Plot: What’s it about?
I’ll come out and say it – I’ve never seen a Nicholas Sparks movie. The Vow is the first one that I’ve sat down and watched and even then I really don’t know what I was thinking. Don’t let that influence the remainder of the review, however, it wasn’t bad. I am, however, constantly perplexed at how movies tend to handle amnesia. It’s a horrible thing. How awful would it be to find the woman of your dreams only to “lose” her because she lost her memory? It’s hard enough to fall in love once, only to do it again with the same person – it must be next to impossible. Still, this is the focus of The Vow and it’s actually based on a real life couple that experienced what our characters go through in the film. And in case you haven’t seen or heard from him, Channing Tatum stars in it. Along with every other movie in the past year.
Leo (Channing Tatum) is a musician of sorts and by freak chance he meets Paige (Rachel McAdams). The two start to date and before long, they’re an item. The movie starts off in flashback form as we see the car accident that caused Paige to lose her memory to begin with. We see the “healing process” so to speak as Leo tries to re-introduce Paige to the life he’s known with her. Of course this is easier said than done. Paige’s parents (Sam Neill and Jessica Lange) have never met or approved of Leo. She’s a law school dropout to become an artist and was previously engaged to Jeremy (Scott Speedman), someone who her parents did approve of. This begs the question, who will Paige pick this time and will she ever get her memory back?
As I mentioned, this is my first viewing of a Nicholas Sparks movie. Yes, I realize that The Notebook is among the modern love stories that “needs” to be seen, but every time I pull it from my collection I think of a reason not to put it in the player. Am I the antithesis of a romantic? Hardly. And I do like Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams (she had a starring role in that one as well). Perhaps someday I’ll work up the nerve to put that in my player. After watching The Vow, it’s about what I expected it to be. It was a huge box office hit, cementing Tatum’s status as a leading man and I’m sure that Nicholas Sparks will continue to write more books and they’ll get turned into more films. Evidently there’s an audience.
Video: How does it look?
The Vow comes to Blu-ray in a 2.40:1 AVC HD image that’s just as we’d expect it to look – great. There are a variety of scenes in the movie, set in Chicago, so we do get some good second unit shots of the city (The Music Box theater, downtown, etc.) which showcase the clarity of the HD image. Rachel McAdams’ porcelain skin is “flawed” only by her laugh lines. We can see the detail in the nighttime scenes. Black levels and contrast are right on the mark. A couple of scenes seem to be a tad on the soft side, so it’s not perfect but pretty close.
Audio: How does it sound?
The DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is consistent with that of a romance movie. While dialogue is strong and clear, we don’t get a lot of “thuds” or “booms” then again we’re not supposed to. Even the car wreck happens in super slow motion, so it’s a missed opportunity with the sound there. That said, it’s not bad by any means, but this mix has its limitations and seems to know them. Like the movie itself, you’ll pretty much get what you expect going in.
Supplements: What are the extras?
The disc contains just enough supplements to warrant a purchase (for fans of the movie). We start off with a commentary track by director Michael Sucsy who gives us some details about the shoot, Rachel McAdams’ wigs and how the movie was about 99% fiction. It’s not a bad track, for sure, so give it a listen. There are also some deleted scenes, a gag reel and the trailer. Moving onto the Blu-ray exclusives we find a trio of featurettes that all say the same thing…adapting the novel, we’ve got a doctor telling us the physical reasons why Paige wasn’t able to remember and plenty of Channing Tatum.