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YOU'VE GOT MAIL

Adapted from the same material as Ernst Lubitsch’s THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, YOU'VE GOT MAIL ($20) is a charming bit of romantic comedy fluff from writer/director Nora Ephron and her writing partner, and sister, Delia. Of course, with this modern take on the material, email replaces hand written missives carried by postal workers. Additionally, YOU'VE GOT MAIL takes its title from days of dialup internet connections, of which, AOL was king, and their email application charmingly extolled "you’ve got mail" whenever some new item showed up in one’s inbox.

The premise of YOU'VE GOT MAIL finds two anonymous parties, who only know each other by their screen names, falling in love while sharing emails in cyberspace, while their real world counterparts express animosity towards one another during all their interactions. Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) is the proprietor of The Shop Around The Corner, a small independent bookstore founded by her mother, which specializes in children’s books. Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) is part of the family that runs Fox Books, a discount book merchant that operates a large chain of superstores. When Fox Books opens up a new location near The Shop Around The Corner, Kathleen and Joe cross paths, thus beginning a contentious relationship for the two. Hanks and Ryan play exceedingly well off one another, and when on screen together, their interplay is just plain cute and amusing. YOU'VE GOT MAIL features a terrific supporting cast that includes Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey, Jean Stapleton, Steve Zahn, Heather Burns, Dave Chappelle, Dabney Coleman and John Randolph.

Warner Home Video has made YOU'VE GOT MAIL available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. I found the 1080p presentation to be very pleasing and quite film-like, even if the image isn’t what one would normally consider demo material. The image is relatively sharp and nicely defined, while demonstrating good texturing and more than respectable fine details. YOU'VE GOT MAIL looks like a romantic comedy from 1998 that was shot on film in a mildly diffuse manner, and not like a video that some technician has tried to over sharpen for high definition display. Colors are warm and attractive and display a nice level of saturation. Contrast is smooth, while shadow detail is adequate most of the time; I did notice some moments where nuances dropped off into the black abyss. The elements from which YOU'VE GOT MAIL has been transferred appear are pretty clean. Grain is noticeable most of the time and renders the image in an organic fashion.

YOU'VE GOT MAIL is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. No surprises here, YOU'VE GOT MAIL comes with a fairly standard romantic comedy mix, one from 1998 nonetheless. The outlying channels are utilized for occasional sound effect placement, as well as spreading the music through the soundstage. Thanks to the lossless encode, the musical component gets a nice boost in fidelity, which enhances the score and songs on the soundtrack. As for the bass channel, it was sleeping peacefully at the lowest registers. Like your typical romantic comedy, YOU'VE GOT MAIL remains on talky side throughout. Fortunately, the dialogue is clean and easy to understand. A French Dolby Digital 5.1 channel and Spanish 2.0 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc. Subtitles are available in English, French and Spanish.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a few extras. Starting things off is a running Audio Commentary with writer/director Nora Ephron and producer Lauren Shuler Donner. A Music Only track is also provided. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Delivering You've Got Mail, You've Got Chemistry, HBO First Look: A Conversation With Nora Ephron and Discover New York's Upper West Side. A Carole King Music Video for Anyone At All and a Theatrical Trailer close out the extras. Disc two of the set features a DVD edition of Ernst Lubitsch’s THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan.

As I stated above, YOU'VE GOT MAIL is a charming bit of romantic comedy fluff. The Blu-ray presentation is pleasingly film like and a worthy upgrade for those so inclined.

 
YOU'VE GOT MAIL 


You've Got Mail [Blu-ray]

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DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 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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