Catch & Release (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 7 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

Romantic comedies are a hit and miss genre. Sometimes they work as in “Pretty Woman” or “When Harry Met Sally” and sometimes they just don’t as in “Catch and Release”. That is, of course, you classify this film as a romantic comedy. That’s the main problem that I had with this film and I’ll get into specifics a little later on. A few words about the cast for now. First off we have Jennifer Garner (aka “Mrs. Ben Affleck” though she has made a name for herself). Garner was the star of the very popular TV show “Alias” until its five-year run ended a couple years back and she had some moderate success with some big movies (“Daredevil” and “13 Going on 30”). Then she got pregnant and evidently this is her return to movies. Ok, that’s fine but this isn’t exactly the genre that you go for if you ask me (and no one did). Next up we have Kevin Smith, better-known for his work behind the camera with movies like “Clerks”, “Chasing Amy” and “Dogma”. Smith can act, but honestly I think he was trying to make up for all of the movies his character of Silent Bob was in. About the only other member of the cast I’d heard of was Timothy Olyphant, an actor I like but haven’t seen him in much lately. No matter. On with the plot (or lack thereof).

Garner plays Gray Wheeler, a bride to be who has just found out that her fiancé has died. We don’t really get specifics on how he died, rather that he was a fisherman of some sort and that’s that. He’s only referred to in passing and I hope when I go that people are a little more upset than these so-called “friends” of his. Gray goes through the motions of being sad, though early on she’s seen drunk in a bar talking to a man. What’s interesting is that Gray finds out that her ex-husband to be had a woman on the side and possibly a child (along with a bank account that has more than a million dollars in it). Naturally Gray’s curious as to this alternate side of life and she finds out a little more than she wants to. On the flip side, the supporting players are all trying their best to comfort Gray. We’ve got Sam (Kevin Smith), who’s rarely seen without a bottle of beer in his hand. There’s Dennis (Sam Jeager), the friend who’s always had a thing for Gray and finally Fritz (Timothy Olyphant), the one from Hollywood who may or may not be the object of Gray’s affection. With all of this going on, it’s hard to tell which way is up.

“Catch and Release” is a different kind of movie. I have to admit I really didn’t know what to think as the plot was all over the place, each scene seemed independent of one another. The movie starts out by Gray learning of her loved ones death and seems to go downhill from there. Perhaps the movie’s message is about recovery and rebuilding yourself (and perhaps second chances). I really don’t know. What I do know is that I wasn’t really entertained. I ended up counting the references to other Kevin Smith movies by the clothes he was wearing (fans of Smith’s films will undoubtedly notice the number “37” on many of his jerseys). I’m sure that wasn’t the filmmakers intent, but it’s what I ended up concentrating on. Some may have liked this movie but I’m not one of them, part of me wishes I’d have never taken it out of the plastic. Skip this one…

Video: How does it look?

For all that “Catch and Release” lacks in plot, I do have to say that the MPEG-2 2.40:1 HD transfer is amazing. I really couldn’t see an instance I which the picture suffered in the least. There aren’t a whole lot of nighttime shots, which usually compromise an image and the daytime shots look spectacular. The movie takes place (and was obviously shot in) Boulder, Colorado and we get plenty picturesque views of the mountains, streams and everything in between. No edge enhancement, no artifacting and I have to say that the image quality alone is something that kept me going until the ending credits.

Audio: How does it sound?

The PCM uncompressed soundtrack is a bit above average, but for the most part this is a dialogue-driven movie. There are a few scenes when the soundtrack really takes over, but they’re few and far between. Dialogue sounds warm and natural, about everything we’d expect from a new to Blu-ray movie. There aren’t a lot of directional effects going on and the majority of the soundstage was a bit “top heavy”. All in all, this isn’t the type of movie you’ll watch for the audio.

Supplements: What are the extras?

“Catch and Release” comes to us with the same supplements found on the standard DVD and first off we get two commentaries. Ok, I’m not going to mislead anyone here. I barely made it through the movie itself so there was no way that I was going to go back and listen to two different commentary tracks. If you’re a fan of the movie, they’re there for you but I opted to skip those. We do get some screen tests for three of the actors, a few deleted scenes and a making of featurette with the cast and crew. “Catch and Release” excelled on the technical aspects of Blu-ray but the movie left me wanting…something. Proceed at your own risk.

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