Plot: What’s it about?
I have to admit that I’ve never been too big of a fan of Woody Allen. That’s not to say that he’s not one of the more talented writer/directors working, because he most certainly is. However, despite a few of his better films, they all seem to fall in the same category for me. Yes, “Annie Hall” is a masterpiece and it was certainly worth of winning Best Picture (beating out “Star Wars”) and “Manhattan” was one I enjoyed as well, mainly for the wide black and white scope image as well as Gershwin’s memorable score. “Crimes and Misdemeanors” and “Hannah and Her Sisters” are a few others that deserve to be placed in Allen’s pantheon, however I’ve not seen them. “Match Point” isn’t your typical Woody Allen movie, for one he doesn’t play a part in it and secondly it’s set in England – a far cry away from the streets of New York where Allen is at home. While the plot for “Match Point” will seem vaguely familiar, it’s Allen’s take on it that makes it interesting and certainly watch able.
Chris (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a former professional tennis player who has the ability, but not the desire, to be one of the greats. He’s left the circuit and takes a job at an exclusive country club as a tennis professional. He quickly hits it off with Tom (Matthew Goode) who shares his affinity for opera. Tom introduces him to his family and Chris takes a liking to Chloe (Emily Mortimer), who he starts to date. However Chris lusts after Nola (Scarlett Johansson), an aspiring actress from the United States. And to further complicate matters Nola is Tom’s fiancée. As one might imagine, things can get very complicated when a lot of lying and cheating are going on and, well, things do. I don’t want to divulge too much of the plot but let’s just say that Allen throws a few wrenches in the works.
“Match Point” isn’t your typical Allen movie and for me, that was a good thing. Again, I don’t dislike his work – I just haven’t seen enough of it to really appreciate it. “Match Point” shows us that good writing (the movie was nominated for Best Original Screenplay) is always what it takes to make a movie interesting. Forget the special effects, makeup and what “A” list actor is playing the lead – it all comes down to writing. The cast of the movie is a bunch of veritable unknowns, save for Scarlett Johansson who does a good job here. I’ve been a fan of hers since “Lost in Translation” (another low-key movie that had a great script) and I’d be lying if I said my eyes didn’t venture down to her chest every so often. Ok, that said (and it fits with the theme of the movie, trust me) I can’t help but to recommend “Match Point” though with no extras on the disc it might serve better as a rental.
Video: How does it look?
“Match Point” is shown in an anamorphic 1.85:1 aspect ratio that looks pretty good. As anyone knows, London doesn’t have a lot of bright sunny days and that’s reflected here. The colors seem a bit muted and a majority of the action takes place, conveniently enough, in the bedroom. The costume design is a big factor here, as we feel that we’re invited to some sort of dinner with each new scene. Edge enhancement is very minimal and detail is sharp throughout. There are a few instances that the transfer faulted a bit, but nothing too much. This is a good, solid transfer that looks great on disc.
Audio: How does it sound?
If you’re looking to give your speakers a workout then you need to leave all of your Woody Allen discs out of the player. “Match Point” is a standard mono track (just as all of Allen’s movies are) that serves its purpose. In the days of DTS ES and Dolby Digital EX (using 8 speakers), the movie proves that one channel is more than enough to convey what’s going on, on screen. There wasn’t too much ambiance that I noticed, though dialogue was very strong coming out of the center channel. Face it, if you’re a fan of Woody Allen movies then you know what to expect when it comes to audio.
Supplements: What are the extras?
Dreamworks is hoping that you really like the movie because they have included absolutely no features on this DVD. None.