Blu-ray Review: PRIDE & PREJUDICE

John Mulhern

by: John Mulhern
January 25th, 2010

Blu-ray rating: 7/10

PRIDE & PREJUDICE is one of the most popular and well-respected novels by the incomparable Jane Austen. Her books are well known worldwide, and have inspired readers for almost two centuries. PRIDE & PREJUDICE has spawned countless adaptations through various forms of media, including the highly revered 1995 miniseries that aired on the BBC.

Needless to say, many people weren't too excited about the 2005 version being made, solely because the 1995 version is so close to many peoples' hearts. The only problem was that the 2005 version was actually really good, and ended up stealing the hearts of many that watched it. It ended up being a critical and commercial success.

Now the film (and its gorgeous visuals) can be viewed in Blu-ray. This film really shines in high definition and the visuals and settings have never looked better. I really enjoyed the scenery of the ballrooms and gigantic mansions, not to mention the grassy yards at said mansions.

The disc has a whole slew of features for you to feast your romance-loving eyes on. In fact, they actually made two new features specifically for this set. Sadly, none of the special features were remastered for Blu-ray. If they would have put in the little bit of extra work and made the features high definition, that would have really put this set over the top.

The first feature I'll talk about is "Conversations with the Cast" where the cast is talked to about their feelings on the film and their characters. One of the best parts about this feature is how intimate the interviews feel. It makes it feel so much more important and special.

The next feature is "Jane Austen: Ahead of Her Time," which gives a somewhat in-depth look into the life of Jane Austen. One of the things I really enjoyed about this feature, is that I feel like I learned a lot about Austen in such a short amount of time. It could have been much better if it was a little longer though, because the feature was relatively short to cover someone's entire life.

The disc also includes "A Bennett Family Portrait" and an "HBO First Look" that was made for the film. "Portrait" discusses the Bennett family and their importance to the story and culture. It is basically a series of observations and interpretations from the cast and crew on why they are so important and resonate in people's minds. The HBO feature is the typical shallow making-of feature that makes up their "First Look" series. It doesn't hurt that it is there, but it doesn't really take the place of a full making of feature.

As I mentioned earlier, they made two new features specifically for this disc. The first of which is "The Politics of 18th Century Dating," and I must admit, I was engrossed by this feature. Being that I was born in the late 1980s, I am more accustomed to dating 21st century style. It was very cool to learn more about dating from a different era. The other feature is "The Stately Homes of Pride & Prejudice," which shows the different locations that were used to film the movie. It was dreadfully boring to me but I know there are people that would really like it; it is right up my Mom's alley.

The film already has so many features and still they threw in a commentary with the director, Joe Wright, on top of it all. They easily could have skimped on the features like this, but instead they have many features and a commentary. Unfortunately they didn't feel the need to bring the special features to high definition which is easily the biggest let-down of the disc. But certainly if you are a fan of the film, that won't matter, as you bought this on Amazon months ago.

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