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While I have this thing for Sandra Bullock, even I have to admit that HOPE FLOATS ($35) isn’t exactly her best film. This is not to say that HOPE FLOATS is a bad movie, it’s just a bit too much of a "chick flick" for its own good. In HOPE FLOATS, Sandra Bullock plays Birdee Pruitt, a young woman who returns to her small Texas town after a messy break up with her husband on a sleazy television talk show. Absolutely everyone in her hometown has seen the former prom queen’s televised breakup with the high school football star, and her high school peers seem to revel in it. All except Justin Matisse (Harry Connick Jr.), the first boy Birdee ever kissed, who still carries a torch for her. HOPE FLOATS doesn’t go into any unexpected places, as Birdee tries to make a new life for herself and her young daughter in the town where she grew up. The lead performances are enjoyable; both Bullock and Connick do a good job, but it is Gena Rowlands as Birdee’s eccentric mother Ramona who steals the movie. Mae Whitman, Michael Paré, Cameron Finley, Kathy Najimy and Rosanna Arquette fill out the cast of HOPE FLOATS.

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment brings HOPE FLOATS to DVD in a good looking wide screen presentation that restores the film’s 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The Letterboxed transfer lacks the anamorphic enhancement for 16:9 wide screen televisions, but it will be pleasing to those with a standard dimension television set. Flesh tones are natural, while strong colors reproduce without any evidence of chroma noise. The cinematography has a romantic haze about it that is recreated with maximum fidelity and detail. Digital compression artifacts were never bothersome.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 channel soundtrack has a clean open sounding mix that no one will ever confuse for that of an action movie. Dialogue is clean and clear, while the track offers a few well placed directional effects. A matrixed Dolby Surround soundtrack has also been encoded into the DVD, along with a French language track. English and Spanish subtitles have been provided.

The simple interactive menus offer the standard scene and language selection features, plus access to a theatrical trailer and cast biographies.




DVD reviews are Copyright © 1999 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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