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When the first draft of the screenplay for FOOL'S GOLD ($36) was returned to the writer, the most prominent note must have indicated the necessity to add an excuse to use the leading manís head as a punching bag every ten pages. That being said, I did laugh every time Matthew McConaughey took one to the noggin, but unfortunately, that device seems to be the only one that worked consistently to produce laughs throughout the course of this wishy-washy romantic/action comedy. I will give FOOL'S GOLD credit for its eye candy quotient; it is a very attractive looking movie, in a gorgeous setting, and is populated with its fare share of beautiful people.

FOOL'S GOLD re-teams McConaughey with Kate Hudson, and the duo do share some chemistry- something that does elevate the film, even when the screenplay isnít providing the necessary juice. The premise of FOOL'S GOLD finds McConaughey and Hudson in the roles of Benjamin and Tess Finnegan, a recently divorced couple, who are drawn back together, when he gets the bead on a the location of a sunken 18th century treasure. Of course, getting at the treasure proves difficult, due to the competition, which includes the incompetent local goons, who tried to leave our leading man at the bottom of the drink. Look for Donald Sutherland to add a touch of class to the proceedings, but obviously he took his thankless role for a quick paycheck and the opportunity for location shooting in the tropics. The cast of FOOL'S GOLD also includes Alexis Dziena, Ewen Bremner, Ray Winstone, Kevin Hart, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Brian Hooks and David Roberts.

Warner Home Video has made FOOL'S GOLD available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.40:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. The 1080p presentation does serve the filmís picture postcard look quite well. Image sharpness and detail are all pretty great during the sun-drenched exteriors, although the interiors and the nighttime work ratchets the look down to standard comedy mode. Fine details such as individual hairs, fabrics and the textures on objects are strong. Hues tend to be very strong and very vibrant; there are moments when the colors really push towards being over-saturated, but things never lose stability. Blacks are deep and whites are crisp. Contrast and shadow detail can be terrific, but there are moments when they appear a hair off. The film elements used for the transfer are virtually pristine. Additionally, appreciable grain is mild.

FOOL'S GOLD is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital 640kbps soundtrack. For the most part, this is a standard comedy mix, with some action movie flourishes, so the lossy soundtrack option isnít much of a problem. Sound effects move around the outlying channels in an effective manner, but a good portion of FOOL'S GOLD is on the talky side. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue maintains complete intelligibility. Fidelity tends to be adequate for the task and the musical component is fine. The bass channel adds some reinforcement, but doesnít push the material beyond its limitations. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus provide access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as a couple of extras: Fool's Gold: Flirting With Adventure- The Chemistry Between Two Charming Contemporary Stars (five minutes) and a Gag Reel.

FOOL'S GOLD is a mildly amusing romantic comedy that got this reviewer laughing any time Matthew McConaughey took a blow to the head. The Blu-ray release is really attractive to look at, plus the sound is fine for a comedy.


Fool's Gold [Blu-ray] (2008)


DVD & Blu-rayDisc reviews are Copyright © 2008 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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