When a clerk first lays eyes on the beautiful and well-to-do "Fermina Urbino," he falls madly in love, and so begins the plot behind "LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA." It is a tale spanning many decades as the clerk, Florentino, grows older, has countless sexual dalliances, only to still yearn for the time, no matter the age, when he can finally consummate his desire with his one true love. Unfortunately, under the ridiculous, clumsy direction of Mike Newell, the film feels longer than the time spanning across the screen. Worse, a great actor like Javier Bardem can't do anything to better the film. One only feels embarrassed for him. The supporting cast is woefully miscast, especially John Leguizamo, as Fermina's wealthy father. Leguizamo has been ok, and even good in some roles(CARLITO'S WAY, CASUALTIES OF WAR), but he's horrible here, and not believable for one second. Newell, who redeemed himself for the overly praised, crappy, "Four Weddings and a Funeral," with "DONNIE BRASCO," has made a film even worse than "FOUR WEDDINGS!"
There is just nothing redeemable about the film, and it's a real shame that such a lovely novel by Marquez, has been turned into such crap.
NEW LINE has done a great job with the transfer, however. The correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio has been provided with 16:9 enhancement. It's a lovely transfer, with rich, vibrant colors throughout. There are a few instances wherein the image looks soft, but, typically, it looks perfect! There are deep blacks and grays, providing superior depth. There are no artifacts or grain present.
NEW LINE has provided a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for this release. While not an aggressive mix, surrounds are used effectively for ambient effects. Separation effects are consistently notable within the front soundstage. The songs from and performed by Shakira, are well complimented throughout the film, with all speakers. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
NEW LINE has provided numerous extras, including deleted scenes(some quite impressive for their production value), a commentary(ho-hum)with Newell, oblivious to the garbage he's forced upon viewers, and an interesting documentary.