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Maid in Manhattan (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

February 11, 2010 by  



Delightful!  “Maid in Manhattan” is a feel-good romantic comedy that still manages to entertain you years later on Blu-ray!

© 2002 Revolution Studios Distribution Company, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Maid in Manhattan

DURATION: 105 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Widescreen (2:40:1), English, French, Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Thai, Spanish 5.1 (Dolby Digital), Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, Thai, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified)

COMPANY: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

RATED: PG-13 (For Some Language/Sexual Reference)

RELEASE DATE: February 2, 2010

Directed by Wayne Wang

Story by John Hughes

Screenplay by Kevin Wade

Executive Producer: Benny Medina, Charles Newirth

Producer: Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Paul Schiff, Deborah Schindler

Co-Producer: Richard Baratta

Music by Alan Silvestri

Cinematography by Karl Walter Lindenlaub

Edited by Craig McKay

Casting by Jonathan Strauss, Todd M. Thaler

Production Design by Jane Musky

Art Direction by Patricia Woodbridge

Set Decoration by Susan Bode

Costume Design by Albert Wolsky

Starring:

Jennifer Lopez as Marisa Ventura

Ralph Fiennes as Christopher Marshall

Natasha Richardson as Caroline Lane

Stanley Tucci as Jerry Siegel

Tyler Posey as Ty Ventura

Frances Conroy as Paula Burns

Chris Eigeman as John Bextrum

Amy Sedaris as Rachel Hoffberg

Marissa Matrone as Stephanie Kehoe

Priscilla Lopez as Veronica Ventura

Bob Hoskins as Lionel Bloch

Marisa Ventura (Jennifer Lopez) is a struggling single mom who works at a posh Manhattan hotel and dreams of a better life for her and her young son (Tyler Posey). One fateful day, hotel guest and senatorial candidate Christopher Marshall (Ralph Fiennes) meets Marisa and mistakes her for a wealthy socialite. After an enchanting evening together, the two fall madly in love. But when Marisa’s true identity is revealed, issues of class and social status threaten to separate them. Can two people from very different worlds overcome their differences and live happily ever after? From acclaimed director Wayne Wang (Anywhere But Here) and co-starring Natasha Richardson, Stanley Tucci and Bob Hoskins, MAID IN MANHATTAN is “Romantic! Funny! Uplifting!” (Neil Rosen, NY1).

Delightful!  “Maid in Manhattan” is a feel-good romantic comedy that still manages to entertain you years later on Blu-ray!

In 2002, the romantic comedy “Maid in Manhattan” was a box office success.  #1 in the box office and earning over a $154 million worldwide.

The film was directed by Wayne Wang (“The Joy Luck Club”, “Last Holiday”, “The Center of the World”) and a screenplay by Kevin Wade (“Meet Joe Black”, “Working Girl”, “Mr. Baseball”).  The film would feature cinematography by Karl Walter Lindenlaub (“Georgia Rule”, “Ninja Assasin”, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”) and music by Alan Silvestri (“Beowulf”, “Night at the Museum”, “G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra” and “The Mummy” films).

“Maid in Manhattan” is about a single mother named Marisa Ventura (played by Jennifer Lopez,  “The Wedding Planner”, “Shall We Dance”, “Selena”) who raises her young son Ty (played by Tyler Posey, “Brothers & Sisters”, “Lincoln Heights”, “Doc”).  Ty is a fan of the ’70s and is fascinated by music from Simon and Garfunkel, Bread and even is entertained by learning about politics including President Richard Nixon.  It’s his big day to give his speech and he hopes that his mother and his father (who are divorced) and his grandmother can watch him on stage.

As for Marisa, she is a hard working maid at a luxurious Manhattan hotel.  She is known for getting her work done and being there for her superiors including her supervisor Lionel (played by Bob Hoskins, “Outlaw”, “Doomsday”, “A Christmas Carol”).  Although her work is top notch, Marisa struggles if she wants to submit an application to become a manager at the hotel, not knowing if she wants to work as a maid at the hotel all her life.

Meanwhile, the hotel is host for  politician Christopher Marshall (played by Ralph Fiennes, “Red Dragon”, “Harry Potter” films”, “The Avengers”) who is a senatorial candidate currently in a big political campaign and under the close eye of his campaign adviser Jerry Siegel (played by Stanley Tucci, “Julie & Julia”, “ER”, “Swing Vote”).

The hotel is also where socialite Caroline Lane (played by the late Natasha Richardson, “Haven”, “Asylum”, “Wild child”) is staying.  Caroline is trying to move forward after having relationship problems

On the big night of Marisa’s son’s speech night, her ex-husband doesn’t make it to the speech thus causing Ty to do poorly during his speech night.  Since it was her ex’s weekend to watch Ty and he didn’t come, Ty has to stay at the hotel during her weekend work hours.

