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Based upon the novel by Nicholas Sparks, NIGHTS IN RODANTHE ($36) is a typical weepy chick flick that is made palatable to a male audience by the presence of its two stars. However, I think this male would have gotten more enjoyment out of the film had the producers decided to tack on a more Hollywood styled ending. NIGHTS IN RODANTHE tells the story of Adrienne Willis (Diane Lane), a separated mother of two, who learns from her estranged husband Jack (Christopher Meloni) that he wants to come back home. Adrienne resents Jack for walking out on them, but agrees to think things over, while she takes over the reins of her best friendís bed and breakfast in Rodanthe, North Carolina for the weekend.

As this is the off-season, the bed and breakfast will only have a single guest for said weekend- Dr. Paul Flanner (Richard Gere). As Adrienne quickly learns, Paul is dealing with a number of personal and professional issues, one of which has brought him to Rodanthe. In typical chick flick fashion, the two spend time together and quickly fall in love, but are soon parted when Paul heads to Ecuador to reconnect with his estranged son Mark (James Franco), who is also a doctor and practicing medicine in the jungle. I rather liked NIGHTS IN RODANTHE up until this point in the story, but I could smell the predictable chick flick ending coming a mile away, which ultimately tarnished the filmís appeal. The cast of NIGHTS IN RODANTHE also includes Viola Davis, Becky Ann Baker, Scott Glenn, Linda Molloy, Pablo Schreiber, Mae Whitman, Charlie Tahan and Carolyn McCormick.

Warner Home Video has made NIGHTS IN RODANTHE available on Blu-ray Disc in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the VC-1 codec. I have to say that the terrific 1080p presentation is one of highlights of NIGHTS IN RODANTHE. Alfonso Beatoís cinematography is beautifully rendered in high definition and is something of a visual treat. Image sharpness, dimensionality and fine detail all rate rather highly. Colors have a generally realistic level of saturation, while the flesh tones appear quite natural. Blacks are inky, whites are pure, plus the picture sports very smooth contrast and admirable shadow detail. The elements from which NIGHTS IN RODANTHE have been mastered are free from flaws. NIGHTS IN RODANTHE shows virtually no grain, but does not seem to have been a victim of excessive DNR, as there is a terrific level of fine detail in the image, as evidenced by the readily apparent lines in Scott Glennís face.

NIGHTS IN RODANTHE is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital 640kbps soundtrack. Even though the majority of the track is undemanding, a lossless encode would have been nice on this release- the pivotal storm sequence would have certainly benefited. For the most part, NIGHTS IN RODANTHE is a talky drama; with the sound design delivering a nice sense of ambience from the outlying channels. The above mentioned storm sequence is where that track is at its liveliest, but does come across with more than respectable impact in standard Dolby Digital. Music is also nicely rendered. Voices are cleanly reproduced and the dialogue is totally understandable. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 channel tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as some extras. HD Featurettes include The Nature Of Love (twenty-one minutes), In Rodanthe: An Intimate Look At Nights In Rodanthe With Singer/Songwriter Emmylou Harris (twelve minutes) and A Time For Love: Keeping Up With Nicholas Sparks (seven minutes). Alternate Scenes with Optional Commentary by director George C. Wolfe are also provided. A Gavin Rossdale Music Video for the song Love Remains The Same closes out the standard extras. A Digital Copy of the film is also provided. NIGHTS IN RODANTHE is also BD-Live enabled (requires a Profile 2.0 player).

NIGHTS IN RODANTHE will prove to be too much weepy chick flick for some tastes, but those who enjoy such things will like this film. The visual aspect of the Blu-ray release was a very pleasant surprise and is certain to delight those with an interest in NIGHTS IN RODANTHE.



Nights in Rodanthe (+ BD-Live) [Blu-ray] (2008)


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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