The Heart Specialist (Blu-ray)
Have a root canal performed. Sit beside a screaming baby during a cross country flight. Get up at 4:00 a.m. every morning to perform calisthenics. Go on a dinner date with Gilbert Gottfried. Eat green beans. These are the things I would whole heartedly volunteer to do with an entirely happy and relieved heart before I would sit through THE HEART SPECIALIST again.
Yes. That sounds harsh. Especially when the premise appears to be a pretty straight forward recipe for a decent romantic comedy. I’m going to ask you to trust me and let me help you save those two hours of your life for something more fulfilling. Like watching paint dry or grass grow.
Ray Howard (Brian White) is a medical student from Harvard who follows his ex-girlfriend (pop artist Mya) down to Florida to begin interning at Mediocre Medical. The laid back and lovable Chief Resident Dr. Zachary (Wood Harris) takes him under his wing and shows him the ropes around the hospital. When Dr. Z isn’t toking the reefer, he’s constantly dictating into a tape recorder his thoughts and insinuations of the people around him. His girlfriend Donna (Zoe Saldana) transcribes the tapes and is determined to write a book on Dr. Z’s theory that laughter can truly help the attitude and emotions of patients, giving them a willingness to press on through whatever ails them. Ray becomes inundated in the research and works to help Dr. Z and Donna complete the project.
Let me just say that I have never met a romantic comedy that I didn’t embrace on some level. And then I watched THE HEART SPECIALIST and was forever changed. It was bad in every way possible. The actors clearly phoned this movie in. The lighting was awful. The hospital scenes were drab. I felt like it was an after school movie filmed in the 80s. Their wardrobe and props suggested it may actually be set in the 80s, but then Ray pulls out a flip phone. Are we in the late 90s? I don’t recall a soundtrack or any background accompanying the scenes. I’ll give you $10 if you trust me and not ask that I watch it again for accuracy.
I thought the plot was all over the map too. Ray moves to Florida to be near his ex-girlfriend, yet he’s known as a womanizer among the hospital staff. Dr. Z and Donna are in a relationship together, yet we never see them do anything but work on the book. If I hadn’t been told they were boyfriend and girlfriend, I would have assumed she was his sister or just a random girl he hired to transcribe his notes. Plus, I just really didn’t care one bit about the story or the characters.
There was one redeeming quality in this movie that kept me from shoving my note-taking pencil into my left eye. Thank you Zoe Saldana. This movie was apparently released long before Uhura and Nevtiri ever stepped foot in space or on Pandora. Since I had never heard of THE HEART SPECIALIST (and never care to again), I would assume that the studio had some intern run to the scrap pile, dust this little time waster off and send it straight to the silver screen to cash in on Saldana’s celebrity status. Saldana’s participation coupled with the fact Jasmine Guy made a 30-second cameo somewhere in the middle (who doesn’t love Whitley?) kept me from scoring this movie the lowest of the low.
Video: 1080p High Definition MPEG-4 AVC: Even in Blu-ray, the movie was bad. Muted colors, bad lighting and ugly settings definitely didn’t help the plot. There were times with the characters were at the beach. Somehow, they managed to make that look uninspiring too.
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1: Sadly, I don’t have an opinion on the audio. That’s how non-existent it was.
Deleted Scenes: Donna on the Phone (1:10), Donna Bathtub Scene (1:37), Tinkerbell Scene (2:35), Jeannie Scene (1:24): As predicted, these deleted scenes should have been left on the cutting room floor. Although, it probably wouldn’t have made a different if they had been in the film. It all felt the same. Bad.