Great Expectations Blu-Ray Review
Go ahead and thumb your nose at me. So what if this is my first meeting with the tale known as GREAT EXPECTATIONS? Better late than never. Speaking of never…I’ve never read a single word of this Charles Dickens’ classic and I have never seen any of its adaptations starring actors like Michael York, Anthony Hopkins and Ethan Hawk. So how was my first time with the Victorian coming of age story? It was faintly amusing, but tame.
I can definitely appreciate a lot of the social and wealth class commentary, and youthful character aspirations, but GREAT EXPECTATIONS is not my cup of tea. I found myself watching it like I do any other television program on a lazy Saturday afternoon with nothing better to do. I was certainly curious how things would pan out, but even without any knowledge of the story I felt too much of it was predictable, but the pleasant surprises that made me glad for the experience didn’t come until the end with its melancholy tone that forced our character to have a personal, optimistic growth.
I’m going to go ahead and summarize the tale that’s been told an excessive amount of times for those of you out there who are like me and got stuck reading “Of Mice and Men” and “The Scarlet Letter” in high school. GREAT EXPECTATIONS centers around an orphan named Pip (Toby Irvine, later played by Irvine). Pip’s daytime drama life begins just before puberty kicks in at a young, innocent age. A looney and wealthy woman in his village, Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter), invites Pip over to play with her adopted daughter, Estella (Helena Barlow, later played by Grainger). This is the beginning seeds of confusion for Pip. Despite his noble and loving efforts, he can’t quite win the affection or respect of Estella. So when the chance to become a “gentleman”, at the expense of an unknown benefactor, arises, of course he’ll take it.
Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Sally Hawkins and others add a level of professional prestige to the expansive cast; Their refined presence really boasters some of the weaker performances by Irvine and others that we see much later in the film. By himself, Irvine feels a bit lost in what his character should do, but once he’s in a scene with someone more mature in their craft, he chews a bit of the scenery along with them. As for Grainger, she has a great steely look, but when she’s not turning a cold shoulder, it’s hard to believe any of her sincerity. Of course that could just be the script’s fault in now allowing Estella to be more approachable.
My expectations for this movie were not great so you could say I wasn’t disappointed. I’m not sure how devout GREAT EXPECTATIONS fans (if that is a thing) would feel about the latest offering. I can’t quite recommend going out now and snatching this up, but if you have a lazy Saturday, five bucks and find this in your local retail outlet’s discount movie bin, give it a spin.
GREAT EXPECTATIONS BLU RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 2:39:1) Presentation is fine. The unforgiving colors and cold tones really match certain scenes.
Audio: (English 5.1 DTS-HDMA) There’s no problems with the audio. I was actually able to pick up a lot of real masterful mixing with natural sounds when they’re in the countryside.
Great Expectations Premiere (3:37): Really? This is it? What a disservice to include a couple of interviews with producers and a handful of actors talking about the movie. At a meager three and a half minutes, it felt highly unnecessary to bookend your only feature with comments from fans leaving the feature and part of your movie trailer.