Having never been a fan of Sandra Bullock, finding "THE PROPOSAL" to be so thoroughly entertaining, came as a huge surprise. BUENA VISTA has released "THE PROPOSAL" on blu-ray and dvd. Bullock plays Margaret Tate, the head of a successful publishing house, whose over-bearing, unappreciative personality doesn't prevent her assistant, Andrew(Ryan Reynolds)from doing his utmost for her. When Margaret finds she's about to be deported back to her Canadian homeland due to an immigration loophole, she instantly exclaims she's engaged to Andrew, in the hope of satiating the persistent immigration officer, Mr. Gilbertson. Gilbertson thinks something's afoul, leaving Andrew and Margaret only 1 week to learn as much possible about one another before their crucial interviews take place, wherein the validity of the "engagement" will be decided. While never as poignant or realistic as "GREEN CARD," it never aspires to be a thought provoking drama. Instead, a smorgasbord of convenient situations allow for comedic moments to ensue. While the map and conclusion of where the various situations will go and end up are obvious, there's an undeniable charm to "THE PROPOSAL," making it vastly better than most romantic comedies of the past few years. Sure, Margaret Tate seems to be a complete rip-off of the Streep role of "THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA," but that doesn't prevent Bullock and the rest of the cast from making that and other uninspired characters, amiable. Reynolds may still find it difficult for his boyish charm to allow him roles where he can really expand, but he's undeniably good here. While his one real attempt at pushing his acting limits was in the unfortunately dreadful "AMITYVILLE HORROR" remake, perhaps, like Greg Kinnear, more dramatic roles will eventually open up for him.
In the meanwhile, it's hard to find fault in him continuing to take roles like the part he has here, as long as the films are as endearing as "THE PROPOSAL." Sure, Bullock is the "star" of the film and she's actually pretty decent, but it's the part of Andrew that stands out the most in this film. He's the centerpiece, from which the film can ultimately win its audience or lose it, and by the mid-way part of "THE PROPOSAL," it's an easy victory! Anne Fletcher's previous films have been crappy, but "THE PROPOSAL" demonstrates she's actually quite talented if given decent material to work with. The overall experience, from the production design, cinematography, music, pacing,...everything, is just great!
While the film's narrative isn't all that original, but, it too, has its charm, allowing for more than a few side-splitting moments. The entire cast is endearing(especially Betty White), but even the supporting cast is terrific, in a similar but more effective manner as it managed to be with the inferior, over-rated "PRETTY WOMAN."
BUENA VISTA has provided the correct 2.35:1 aspect ratio for this 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 blu-ray and 16:9 enhanced dvd. Colors are solid and vibrant, complimenting the film's great production design. Contrast is also terrific, with inky blacks ensuring the stunning detail to be retained in darker scenes. While there are some minor flaws occasionally popping up with fleshtones, the overall image is excellent, with the kind of jump-off-the-screen depth one hopes for on blu-ray. The dvd image is also impressive, however edge enhancement is noticeable in various scenes and colors, while impressive, lack the richness and impact of the high-def format. "THE PROPOSAL" is a fine example of how different a viewing experience lies in the various formats, even within a seemingly less demanding genre.
BUENA VISTA has provided a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix for the blu-ray and standard Dolby Digital 5.1 for dvd. Again, the disparity between the lossy mix and standard dvd mix can be monumental in select scenes. While most comedy mixes are inherently restrained, the mix for "THE PROPOSAL" is more lively than one would expect. Sure, surrounds aren't constantly being pushed to the limits as on an action film, but they compliment the wonderful score and add depth with the subtle ambient effects at hand. Various outdoor scenes come to life here in a way many other film mixes fail to. The lossy mix, without ever being aggressive, is just wonderful as it is! The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, while fine, never comes close to achieving the impact found with the DTS mix. The music, dialogue and ambient effects are similar. But, "similar" isn't "exact," and after listening to the lossy mix once, a viewer wouldn't want to experience the mix again without the "exact" level of quality achieved in the blu-ray format.
Both the blu-ray and the deluxe dvd edition offer the same extras(with the blu-ray offering an additional deleted scene), as well as a digital copy.
An audio commentary with the director and writer is extremely uneven. While some of the production information discussed is interesting, there's not enough insight or genuine passion conveyed within it to recommend this option to viewers.
The deleted scenes are great, and it's frustrating to find they weren't available as re-insertions via seamless branching(at least for the blu-ray format!)as they serve to offer more depth to the overall film, even if only made up of three scenes. These are offered in HD on blu-ray.
The alternate ending would've been awful if used, so it's great to find in the optional commentary, the director and writer agreed.
Outtakes make up the "SET ANTICS" segment, and provide a few minutes of non-essential viewing.