Brittany Murphy is the orphaned daughter of rock star parents. She has been living a fairy-tale existence in Manhattan, and hasn’t had the slightest need to grow up. When her lawyerabsconds with her 100 million bucks, however, she is forced to find work, and becomes the newnanny for the uptight, precociously mature Dakota Fanning. Murphy will learn to grow up, andFanning will learn to be a kid. There will be a little bit of tragedy tossed in along the way.
Ut…erly formulaic, though if this formula works for you, go for it. I am emphatically not thetarget demographic. The biggest stumbling block is trying to sympathize with main characterswho spend a good chunk of the film as (respectively) a socially retarded narcissist and a bitterhypochondriac.
The 5.1 mix is surprisingly weak. Though clean and clear (there is no distortion to deal with),the audio is very poor in the surround department. Even the music’s volume in the rear speakersis quite low, and the surround FX are virtually inaudible, so forget about any kind ofenvironmental effect.
The transfer is also a bit rough in ways that are surprising for a major release with a 2003vintage. The problem here is the grain, which is very noticeable in the early goings. After the firstfifteen minutes or so, the graininess does improve, but it gets the film off to a rocky start. On theother hand, the colours are warm and rich, with good blacks and contrasts, and the (1.85:1anamorphic widescreen) image is sharp.
Most of the extras are promotional in nature: trailers for Uptown Girls and a passelof MGM releases, an ad for the soundtrack, Chantal Kreviazuk’s video for “Time” and “TheLowdown on Uptown”, a painful 13-minute featurette. “Rockin’ Style” is a costume designfeaturette. There are 13 deleted scenes, and a scored montage of stills. Have the pause buttonready for the latter, since many pictures flash by too quickly. The menu is fully animated andscored.
The designation “Special Edition” has long been pretty meaningless, and this is a case inpoint: some deleted scenes and a bunch of ads do not a special edition make. There isn’t evena commentary.
Special Features List
- Behind-the-Scenes Featurette
- Costume Design Featurette
- Deleted Scenes
- Video Stills Gallery
- “Time” Music Video
- Soundtrack Spot