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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - February, 2010

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"Pride and Prejudice" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by Chris Heinonen

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Synopsis

Pride and Prejudice is the classic novel from Jane Austen set at the turn of 18th century England. Following Elizabeth Bennett (Keira Knightly), one of five daughters, all of whom their mother is eager to marry off before their father dies, as their estate will be turned over to their cousin, Mr. Collins. While her sisters seem to be infatuated with the goal of meeting a man and being married as soon as possible, Elizabeth seems unconcerned with the idea unless she is truly in love with the person. When as a ball they meet Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, her sister Jane is instantly taken with Mr. Bingley while Elizabeth wants nothing to do with Mr. Darcy after she overhears him commenting on her.

As the relationships with the characters play out, the roles of class, education, manners and marriage in 18th century England come into play, making the situations more complex than they would often be today.

 

Specifications

  • Universal
  • 2005, Color, Rated PG, 2 Hr 9 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: VC-1
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Keira Knightly, Matthew Macfadyen, Donald Sutherland
  • Directed by Joe Wright
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

I had never read the book, nor seen the popular BBC version, and so I had no idea how the movie would unfold. I was pleasantly surprised by the film and found it to be highly enjoyable. Keira Knightly does a wonderful job playing Elizabeth, and was nominated for an Oscar for her performance, which was justly deserved. While sometimes it could get to be a bit confusing, as the intricacies of marriage and class in this time period are most likely not familiar to you as they aren't to me, I was always able to understand what was going on, and enjoyed the film, as did my wife.

Technical

The image in Pride and Prejudice was fantastic throughout. There was very good detail, no film grain, with excellent contrast and shadow detail. I thought I could detect a small bit of edge enhancement in some very bright scenes, but overall the film looked absolutely wonderful. For the most part, the audio was wonderful as well. While a dialogue driven movie as you would expect, the film does make very good use of all channels to surround you and really bring you into the environment you are watching. That said, we did find that the center channel would sometimes lack some clarity for the dialogue. We tried turning the volume up multiple times, and eventually just turned on the subtitles to make sure that we didn't miss anything. This problem seemed to be gone by the midpoint of the film, but for a movie that is focused on dialogue, to be a bit unclear was not something we liked.

Extras

Extras on the film include commentary from the director, featurettes on the cast, the Bennett family, and on Jane Austen. There is also a feature on 18th Century dating that I wish was a bit more in-depth (it would have helped to watch before watching the film), and on the homes featured in the movie. There are also BD Live features, all of which I'm tempted to disable as Universal is now adding new ads and a message scroll to the front menu using BD Live, which I find highly annoying.