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THE PROPOSAL ($45) is the kind of romantic comedy that audiences have seen countless times before, but despite that fact that they know where the movie is going at every turn, they can definitely sit back and enjoy the ride. Also, THE PROPOSAL deserves an appreciative nod for the presence of Betty White, an actress whose endearing comic skills greatly increases the watchability of any production- whether it be on the big screen or small. As for the movie itself, THE PROPOSAL stars Sandra Bullock as Margaret Tate, the overbearing and seemingly inhuman executive editor-in-chief of a book publishing company, who is hated by her entire staff, including her executive assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). Facing deportation to Canada, for violating the terms of her work visa, Margaret announces that she has been having a secret love affair with Andrew and that they are engaged to be married. Of course, this announcement leaves Andrew dumbfounded…. then horrified.

After Margaret promises Andrew a big fat promotion, he agrees to the charade, however Margaret’s ability to remain in the United States becomes a matter of convincing a suspicious immigration official that her pending nuptials to Andrew are legitimate. To paint a convincing portrait, Margaret and Andrew flying up to Alaska to announce their engagement to his family, during his grandmother’s ninetieth birthday celebration. In typical romantic comedy fashion, the change of scenery and close proximity to Andrew’s loving family begins to have a humanizing effect on Margret, which causes the "happy couple" to begin to see each other in a whole new light. The cast of THE PROPOSAL also features Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Denis O'Hare, Malin Akerman, Oscar Nuñez, Aasif Mandvi and Michael Nouri.

Touchstone Home Entertainment has made THE PROPOSAL available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. THE PROPOSAL features a very nice looking 1080p presentation, but like so many other romantic comedies, a tiny bit of gauziness permeates the cinematography, giving the film that dewy-eyed effect, which also shaves off a bit of sharpness and image detail. This isn’t to say that THE PROPOSAL looks soft, just less fully resolved than an action movie or naturalistic drama. The image does offer up a fairly nice level of texturing and fine detail, but stylistic choices prevent it from entering the realm of demo material. Colors are generally rendered at a natural level of saturation, and the flesh tones are attractive. Blacks are deep and the whites are crisp. Contrast is smooth and the level of shadow detail is just fine for this type of material. The elements from which THE PROPOSAL has been mastered are free from flaws. Modest grain is present, which adds an organic quality.

THE PROPOSAL is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. As expected, THE PROPOSAL comes equipped with a fairly standard romantic comedy mix. That being the case, the majority of the sound is localized front and center. However, the outlying channels do engage for occasional active sound effects during a few sequences. At other times, most of what is heard coming out of the outlying channels is of an environmental nature. Thanks to the lossless encode, the musical component sounds terrific, plus the sound effects are rendered in a convincing fashion. As for the bass channel, it adds some weight, but then again, the material doesn’t make many demands on one’s subwoofer. Dialogue is nicely recorded and is always easy to understand. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

Full motion video, animation and sound serve to enhance the interactive menus. Through the menus, one has access to standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with director Anne Fletcher and writer Peter Chiarelli. Deleted Scenes and an Alternate Ending are offered with optional comments. In place of a Gag Reel, we get Set Antics: Outtakes And Other Absurdities From The Proposal; this feature also closes out the standard extras. A Digital Copy of the film is also provided.

THE PROPOSAL is a predictable, but nonetheless, very enjoyable romantic comedy. The Blu-ray presentation looks and sounds very nice, which is just as it should be.



The Proposal [Blu-ray] (2009)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2009 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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