Autumn in New York

January 28, 2012 8 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Will Keane (Richard Gere) has always been the type to play the field, even as he nears fifty years old, he is determined to remain single and dabble in casual relationships. Keane is a handsome man though and very successful, both of which contribute a lot to his ability to remain a sought after fellow, which he loves to be. But Will is not a bad person or a womanizer, much to the opposite in fact, as he loves all aspects of women. He’s just never given much thought to the future and by turn, a potential future with one of the women who have passed through his life. But when he meets Charlotte Fielding (Winona Ryder), his life changes then and there, as she is not like the other women he has known and what starts as a single night of passion, turns into something more than that. Will begins to fall in love with her and for the first time ever, he starts to think about a possible long term relationship. After all the years of short term stints and casual dates, Will Keane has found the woman of his dreams, the woman he will love forever and she will return that affection. But as Will soon discovers, a lifetime of love might not be as extensive as he might desire.

After a wave of negative press on this movie, I was unsure of what to expect, as I missed this one in the theaters. I’m always interested in much hated flicks though, so when this disc arrived, I popped right in to see what all the fuss was over. In the end, I can’t believe so many fans of this genre hated this movie, as to me, it seems another standard romance film, but with some twists to keep it fresh. I can understand how those who usually dislike sappy love stories would diss this film, but aside from them, I don’t see how romance fans felt let down here. Not to say this is a great movie, but it doesn’t seem any worse than other genre pictures, so I am unable to place why this one was so attacked. A lot of the usual cliches come into play, from character traits to simple touches, but come on, almost films of this kind do, so ease up a little. I usually don’t like movies like Autumn In New York and I guess I lowered my expectations after all the bad reviews, but I don’t think this flick is half bad in the end. Richard Gere and Winona Ryder give solid turns and the visuals, some fantastic photography is on showcase in this motion picture. I recommend this movie as a rental to those interested and also, don’t let others decide for you, as you might not like it, but in the end, only you can know for sure.

Richard Gere has made a career out of playing bachelors, so it is no surprise he ended up with this role. I know there seems to be a backlash of sorts around Gere, but I happen to like his work and when he is on, he can turn in one heck of a performance. Now this film doesn’t hold his finest work by any means, but he plays the role well and better than most others could have. I do like that he is faced with being an aging bachelor here, it sort of brings some of his roles full circle, which is cool I think. Again, this is not his career highlight, but if you’re a fan, this performance is worth a look. You can also see Gere in such films as Pretty Woman, Intersection, Primal Fear, Mr. Jones, Runaway Bride, and Days of Heaven. The rest of the cast here includes Winona Ryder (Girl Interrupted, Heathers), Jill Hennessy (Dead Ringers, Komodo), Mary Beth Hurt (Bringing Out The Dead, The Family Man), Anthony LaPaglia (Trees Lounge, Innocent Blood), and Elaine Stritch (Screwed, Small Time Crooks). Joan Chen served as the director of Autumn In New York and along with her other film Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl, she has also acted in a wealth of projects in her career.

Video: How does it look?

Autumn In New York is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame version included on the disc’s flip side. I am pleased with this transfer, but I wish MGM could have cleaned up a few spots on the source print. I know the debris is minimal at worst, but on a newer film like this, I expect an almost pristine source print and this one has some wear signs. But this transfer captures the film’s soft beauty very well, but keep in mind, some seems have softer visuals for effect, so don’t think the softness is a flaw with this disc. The colors look radiant here and really shine, while the black levels are stark and well defined, no problems on those ends. I am going to lower the score a shade because of the print debris, but this is still a very solid overall visual presentation.

Audio: How does it sound?

This is a dialogue driven film, so even with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track on deck, there isn’t much to discuss here. The surrounds are used for subtle background noise at times, but usually just to make the musical score a little richer, which welcome in my book. Some might complain about the lack of surround, but in a picture like Autumn In New York, why force the audio presence? The main element here is the dialogue, which comes across in crisp and consistent form, no troubles at all. This disc also houses a 5.1 surround track in French, a stereo surround option in Spanish, subtitles in French and Spanish, and of course, English captions.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes no bonus materials, which I can’t understand. I mean, this is a newer flick and getting the trailer or a brief featurette couldn’t have been that tough. This is a missed chance for MGM and unless they have a special edition up their sleeves, they have missed the chance to sell more discs, via some nice supplements. I would love to hear Joan Chen’s comments and perhaps even Gere and Ryder, but I doubt that will ever happen. A lot of wasted disc space here, so I am knocking the overall score by half a star.

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