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Blu-Ray Review: Leap Year

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Leap Year stars Amy Adams as Anna Brady, a woman who has been dating her boyfriend Jeremy (Adam Scott) for four years. She’s expecting to get engaged any day now; just before he departs for a medical conference in Dublin, Anna receives diamond earrings instead of the engagement ring she wants.  Anna decides to take matters in her own hands and use an old Irish tradition that on February 29, leap day, a woman can propose to a man.

Anna buys a plane ticket for Dublin to surprise Jeremy, but severe weather causes the plane to land in Cardiff, Wales. She then hires a boat to take her to Cork, but the storm is relentless and the boat is forced to dock on the Dingle Peninsula, where she meets a gruff Irish innkeeper named Declan (Matthew Goode) who agrees to take her to Dublin for 500 Euros.

Although there is chemistry between Anna and Declan initially, that spark quickly fades on screen and the movie becomes a series of clichés. Most of the romantic comedies I get so my wife and I can watch something together (as an avid sci-fi, action, animation fan she opts out of the majority of my TV/movie viewings).  I was trying to place why this movie seemed so familiar when my wife says, “This is Romancing The Stone without the adventure." She’s right about many things and this was no exception, Leap Year is like Romancing The Stone without the adventure, fun, or watchable plot.

It’s a shame the movie is so predictable because the cast is very talented. Amy Adams is great as the strong independent woman, and my wife and I like her as an actress.  Adam Scott, whom I know from the series Party Down, is believable as the inattentive boyfriend, and Matthew Goode, whom I loved as the narcissistic Ozymandias in <i>Watchmen</i> was great as the surly guide who knows better than Anna but still lets her learn the hard way. John Lithgow makes a cameo as Anna’s father, and it would have been nice if he had more of a part as his brief on screen time sets the plot in motion but should have been given more.

The movie looks beautiful on Blu-ray; it’s presented in 1080p/VC-1 the colors are strong and defined;  it captures the lush greens of Ireland perfectly. The black levels are crisp and defined and never wash the actors out.

Leap Year’s  24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix is very good; it never overpowers the dialogue, nor interferes with it. You can understand each actor’s lines and can distinguish each of them. The sound effects from a breeze rustling to torrential downpours can be heard crisply and cleanly.

The extras for Leap Year are rather sparse, but depending on your point of view that can be a good thing or a bad thing. The sole extra is some deleted scenes; some are just fluff, but how Anna came to her decision at the end of the film is very abrupt; there are two scenes here that would have benefited Leap Year slightly had they not been cut.

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