January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

Colin (Michael Sheen) is not a hero, a scholar, a millionaire, or even a remarkable man, he is just a normal person with a normal life. Well, perhaps normal is too generous, as he is a basic loser with no ambition, no backbone, and no visible future to mention. He works at a small, worn shop and has no real plans beyond his current lot. His social activities are limited to darts down at the local pub, though he isn’t beloved there. He is in a league however, so his wife Sandra (Jayne Robbins) comes to watch him throw. Sandra isn’t a perfect wife and Colin knows that, but he remains devoted to her regardless of what she does. She even cheats on him with the dart team’s captain Geoff (Jim Carter), but Colin turns a blind eye to the tryst. But soon enough, Sandra decides to ditch the loser for good and heads off with Geoff, to begin a new life. This shatters Colin’s life, but for once in his life, he isn’t going to let life bean him. No, this time he intends to strike back and chase down his love, in order to regain her affections. So he loads down his moped and journeys out into the unknown, all in the name of hopeless love. As he travels, he meets unusual people, makes new friends, and learns a lot about himself and about life in general. So even if he catches up to Sandra, will he still want to rekindle the old romance?

I’d never heard of Heartlands before this disc arrived, so I had no idea what to expect. The case compared the film to The Full Monty, but I knew not to trust the case hype, so I went into the experience like a blank slate. As it turns out, Heartlands is a basic, formula driven road trip romance flick. That is good news to some, as the movie follows the usual “guy gets dumped, guy goes after dumper, discovers himself” kind of scenario. The film is safe and warm, never tries to ruffle feathers or go in unexpected directions. I can understand why that premise sounds so good to some folks, but that isn’t what I wanted here. In truth, even the most eclectic films follow a formula, but the good ones manage to jump the tracks and find new areas to explore, but Heartlands is content to paint by the numbers. I don’t want to steer fans of the genre off, as this isn’t a bad movie, but we’ve seen this done before, with better results. The dialogue is solid, but lacks the kind of punch films like The Full Monty packed. So the jokes come off as mild, instead of hilarious or even just funny, so don’t expect a riotous experience. Miramax has issued Heartlands on a bare bones disc, with no supplements of any kind. So between the mediocre movie, bare bones disc, and high price, Heartlands is best suited to be a rental, if that.

Video: How does it look?

Heartlands is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a razor sharp visual presentation, with a pristine source print and no real problems to report. The colors look superb here, very rich and flesh tones look natural, while no bleeds or other flaws present. I also saw no errors with the contrast, which provides well balanced black levels and a good amount of detail. I did see a couple of instances of edge enhancement, but aside from that, this is a terrific transfer and no one should be let down here.

Audio: How does it sound?

While this movie doesn’t benefit much from a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround track, the music would sound much fuller and the total atmosphere would be a little more immersive. As it stands this is an adequate audio track, but never more than that. The music sounds good, but lacks range and sound effects seem flat and uninspired at all times. The dialogue is the focus and it always comes across well in this mix. This disc also includes subtitles in English and Spanish, just in case you need to enable those at some point.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc includes no bonus materials.

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