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You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Blu Ray

  • Score
    57
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • Varied views on Allen's 'Tall Dark Stranger'; stellar cast, uneven execution.

    You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    69
  • The Blu-ray transfer of 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger' impressively reflects Woody Allen's vision with accurate colors and detail, despite its warmth and occasional issues with depth and skin tones.

  • Audio
    62
  • 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger' has a DTS-HD MA 3.0 audio with clear dialogue and light jazz scoring, lacking vibrancy in effects and ambience but fitting Allen's style.

  • Extra
    34
  • Both titles offer minimal extras, featuring HD trailers for 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger' and 'Barney's Version', with the former also including BD-Live connectivity and previews for Sony titles.

  • Movie
    59
  • Woody Allen's 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger' blends personal drama with social comedy, showcasing complex relationships amid life's chaos, but its originality and character depth are debated.

    Video: 69

    The Blu-ray presentation of "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" offers a 1080p transfer that is both commendable for its technical merits and loyal to Woody Allen’s visual style, despite some of its inherent limitations. The film's unique aesthetic is well-preserved, showcasing Allen's preference for a warm color palette, which leans heavily towards red and orange hues. This choice impacts flesh tones, giving characters a somewhat overly sun-kissed appearance. However, the transfer handles brighter colors with finesse; purples and the reds of London's buses pop with a natural vibrancy against the film's otherwise muted settings. Detail levels are consistent, maintaining an adequate sharpness that aligns with the film’s intended soft focus, complementing its grainy, film-like texture. Blacks are solid, contributing to an image that, while not the pinnacle of high-definition clarity, offers a fair degree of depth and authenticity to Allen's vision.

    The AVC MPEG-4 encode displays commendable fidelity with a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, enhancing the viewing experience with moments of exceptional clarity and depth that sometimes border on a three-dimensional effect. Grain is managed well, remaining unobtrusive and stable across the feature, preserving detail without compromising on the film’s natural look. The encode handles the majority of scenes with an admirable sharpness; edges are distinct, and textures, including the challenging bright reds of certain garments, are usually rendered with precision. However, it's not without its flaws - skin tones suffer from an excessive orange cast at times, and there are minor issues with black crush and inconsistent brightness levels. White skies occasionally appear overexposed, but these moments are few and balanced by the transfer's strengths in conveying the dynamic foreground action with an engrossing level of detail and liveliness.

    In summary, the Blu-ray video presentation of "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" secures its position as a solid transfer, accurately reflecting Woody Allen's directorial intentions while navigating the challenges of his distinctive cinematic palette. Despite some deviations in skin tone accuracy and depth consistency, the overall result is praiseworthy, offering a visual experience that remains true to the film's essence with its carefully preserved details and effective presentation of both subtle and vibrant hues.

    Audio: 62

    Sony's audio presentation of "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" features a DTS-HD MA 3.0 lossless soundtrack that, while not pushing audio boundaries, offers a competent and solid listening experience specifically tailored to the demands of Woody Allen's dialogue-driven narrative. The configuration, comprising the front left, center, and right channels, ensures that dialogue remains king, delivered with crisp clarity and precision predominantly through the center channel. This setup may leave ambient sounds such as city noise and the delicate patter of rain—elements that could have enriched the soundscape—feeling somewhat confined and less immersive than in more complex audio mixes. The light Jazz-style scoring benefits from this front-focused setup, maintaining clarity and presence without overpowering the essential spoken word.

    However, this straightforward approach comes with its own set of challenges and peculiar nuances. Some scenes are marked by a constant low-level static or a slight hum—intentional or not—that can detract from the overall clarity, occasionally rising to a distracting high-pitched squeal. Yet, this does help in maintaining a lively atmosphere within the film, with sound effects such as footsteps and ambient bird chirps adding layers of life that suggest a bustling world beyond what is immediately visible on screen. The balance of dynamics ensures that no line of dialogue feels out of place, avoiding the pitfalls of being overshadowed by background noise or musical scores, though it competes with the ambient sounds more than one might expect in certain scenes.

    In essence, Sony's presentation adheres closely to what fans of Woody Allen might anticipate, offering an audio experience that supports the film's needs without unnecessary embellishment. The soundtrack is an odd yet fitting match for Allen's cinematic style—basic and functional, focusing on delivering dialogue with utmost clarity while allowing for a modest level of atmospheric presence through its limited but effectively used channels.

