Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Comedy / Romance
Sony || PG13 - 90 minutes - $39.95 || February 3, 2009
Reviewer: Brian Oliver || Posted On: 2009-02-16


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.:: 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

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Peter Sollett
Writer(s): Rachel Cohn & David Levithan (novel); Lorene Scafaria (screenplay)
Cast: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Aaron Yoo, Ari Graynor, Alexis Dziena


Theatrical Release Date: October 3, 2008


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Telestrator Commentary
  • Audio Commentary
  • Deleted & Alternate Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • A Nick & Norah Puppet Show by Kat Dennings
  • Ari Greynor's Video Diary
  • Storyboard Animation
  • Faux Interview
  • Peter Sollett's Photo Album
  • Music Video
  • Cinechat
  • Nick & Norah's Interactive Playlist


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), French (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby TrueHD 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Dutch, English SDH

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.::THE FILM::.

There are times when I get sick and tired of the numerous clichés in romantic comedies but when a good one comes around where you can ignore them, I’m usually pleasantly surprised.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist is a teen romantic comedy but only because the main characters are teenagers. This is not 10 Things I Hate About You or Can’t Hardly Wait (both of which are great films), but something along the lines of Juno minus those oh so cunning one-liners and quips.

This is also a simple, and safe, story: Nick (Michael Cera; Superbad) is a nice guy but is still hung up on his manipulative ex-girlfriend, Tris (Alexis Dziena; Fool’s Gold). Nora (Kat Dennings; The House Bunny) is the daughter of a famous music producer and has a passion for music and has fallen in love with Nick’s playlist which he made for Tris (she and Norah go to the same high school).

One night Nick and Norah run into one another by accident where Nick is playing with his band named “The Jerk Offs”, a bad where he is the only straight guy. After a passionate kiss (Norah wanted to prove to Tris she had a boyfriend), they find commonality with each other and set out to find the secret location where their favorite band might be playing. What follows is a night of excitement, chasing after Norah’s drunken best friend and maybe discovering that they are made for each other.

Nick and Norah is a movie that isn’t without clichés (there is the inevitable boy meets girl, girl likes boy, boy and girl in fight, etc) but there’s something special about this rendition of the teen romantic comedy.

Michael Cera is playing, well, the same kind of character we’ve seen on “Arrested Development”, Juno and Superbad but he’s perfect as the wounded soul dude who can somehow melt the heart of whatever leading lady he’s opposite against.

I’ll admit that since Charlie Bartlett, I’ve had a crush on Kat Dennings. Kind of like her role in Bartlett, she comes across as a cool chick you would (or I would anyway) fall for in real life and that translates to the screen.

And it’s the chemistry between Cera and Dennings that makes Nick and Norah work. They are not Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan (wow she gets around), but when you can carry a film, when the sparks don’t really fly until the third act (aside from the kiss at the beginning), they are doing something right.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, along with being a romantic comedy, is kind of a love song to indie music, though thankfully it’s not in your face obvious (and really the iPod only makes one appearance).

I think if you enjoy teen romantic comedies, you might be surprised that it isn’t the same style of comedy like those others, but also don’t go in expecting anything deep either. It’s a simple, safe but sweet comedy that I enjoyed immensely from beginning to end.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Telestrator Commentary features director Peter Sollett and cast members Michael Cera, Kat Dennings and Ari Graynor. This is just a regular commentary and once in a while they can use a telestrator to write on the screen (like Men in Black). This commentary, I believe, is available on the DVD, the telestrator part is a ** Blu-ray Exclusive **.

Feature Commentary #2 – The second commentary is with director Peter Sollett, Authors Rachel Cohn & David Levithan and screenwriter Lorene Scafaria. This one is much more technical where the first is a fun, laidback track.

Deleted Scenes (9:14) – There are 9 scenes in total, some alternate takes but for the most part nothing special. There is one scene between Norah and Jesus (played by Eddie Kaye Thomas) but that’s basically it.

Outtakes (4:12) are some movie flubs, actors breaking character and that good stuff.

A Nick and Norah Puppet Show (5:12) is a creative and very funny show put on by Kat Dennings, a fun rendition of the entire movie in 5 minutes.

Some odds and ends: Ari Graynor’s Video Diary (3:56) puts a camcorder in the hands of the actors behind-the-scenes; Storyboard Animation (9:07) with optional commentary (director and editor); Faux Interview with Michael Cera and Kat Dennings (2:50) interviewed by Eddie Kaye Thomas; Peter Sollett’s Photo Album; and the music video (2:53) for Bishop Allen’s song, “Middle Management”.

Cinechat is a feature where you can send instant messages to your friends while watching the movie! Yay! Yeah, I didn’t use this... There is also an introduction called What is Cinechat (0:33). ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Equally useless (for me) is Nick & Norah’s Interactive Playlist where you can create and share a playlist of your favorite Nick & Norah songs. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

We also get a digital copy you can use on your PSP, Mac and iTunes ** Blu-ray Exclusive ** and of course we also have Blu-ray’s crown jewel, BD-Live ** Blu-ray Exclusive **.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Nick and Norah is presented in widescreen with a 1.85 aspect ratio in 1080p high-definition (MPEG-4 AVC video codec). I was pretty surprised (in a disappointed kind of way) on how noisy the picture was (primarily darker/night scenes). I can only assume this was how it looked in theaters but it’s very obvious here. Skin tones do look good but the black levels did seem a tad light in spots. Good news is the image itself is fairly sharp, being able to see each mole or pore on people’s faces.

The Blu-ray comes with a decent Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track in English, French and Portuguese. Outside of a few songs and the occasional score, the soundtrack wasn’t too impressive. I noticed my front speakers were fairly low at times and the rear speakers were especially toned down.



.::OVERALL::.

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist isn’t a great romantic comedy, it’s in fact very safe, but with a fun cast and two nice leads, including the lovely Kat Dennings, makes this movie a worthwhile venture.