DVD Review: Hope Floats

Reel.Com 50% OFF DVD LIST
Reel.com Home Page
Reel.Com's DVD Section

Hope Floats
20th Century Fox Home Video
Suggested Retail Price: The Outrageous $34.98
1.85:1/Dolby Digital
PG13/22 Chapters

Let me just say that I have not given in on my anti-Fox stance on DVD. I rented this disc. Even my Panasonic player, instead of scrolling it's usual welcome of "Welcome to DVD World", scrolled "You didn't actually *pay* $34.98 for this, did you?" I thought my player was going to spit the disc out and toss it across the room in anger.

The film is halfway decent, starring Sandra Bullock as a woman who's devastated after learning, on national television no less, than her husband is having an affair with her best friend. It's a well done scene, particularly painful when the camera turns on her young daughter, sitting in the audience in tears. The film is really Bullock at her best, although the film itself doesn't always work. It's a TV Movie Of The Week kind of drama; one of those films that make absolutely everything about a thousand times more melodramatic than any human reality.

So, after being embarassed on the talk show, Bullock's character Birdee Pruitt goes back home to Smithville, TX(actually filmed in Austin, TX, I believe.) where she runs into the townsfolk that all know her name and all know her embarassment. Joining her is her somewhat whiny little daughter(Mae Whitman) and those from her life in the town, like her old friends, her past boyfriend(Harry Connick, Jr.) who still loves her and her mother(played nicely by Gena Rowlands. I liked some of the moments in this film, like when Bullock goes to the employment agency to be confronted by a girl from her high school past who she didn't treat terribly well.

The film itself is obvious drama, where most in the audience will tell what will happen a mile away between the Bullock and Connick, Jr. characters. It's not too terribly painful to watch thanks to Bullock's performance.

Direction by Forest Whitaker is fairly good and keeps the film moving at a fairly brisk clip. It's the score that emphasizes the sense that the film is one of those formulaic romantic dramas that is so sappy and sugary you may groan a few times. There are a few scenes where I was very thankful for the warp-speed fast foward on my Panasonic A110.

The DVD:
It's a fairly okay transfer in terms of picture. The film is shot in a very soft focus, and the colors are vibrant and fairly bright, but the clarity and contrast seem mainly just okay. It ranks just a notch above a laserdisc quality transfer, but not leaps and bounds over. To put it a better way, it's not a good enough transfer to pay $34.98 suggested retail price for.

Sound: You can't change the audio with the remote(you have to go back to the menu) and also, there's nothing much of interest in the soundtrack but the sappy score. Dialogue sounds nice and it's easy to hear.

Extras: What extras? All you get is the theatrical trailer and some very uninteresting menus.

Languages/Subtitles: Spanish/English Subtitles, French/English Languages

Price:$34.98(Yikes! No way!)


Disc Grade:D+

Email: sonysdds1@hotmail.com