Valentine’s Day appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-Ray Disc. The movie offered a good but not great transfer.
Sharpness was usually strong. A few shots appeared a little on the soft side, but those instances remained rare. Instead, the majority of the flick looked accurate and well-defined. No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects occurred, and edge enhancement remained absent. Source flaws were also a non-factor; other than some light, natural grain, the movie was clean and fresh.
Day went with a pretty natural palette. At times it favored the expected pink/red hues, but those never became a dominant theme. The colors remained full and well-defined. Blacks were reasonably dark and tight, but shadows tended to be a bit dull. Low-light shots veered toward the slightly dense side and lacked great definition. Neither that side of things nor the mild softness created substantial concerns, but they knocked my grade down to a “B”.
Expect a perfectly ordinary DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack from Valentine’s Day. While I didn’t anticipate a lively soundscape, I thought we’d get something more dynamic than this exceptionally low-key affair. The soundfield lacked much presence. The film offered some light environmental information and decent stereo music but not much more. I guess the surrounds fleshed out those elements, but they never made themselves known in any notable way.
Audio quality was fine. Speech was natural and crisp, without edginess or other issues. Music appeared decent, though I thought the score and songs didn’t boast great range; the track’s subtlety meant that even some loud rap tunes lacked punch. Effects remained insubstantial but were fine given their unambitious nature. Because I didn’t expect much from the track, I can’t say it disappointed, but it didn’t do much for me.
The package comes with a reasonable roster of extras. We open with an audio commentary from director Garry Marshall. He offers a running, screen-specific look at cast and performances, LA locations, story and character issues, music, and various bits of production minutiae.
Marshall’s prior commentaries tended to be very good to excellent; his track for Pretty Woman remains an informative delight. This created high expectations for his Valentine’s Day chat – expectations that the track itself fails to fulfill, especially during the film’s first act. During the movie’s initial segment, Marshall usually does little more than identify the participants. Given the enormous cast, that seems understandable, but it’s also pretty dull.
However, as the movie progresses, Marshall starts to open up his focus and make things more interesting. He also displays more of his trademark humor, so the combination of decent facts and funniness allows the commentary to prosper. Marshall never approaches the heights of his earlier tracks, but at least he rebounds well after a dull beginning.
14 Deleted Scenes run a total of 22 minutes, 28 seconds. (That includes optional director’s introductions.) These tend to fall into two categories: additional character exposition and more TV interviews. In the latter domain, the most notable come from cameos by Marshall’s more famous sister Penny and NBA players Dwight Howard and Chris Andersen. Despite that minor fun factor, these bits are pretty forgettable, and they would’ve slowed down the film since they have nothing to do with the 825 “main characters”.
As for the expository clips, they don’t add anything either. The most significant shows an expansion of Anne Hathaway’s character; it does make the role a bit bigger, but it doesn’t really do much for me. Day is already too long, so the inclusion of these segments almost certainly would’ve made the flick even more tedious.
Marshall’s intros prove to be useful. He lets us know some basics about the scenes and tells us why he gave them the boot. He’s honest and informative.
Two featurettes follow. The Stars Confess Their Valentine’s Day Stories goes for six minutes, 27 seconds and includes remarks from Marshall and actors Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Eric Dane, Topher Grace, Bradley Cooper, Taylor Lautner, Julia Roberts, Patrick Dempsey, Taylor Swift, Jennifer Garner, Ashton Kutcher, George Lopez, Hector Elizondo, Queen Latifah, and Jamie Foxx. This is an insubstantial little puff piece, but it moves fast and is enjoyable enough.
The Garry Factor fills five minutes, three seconds and provides remarks from Marshall, Garner, Roberts, Latifah, Alba, Dempsey, Grace, Biel, Hathaway, Foxx, Lopez, Elizondo, Lautner, Kutcher, Swift, Cooper and actors Carter Jenkins, Shirley MacLaine, and Bryce Robinson. All the actors relate their adoration for Marshall. Like “Confess”, it contains zero substance, but it’s breezy and goes by without pain.
Next comes a Music Video for Jewel’s “Stay Here Forever”. Jewel lip-synchs her fairly tepid little country-esque tune in a flower shop; we also see movie snippets. Both the song and the video are inoffensive but forgettable.
We also find a Blooper Reel. It goes for five minutes, 47 seconds as I shows the standard roster of goofs and giggles. It’s forgettable, though I do want to mention that the movie’s end credits include different – and superior – bloopers. That collection deserves a look if for no reason other than to see Julia Roberts’ nod toward her past; the one line is funnier than anything in the actual movie.
The disc opens with a trailer for Sex and the City 2. The package also two-minute, 49-second Sneak Peek for the flick that mixes movie clips with comments from cast and crew. No trailer for Valentine’s Day shows up here.
A second disc offers two elements. For one, it provides a standard DVD version of the film. Note that this doesn’t simply duplicate the DVD you can buy on its own; it’s a more barebones affair that lacks the standard disc’s foreign language options. It allows fans without Blu-ray capabilities a way to watch the movie until they do take the Blu plunge.
The second platter also includes a digital copy of Valentine’s Day. This allows you to slap the flick on a computer or portable gizmo. Whoop-di-do!
With scads of stars, Valentine’s Day boasted great potential to be out of the ordinary. Instead, it’s about as in the ordinary as I can imagine, a film with tons of characters but nothing particularly clever, memorable or entertaining. The Blu-ray provides generally good picture, mediocre audio and a decent set of supplements. While not awful, Day is perfectly ordinary; given its huge number of famous participants, “perfectly ordinary” isn’t good enough.