Plot: What’s it about?
The heartache of rejected love can be a tough one, but in this case, it can be a lethal problem, as some young teens will soon discover. A bunch of picture perfect teenagers have gotten special valentine cards, but these don’t involve the usual sappy love messages. Instead, these valentines bear threats and promises of revenge, though the sender remains unseen. But the sender knows his potential victims and after years of being spurned, he is ready to settle the score and of course, do so in blood soaked fashion. Before the actual deeds however, he sent these special valentines like maggot coated chocolates and threat laden cards, just to put some fear into his soon to be victims, of course. As the day of doom approaches, the girls begin to fret and with good reason, as the killer has an arsenal of various tool at his disposal, to be used to send these lovelies to their graves. Can anyone survive this vengeful massacre, or will this outcast romantic make good on his word and leave all his tormentors covered in blood?
It isn’t easy being a horror movie fan these days, as the social atmosphere is anti-violence and that means real problems. In this case, Valentine was passed by the MPAA with an R rating and that should have been the end of the issue, but Warner decided to play kiss-ass. Warner opted to trim the blood and guts from this slasher movie and for no good reason, as the film retains the same R rating as before. I know it makes no sense in the least, but I guess Warner had to kiss up to someone and we horror movie fans get shafted once again. Listen up Warner, if you feel the need to make socially safe movies, then just don’t make horror movies at all, as that is better than making them and then trimming out a ton of stuff. I know it seems like a big deal to make over such an average picture, but I liked Valentine and while it had a lot of problems, I thought it was a fun flick. I do wish more blood was present, as the film’s nature demands it, but the tension and visuals are in good form. Denise Richards heads a cast of good looking girls, which means poor acting, but hot bodies. If you’re a horror movie fan, then give Valentine a rental, as it is better than most of the current genre lot, though it could have been much better.
As usual, Denise Richards turns in a hilarious performance, thanks to her lack of skill and inability to deliver lines. I mean, I know Richards is still working due to her looks, but is she really that gorgeous, to make us deal with her substandard performances? I don’t think so, but audiences believe that she is, so we’ll continue to see her for some time, I am sure. I guess she has some real comedic value and even though it is unintentional, I suppose that is worth something. I think if she stayed with small, simple roles she would manage well enough, but when he takes on more substantial parts, she proves how inept she truly is. But she looks good and is willing to drop her linen at times, so here’s to another round of Denise “I have great tits” Richards movies, on the house. You can also see Richards in such films as Drop Dead Gorgeous, The World is Not Enough, Wild Things, Starship Troopers, and Kill Shot. The cast also includes Jessica Capshaw (The Love Letter, Denial), Katherine Heigl (Bride of Chucky, My Father the Hero), Jessica Cauffiel (Urban Legends: Final Cut, Legally Blonde), and Marley Shelton (Sugar & Spice, Pleasantville).
Video: How does it look?
Valentine is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This is a very dark movie and I was somewhat concerned about this transfer, but Warner has taken good care with this title and it looks great. The film’s dark visuals are in grand form here, with a strong level of detail and no real problems to discuss. The colors look vivid, but never bleed or smear and flesh tones seem natural also, nothing to complain about there. The contrast is where this transfer stands out however, with very sharp black levels that never falter, so detail is always very high. I also no edge enhancement or similar problems, which is good news, of course. Warner is inconsistent when it comes to visual transfers, but this is a knockout presentation and that should please fans.
Audio: How does it sound?
I wasn’t too impressed with Valentine’s audio at the theaters, but this disc proved to have a much richer experience. The surrounds kicked in not only as the pop rock soundtrack played, but also when atmosphere was needed, which is great in a picture like this. You need all the tension and suspense you can muster, so the added eerie atmosphere is most welcome. So this might not be the most powerful mix out there, but it is a well crafted one and that’s what is important. The vocals are never lost in all this either, always at a proper volume and easy to understand. This disc also includes a French language option, as well as subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This is by no means a full on special edition, but Warner has included some extras, which is cool. The most substantial bonus is an audio commentary with director Jamie Blanks, who seems to have been well prepared for this session. Blanks talks a rapid fire rate and rattles off a lot of information, so you’ll need to be paying attention with this track. I was pleased to hear Blanks discuss the cuts imposed by Warner, even after the MPAA passed the film. I would like to know why Warner would bother making a teen slasher movie, if they just sucked out the blood and slasher elements, but then again, it is Warner Bros. This disc also includes a brief behind the scenes featurette, club reel of clips from the flick, some talent files, and the film’s teaser trailer.