    Extra: 34

    The extra presentation on the Blu-ray of "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" is notably sparse, offering only the most basic of supplementary materials. Interested viewers will find the film's theatrical trailer in high definition, rounding off to just under two minutes, that provides a succinct glimpse into the movie's narrative. Additionally, there's a preview for "Barney's Version" which extends to about two minutes, also presented in high definition. This minimal selection is supplemented with BD-Live connectivity, giving users access to streaming content, although this heavily depends on the user's hardware and internet connection. The inclusion of previews for additional Sony titles suggests an attempt to introduce viewers to the broader Sony cinematic universe, albeit the extras are lean and might leave enthusiasts craving more behind-the-scenes content or filmmaker insights.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Theatrical Trailer for 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger': High definition preview of the film.
    • Preview for 'Barney's Version': An additional high definition trailer.
    • BD-Live Connectivity: Enables access to internet-based content related to the film.

    Movie: 59

    You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger," directed by Woody Allen, encapsulates a familiar narrative trajectory that is both a strength and a potential shortfall of the film. Set against a London backdrop, unlike Allen's trademark New York settings, the story unfolds amidst a web of complex relationships and personal crises. Featuring an ensemble cast including Naomi Watts, Anthony Hopkins, and Josh Brolin, the narrative delves into the intricacies of midlife unrest, fledgling and faltering romances, and the perennial quest for fulfillment and happiness. The film retains Allen’s signature blend of humor and drama, framing its characters’ quests for love and meaning within a decidedly modern social comedy milieu. Despite the change in location, Allen's narrative style—marked by robust dialogue and intricate character explorations—remains intact, serving as both the film's backbone and its most recognizable trait.

    However, the film's adherence to Allen’s characteristic storytelling formula may not resonate with all viewers. While the performances are commendably strong, particularly those by Gemma Jones and Lucy Punch, some characters come across as underdeveloped, serving more as caricatures than fully fleshed-out personas. This lack of depth occasionally undermines the narrative’s potential to fully engage the audience with its dramatic core. Additionally, the film’s score, although aiming for a light-hearted ambiance, at times feels mismatched with the onscreen events. Despite this, Allen’s script shines through with moments of brilliance, elevated by the stellar cast's execution. The juxtaposition of personal dilemmas against a tapestry of interpersonal connections offers a reflective, if somewhat familiar, examination of human nature and desire.

    Structurally, "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" explores the chaos and unpredictability of life’s relationships through a distinctly Allen lens, combining wit with an observation of the absurdity inherent in the human condition. The cyclical nature of the storyline—marked by the characters’ perpetual search for happiness outside their current circumstances—mirrors the film’s thematic concern with the endless pursuit of fulfillment. While some may find the plot’s development and character arcs predictable or too conveniently aligned, they undeniably present a microcosm of Allen’s worldview. Despite criticisms regarding its originality and depth, the film successfully leverages its ensemble cast’s dynamics to navigate through its layered narrative terrain, making "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" a notable, though not groundbreaking, addition to Woody Allen’s oeuvre.

    Total: 57

    In Woody Allen's "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger," viewers are treated to an ensemble that epitomizes the director's knack for assembling casts with the ability to delve into complex material with genuine passion and expertise. This release underlines a solid execution of Allen's signature storytelling, albeit stepping away from his beloved New York to offer a narrative set in London. Despite some criticisms regarding the pacing and narrative twists, the professional and emotional depth brought by the cast offers enough intrigue and entertainment value for both seasoned Allen fans and potentially new audiences. The Blu-ray version, presented by Sony, maintains high standards in video and audio quality, typical of Allen's releases, ensuring that the film is experienced with clarity though lacking in supplementary extras.

    Critiques of the film highlight its ambitious narrative involving dark twists and introspective insights that may not resonate with every viewer, hinting at a sophistication that might be better appreciated by those familiar with Allen's oeuvre. The duality of the film's title, suggesting both a literal and metaphorical interpretation involving love and mortality, adds a layer of complexity that is quintessentially Allen. Despite the absence of bonus features in this Blu-ray release, the technical aspects such as the video and audio fidelity are commendably executed, which maximizes the viewing pleasure of Allen's distinctive cinematic style.

    In conclusion, "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" Blu-ray release stands as a testament to Woody Allen's enduring appeal, marrying his unique narrative vision with a compelling cast performance. While it might not rank as the most accessible entry point for newcomers to Allen's filmography, it undoubtedly serves as a solid addition for aficionados. The technical prowess of the Blu-ray complements the film's artistic merit, making it a recommended pick for those appreciative of high-quality cinema presentation, notwithstanding a lack of additional content.