Gwyneth Paltrow 4-Film Collection (Shakespeare In Love, Emma, Bounce, View From the Top)DVD Review
Due Out: April 3, 2012
Shakespeare in Love
Directed by: John Madden Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Ben Affleck Running Time: 2 hours Rating: R
PLOT: A young noblewoman disguises herself as a man to act in a Shakespeare play, then falls in love with the author.
WHO'S IT FOR? Fans of Shakespeare who like their history fast and loose.
I first saw this movie at a preview screening before it's release and found it completely ridiculous. I was sure it would tank. Then it went on to win the Oscar. Watching it again, I still see it's faults. Shakespeare is a bit of a slut, sleeping with every woman he comes in contact with, before being bewitched by a noblewoman in disguise. Paltrow isn't bad, but it's hard to believe she won an Oscar for the role. It's not much of a part. The whole film is a bit of a trifle, best enjoyed without much thought. The set design and costumes are lovely, and a lot of good British actors got a paycheck. You can do worse elsewhere in this box set. But if you're going to buy this boxset, it's probably on the strength of this and Emma. That wouldn't be enough of an inducement for me.
MOVIE SCORE: 6/10
- Shakespeare in Love and on Film
- TV Spots
- Academy Award Winning Costumes
- John Madden Commentary Track
- Commentary Track With Cast and Crew
- Deleted Scenes
- Theatrical Trailer
- Shakespeare Facts
- Film Recommendations
Directed by: Douglas McGrath Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Toni Collette, Jeremy Northam Running Time: 2 hours Rating: PG
PLOT: An adaption of the Jane Austen novel about a young woman who decides to matchmake among her friends but ends up creating trouble and heartache for herself.
WHO'S IT FOR? Downton Abbey fans.
Paltrow's breakthrough was her role as the meddlesome Emma Woodhouse. She's believable as the rich girl who's protected from life and a little clueless, but has a good heart. (It's not a coincidence that the film Clueless was made from the same source material.) The cast is excellent, Ewan McGregor, fresh off of Trainspotting, plays Frank Churchill, who also makes a play for Emma's heart. Despite the ridiculous hair, he's charming. And Jeremy Northam made ladies swoon as Mr. Knightly, Emma's step-brother who becomes the object of her affections, despite being twice her age. Which is creepy, especially when he talks about holding her as a baby. But whatever, it's still a good movie.
Unfortunately, the transfer isn't great. It looks like it hasn't been upgraded since the first DVD release, the film is letterboxed for a 4:3 TV, meaning it makes a little rectangle in the middle of my screen. To blow it up, I lost quite a bit of quality. It's also almost entirely free of extras. Emma definitely deserves better than this.
MOVIE SCORE: 8/10
- Theatrical Trailer
Directed by: Don Roos Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck, Johnny Galecki Running Time: 1 hour 45 minutes Rating: PG-13
PLOT: An alcoholic ad man gives up his seat on an airplane to a family man going home. When it crashes, he finds himself drawn to the other man's wife.
WHO'S IT FOR? Fans of far-fetched romantic comedies.
This is one of those movies that probably started as a good idea. A selfish ad man (Affleck) gives up his seat on the last outbound plane to a family man who wants to get home for his family. But the generous act turns tragic when the plane crashes. He can't get over the guilt, and decides to make amends to the widow (Paltrow). But since the movie stars Paltrow and Affleck, they end up falling in love. He doesn't tell her that he knew her husband, so of course it has to come up right before the third act, so they can break up before she realizes how much she loves him. The leads don't do a bad job, but the romance is a bit limp, no one seems interested in it. Affleck and Paltrow were dating at the time, but apparently couldn't get any of their real life chemistry into the film. It's not horrible, but it's really bland and just not good.
MOVIE SCORE: 5/10
- Feature commentary
View From the Top
Directed by: Bruno Barreto Cast: Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Applegate, Mark Ruffalo Running Time: 1 hour 25 minutes Rating: PG-13
PLOT: A small town girl with big hair dreams of becoming a international flight attendant.
WHO'S IT FOR? Fans of air travel?
Despite being released in 2003, View From the Top takes a pre-9/11 view of air travel that feels dated now. Paltrow plays Donna, a small town girl living in a trailer and working at Big Lots who decides to become a flight attendant after being dumped by her boyfriend. Her route is a little odd, she begins working for a sleazy commuter line that flight attendant outfits that look like they belong on The Mod Squad before going after her dream of becoming a flight attendant for Royalty Airlines. The plot moves predictably in this manner, with Donna making and losing friends and seeming to become smarter and more focused as the film progresses.
Paltrow feels miscast, she never feels like a poor chick. It doesn't really seem like the screenwriter gets the whole being poor thing too (since when does Big Lots hire specifically for their "luggage department"?) Kelly Preston and Applegate do a much better job of portraying working class women. Unfortunately, Applegate's character is pretty one dimensional, which is too bad because she's way more interesting than Donna. Ruffalo is charming, as usual. But the movie is too predictable, and silly to really leave an impression.
MOVIE SCORE: 4/10
- History of the Flight Attendant featurette
- A Journey Inside the Movie featurette
- Music of the Movie featurette