That following day while at work, Marisa is fixing up the room of socialite Caroline Lane, meanwhile her friend and co-worker Stephanie (played by Marissa Matrone) decides to go through the closet and look through Caroline’s expensive Dolce & Gabbana clothing.  She tells Marisa to wear the clothes, so she will know how it feels to wear the expensive clothing which Marisa doesn’t want to (in fear that they may be caught) but is coaxed by Stephanie to give it a try.

Meanwhile, her son Ty is roaming around the hotel and meets politician Christopher Marshall and his adviser Jerry inside the elevator.  Christopher is about to take his big dog out for a walk but is shocked to see a young boy know so much about politics. Ty asks if he can accompany him during his walk which Christopher (who wants to get away from his adviser for awhile) agrees to.  Ty tells him that he just needs to get his mother’s permission, so both Ty and Christopher go to find Marisa.

When they find her, Marisa is at the expensive penthouse (where Caroline is staying) wearing the expensive Dolce & Gabanna clothes.  Immediately, Christopher is smitten by her and asks her to join him and Ty for a walk, which she agrees to.  Marisa then must lie to Christopher and tell him that her name is Caroline and hide the fact that she is a maid at the hotel.

The following day, Christopher feels that he made a connection with Marisa that he wants to see her again.  Marisa knows that she can’t keep up with the lie and to make things worse, when Christopher sends a dinner invitation to Caroline…it goes to the real Caroline (the socialite), which makes her think that the senatorial candidate is now interested in her.

With Christopher wanting to see the woman he met the other day and doing what he can to make sure that he finds her, will Marisa continue the charade and follow her heart?  Or will she try to avoid him as best as she can?

VIDEO:

“Maid in Manhattan” is featured in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio).  Having seen this film several times on DVD, I can tell you that the film looks vibrant on Blu-ray.  The New York City skyline looks absolutely beautiful in the background and with many colors throughout the film, once again Sony Pictures Home Entertainment does a great job with the transfer.  Skin tones are natural and Jennifer Lopez looks absolute beautiful.   Detail is much more evident during the hotel sequences but it’s the scenes when they are outdoor and you see New York City, which I found to be beautiful.  It definitely caught my attention when I saw it on Blu-ray.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

Also, catching my attention this time around is the lossless audio.  The film is presented in English, French and Portuguese Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Thai and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital.  Although the film is dialogue driven and audio is primarily front and center channel, I felt the music was really lively this time around.  Simon and Garfunkel’s “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” sounded pristine in lossless.  As for surround channel, there was not much being used (or was there a need for it) but did notice certain crowd scenes (primarily when Ty was giving his speech) and the reverb from the mic of the host of the speech night being heard through the surround channels.

But for the most part, the lossless audio is satisfactory for this type of film.  Again, I found the lossless audio much more apparent now than I have ever experienced watching this film prior on DVD.

Subtitles are in English, English SDH, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Korean, Thai, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified).

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Maid in Manhattan” comes with a single special feature in standard definition and in English stereo with Spanish, Chinese, Thai and Portuguese subtitles.

  • Blooper Reel – (7:31) Bloopers from “Maid in Manhattan”
  • Trailers – Upcoming or available films on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

“Maid in Manhattan”is a delightful romantic comedy.  It’s also my favorite film to feature Jennifer Lopez, who had come a long way since her appearance on “Selena” and “Anaconda”.  But most importantly, I felt that the film was good timing at the theaters.  I remember watching this film (which went up against another romantic comedy “Two Weeks Notice” with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock and also shot in NYC) a year after 9/11 and thinking how beautiful New York City looked and how appropriate it was to bring the NYC romantic comedy back on the big screen.

I enjoyed the film for its lightheartedness and although not necessarily complex, just a fun romantic comedy to sit back, watch and enjoy.  Although, in a sense it is a fairytale romantic comedy along the same vein as “Pretty Woman”, where Julia Roberts and Richard Gere had magnificent chemistry, although Lopez and Fiennes worked well together, I felt that the two didn’t have the same type of magic.

Overall, “Maid in Manhattan” is a simple but fun romantic comedy and for those who enjoyed the film on DVD, the beautiful visuals of the New York City skyline and hearing that Simon and Garfunkel music, all so clearly in lossless audio may be enough for you to upgrade.  The original DVD was a bit lackluster in special features, so at least people can see the blooper reel included.  It would have been nice to have an audio commentary or featurette to be included but at least there is something and it’s not another barebones release.

If you are looking for a romantic comedy film just in time for Valentines Day or just a big fan of the film or J.Lo, then “Maid in Manhattan” is definitely worth picking up on Blu-ray!

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