the only decent thing I can say about what is otherwise a seriously murky and ghastly transfer. A shame - the movie deserved much better. 

 

The English Dolby Digital 5.1 track emerges better than the transfer, but don't get your hopes up too much. This mix is a bit on the soft side, but that's okay since there is plenty of talking in the movie. The dialogue does sound clear and is easy to hear, while Richard Rodney Benett's score sounds good - if slightly muted - through the channels. Subwoofer use does not amount to much, and while sound effects do sound okay, discrete surrounds are a bit on the seldom side. Fidelity is only average, and dynamic range is suitable. An adaquete track, but nothing more.

English subtitles are also included. 
 




Pretty limited in this department, actually. There is only an Audio Commentary with Director Mike Newell and Producer Ann Scott. Fans of the movie should enjoy it, even if it is a bit on the dry side. The two are pretty chatty, and do serve up a great number of anecdotes throughout the film's running time. Newell discusses how he fell into the project, and along with Scott, discusses troubles getting financing and assorted challenges once the production got going. The two also discuss production design, music and shot composition. There's also a bit of chatter about the strong work of the actors, and also discussion of characters. It is a solid track overall that delves into a lot of topics, and both director and producer have a good rapport - not to mention still seem fond of their movie. Worth a listen if you like the movie. 
 

This release of "Enchanted April" on DVD is incredibly disappointing. The movie's transfer is pretty horrid and the 5.1 mix is okay, and other than a fine commentary - there are no other supplements. For what you get, the retail is pretty steep and the price should have been halved. An okay rental since it is a nice movie, but it should only be a purchase for the film's most ardent fans.