New York, I Love You (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Drama / Romance
Vivendi Entertainment || R - 103 minutes - $27.99 || February 2, 2010
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2010-01-29


Buy this DVD from Amazon.com!
.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Various
Writer(s): Various
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Hayden Christensen, Andy Garcia, Rachel Bilson, Natalie Portman, Orlando Bloom, Christina Ricci, Maggie Q, Ethan Hawke, Anton Yelchin, James Caan, Olivia Thirlby, Drea De Matteo, Julie Christie, John Hurt, Shia LaBeouf, Chris Cooper, Robin Wright Penn, Eli Wallach, Cloris Leachman


Theatrical Release Date: October 16, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • 2 Bonus Segments
  • Interviews
  • Theatrical Trailer


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (DTS-HD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH

Comment on this and other movies on the message board!


.::THE FILM::.

I was absolutely enthralled with 2006’s Paris, I Love You as it beautifully showcased the City of Love, Lights, Dreams, Art, et cetera while also giving us stories that made use of each precious minute allotted; and I had high hopes for the follow-up, New York, I Love You where we get to see the City That Never Sleeps. Unfortunately even though the directors try their best to showcase New York, the stories never quite hit the emotional levels (be it for comedy or drama) that I felt with Paris.

This anthology features a slew of recognizable and talented actors to go along with some talented directors. Unlike Paris, I Love You, these vignettes do not have titles and instead (during the end credits) are categorized by the director. Here are the general “plotlines” for each segment:

“Segment Directed by Jiang Wen” centers on a pick-pocket man named Ben (HAYDEN CHRISTENSEN) who falls for Molly (RACHEL BILSON) and sits at a bar to have a drink with her, but not before he steals her phone to kindly return it to her, when in walks in his previous mark, Garry (ANDY GARCIA), who happens to be Molly’s mistress since Garry is married. **¾ / *****

“Segment Directed by Mira Nair” is about Rifka (NATALIE PORTMAN), a bride-to-be getting married to a Hasidic man, makes a diamond purchase with an Indian jeweler (IRRFAN KHAN). ***¼ / *****

“Segment Directed by Shunji Iawi” is a fun vignette focusing on reclusive music composer David (ORLANDO BLOOM) struggling to finish his latest work and receives help from Camille (CHRISTINA RICCI) who we only hear on the phone until the very end. ***¾ / *****

“Segment Directed by Yvan Attal” looks at the power of the lexis when a quick witted writer (ETHAN HAWKE) tries to use all his charm and words to seduce/lure a beautiful woman (MAGGIE Q) into bed. Attal’s segment was apparently split into two with the second part, another sidewalk conversation, between Alex (CHRIS COOPER) and Anna (ROBIN WRIGHT PENN). ***½ / *****

“Segment Directed by Brett Ratner” is the funniest of the bunch where a teenage boy (ANTON YELCHIN) has no date to the prom after his girlfriend (BLAKE LIVELY in a small cameo even in a movie like this) broke up with him. He is offered help by a local pharmacist (JAMES CAAN) to take his lovely daughter (OLIVIA THIRLBY) as a date. Of course, the boy gets a surprise when he picks her up... This segment was written by long-time Ratner contributor, Jeff Nathanson from the Rush Hour franchise. ***¾ / *****

“Segment Directed by Allen Hughes” shows the power of lust and emotions attached when Gus (BRADLEY COOPER) and Lydia (DREA DE MATTEO) contemplate their physical attraction on the way to a meeting at a bar. ***¼ / *****

“Segment Directed by Shekhar Kapur” is the more unusual vignette and does not match up with the rest of them. This one is about an aging singer (JULIE CHRISTIE) who checks into a hotel and aided by the bellhop (SHIA LABEOUF). This also features John Hurt. **½ / *****

“Segment Directed by Natalie Portman” is a sweet vignette about a father (CARLOS ACOSTA) who takes his daughter (TAYLOR GEARE) around New York for a day of fun before bringing her back to her mother (JACINDA BARRETT). Portman, making her directorial debut, also wrote the segment. ***¼ / *****

“Segment Directed by Faith Akin” focuses on a Painter (UGER YUCEL) and his latest muse, a Chinese herbalist (SHU QI). The great Burt Young makes a brief appearance as a landlord. **¾ / *****

“Segment Directed by Joshua Marston” is probably the best of the bunch showing a man and woman (ELI WALLACH, CLORIS LEACHMAN) celebrating their umpteenth wedding anniversary bickering but showing their everlasting love for one another. **** / *****

There are also what are called “Transition” segments used to go from one segment to another and these were directed by Randy Balsmeyer and featured a recurring plotline of a video artist (EMILIE OHANA) who also appeared in other segments as well. It also has a minor plot with a couple named Justin (JUSTIN BARTHA) and Sarah (EVA AMURRI) as he presents her with a surprise trip.

Although I wasn’t as enthusiastic with New York, I Love You as I was with the Paris counterpart there is still something undeniably charming with these anthologies (with Rio, Shanghai and Jerusalem coming in the next few years). I don’t think they did as a good of a job showcasing New York as they did with Paris as I never got a sense for the city, especially for a West Coast small town guy like me...

The performances are all around fairly good with some very talented actors taking on tiny roles where they don’t have a whole lot of time to develop their characters and thus heavily rely on the writing. The array of quality from one segment to the next can be jarring as the styles don’t entirely mesh but the actors do their best with what they have.

I can’t say that New York, I Love You is a great movie on the whole, but certainly some of the vignettes are quite good and after you watch the film in its entirety, it might be worth going back and seeing some of them on their own.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Fans will be glad to know that the two bonus segments cut from the final release are available here. Unfortunately they are presented in standard definition and Dolby 2.0 surround.

The first was directed by Scarlett Johansson (debut) and starred Kevin Bacon who only has one line. I can see why this was removed as it’s very different from the others both in tone and style (it’s kind of brown and white with colors being removed).

The second is from Andrei Zvyagintsey and features Carla Gugino, Goran Visnjic (both having no discernable lines) and Nicholas Purcell. This one is in the same vein as Johansson’s as it doesn’t really fit in very well with the movie so taking it out probably was the best option, although it is nice to see here.

5 Director Interviews (16:26) – These interviews feature Brett Ratner, Yvan Attal, Josh Marston, Mira Nair and Shunji Iwai. The directors explain the challenges in writing a script (or getting someone to do it), casting and shooting a short movie in only a couple days.

Last up is the original theatrical trailer (1:59; HD).



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

New York, I Love You is presented with a 1.78 aspect ratio (it was 1.85 theatrically) and as you might expect with a movie featuring 10 different directors with different styles, you’re not going to get a consistent look from one vignette to the next. That said, the image looks clean enough and is well detailed throughout. Again, colors will vary but nothing looked out of the ordinary.

The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is nice, just nothing spectacular. There’s plenty of music and scores so you get a little depth, to go along with some city ambient noise, but on the whole it is quite dialogue heavy, yet it was all clear enough to understand every word.



.::OVERALL::.

I wanted to love New York, I Love You as much I had of the previous effort in Paris but found some of the stories to be less than compelling and the direction not very satisfying given they filmed in one of the greatest cities in the world. However, there are a couple segments in there that were decent and the performances all around are pretty good so I give this a very lukewarm recommendation as a rental.