Blu-Ray Review: Valentine’s Day Gift Lists Start With ‘The Notebook’

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CHICAGO – It may not have been a massive hit when it was first released, but in just a few short years, “The Notebook” has become one of the more beloved romantic dramas of the last few decades. People adore The Notebook, propelling the film to a sales total of more than nine million units to date. At least a few of those nine million people will want to upgrade their favorite tearjerker to the impressive new “Limited Edition Giftset” from Warner Brothers.

The Notebook Limited Edition Gift Set is released by Warner Brothers Home Video on January 20th, 2009.
The Notebook Limited Edition Gift Set is released by Warner Brothers Home Video on January 20th, 2009.
Photo credit: Warner Brothers Home Video

“The Notebook: Limited Edition Giftset” is not for anyone who believes in even the concept of overkill when it comes to Blu-Ray releases. This thing is a monster. It takes up as much shelf space as four normal Blu-Ray releases and the quantity of collectibles included in the packaging is borderline ridiculous. Does anyone need “Notebook” stickers? Stationery? Collectible bookmarks? It’s difficult for a critic to come down too hard on a package that’s clearly designed with the best of intentions for its rabid fans, but if a giftset can be too much, then this is it.

The Notebook Limited Edition Gift Set is released by Warner Brothers Home Video on January 20th, 2009.
The Notebook Limited Edition Gift Set is released by Warner Brothers Home Video on January 20th, 2009.
Photo credit: Warner Brothers Home Video

What will “Notebook” fans find? Well, first and foremost, if you haven’t seen the film since it was first released, it’s held up incredibly well. Yes, some of the final act tearjerker material with James Garner and Gena Rowlands is a bit overdone but Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are excellent in the heart of the film, perfectly embodying an old-fashioned romantic drama style that you don’t see that often any more. This movie will stand up for years and have legions of fans for generations.

Those fans can now make their own “Notebook” scrapbooks. No, we’re not kidding. The giftset includes a photo album, scrapbook with images from the movie that leaves space for your own photos; scrapbook accessories such as stickers and photo corners; a stationery set with letterhead and envelopes and collectible bookmarks. This is also the first time that “The Notebook” has been released on Blu-ray Hi-Def, the part of this giftset that will truly be the draw for fans of the movie.

For the first time, “The Notebook” is presented in 1080p with a 2.40:1 widescreen ratio. Warner Brothers still produces one of the best Blu-Ray pictures and “The Notebook” looks great. I have to say though that there are fans and collectors out there who would probably want to own “The Notebook” just for the film and the actual disc special features, but New Line/WB are only releasing it on Blu-Ray in the “Giftset” form. That means that every movie lover who wants to own “The Notebook” will have to pay the $39.99 SRP and take up the space of four other titles on their shelf. There should have been a “Limited Edition” and a “Standard Edition” for fans without the desire to scrapbook.

As for special features, “The Notebook” on Blu-Ray includes twelve deleted scenes, director and novelist commentaries, 4 incisive making-of featurettes, a screen test from Rachel McAdams, and more. A fan of the movie could not be more satisfied with this gorgeously packaged, extensive set for one of their favorite romantic films.

‘The Notebook Limited Edition Giftset’ is released by Warner Brothers Home Video and stars Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Joan Allen, and James Marsden. It was written by Jeremy Leven and directed by Nick Cassavetes. It will be released on January 20th, 2009.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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