Jan 062019
 

When Harry Met Sally… is just a wonderful and damn near perfect romantic comedy from the tightly and sharply written Nora Ephron script, Rob Reiner’s creative direction and, most of all, the incredibly chemistry shared between Crystal and Ryan.

 

 

When Harry Met Sally…
— 30th Anniversary Edition/Shout Select —
(1989)

Genre(s): Romance, Comedy, Drama
Shout Factory | R – 96 min. – $34.93 | January 8, 2019

Date Published: 01/06/2019 | Author: The Movieman


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Writer(s): Nora Ephron (written by)
Cast: Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby
DISC INFO:
Features: Commentaries, Featurettes, Interviews, Deleted Scenes, Music Video, Theatrical Trailer
Slip Cover: Yes
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 45.08 GB
Total Bitrate: 42.63 Mbps
Codecs: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A

Shout Factory provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.


THE MOVIE — 5.0/5


Plot Synopsis: In 1977, college graduates Harry Burns (BILLY CRYSTAL) and Sally Albright (MEG RYAN) share a contentious car ride from Chicago to New York, during which they argue about whether men and women can ever truly be strictly platonic friends. Ten years later, Harry and Sally meet again at a bookstore, and in the company of their respective best friends, Jess (BRUNO KIRBY) and Marie (CARRIE FISHER), attempt to stay friends without sex becoming an issue between them.

Review: It had been many years, maybe even better part of a decade, since I last watched When Harry Met Sally… and wow, this has to be one of the best, if not the best, romantic comedies ever made. The writing from Nora Ephron was so sharp with witty dialogue that never came across as pretentious or sounding forced, and the chemistry between stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan was utterly fantastic, helping to make one root for their characters to work out, especially when the film takes a somewhat darker turn.

Not to be outdone, even the side characters, who normally are relegated to be the thankless best friends, were pretty damn good. Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher had their own amount of chemistry to the point they themselves could’ve carried the film. It also reminded me how funny Carrie Fisher could be and I would say this is her best non-Star Wars role. Kirby for his part was also wonderful and one can see why he would be cast a couple years later playing Crystal’s friend in City Slickers. Shame that both Kirby and Fisher are no longer with us (as well as screenwriter Ephron).

When Harry Met Sally… was beautifully directed by Rob Reiner (and photographed by Barry Sonnenfeld), someone who probably doesn’t get his due having helmed some well done films like A Few Good Men and, reunited with Meg Ryan, Sleepless in Seattle which in itself is one great romantic-comedy, a movie notable to be where its two stars probably only share a few minutes of screen time together. Here, there were some respectable stylistic choices like a scene where, following Harry sleeping with Sally, each called their respective best friends who were in bed together. The choreography of the scene was so great and done in one shot and it flowed so well you really don’t notice.

In the end, I loved When Harry Met Sally…, a movie I enjoyed in the past but perhaps as I got older, appreciated even more. Every aspect of this is near perfection and I’ve vaulted this to the top of the pack not only in the genre, but all time (listed #23 on my master list).

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 4.5/5


This release comes with a matted slip cover. The interior cover is reversible with the film’s original poster artwork. There is a nice selection of features here.

Audio Commentaries:

  • Director Rob Reiner, Writer Nora Ephron and Actor Billy Crystal
  • Director Rob Reiner

Both of these tracks are pretty good, the former of course gives a wider range with the various phases of moviemaking while the second has Reiner on his own, providing his personal thoughts, many of which were told in the vintage featurettes as well.

Scenes from a Friendship (44:34; HD) – This is a wonderful conversation between Rob Reiner and Billy Crystal. The pair discusses their thoughts on the film and other various topics, such as how Crystal got the role. This is similar to the back and forth between Steve Martin and Carl Reiner for Shout’s The Jerk Blu-ray release.

How Harry Met Sally (33:21; SD) is an older retrospective featurette with interviews by the cast and crew including Rob Reiner, Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan (on set), Carrie Fisher and others.

It All Started Like This (19:48; SD) has Rob Reiner and Screenwriter Nora Ephron talking about the origins of the project.

What Harry Meeting Sally Meant (12:29; SD) – This is a collection of interview footage with participants, including Reiner, Ephron, Crystal, Fisher, Film Critic Richard Roeper, etc, talking about why the film is a classic.

I Love New York (8:29; SD) is a featurette on how New York played a part for the atmosphere of the movie.

So, Can Men and Woman Really Be Friends? (7:54; SD) asks the eternal question to members of the cast and crew.

Deleted Scenes (7:24; SD) – Here are some scenes that didn’t make the final cut, likely for pacing reasons.

Creating Harry (5:47; SD) – The cast and crew profile Harry Burns.

Stories of Love (5:10; SD) – Here we get many of the same participants talking about the older couples who were integrated throughout the film.

When Rob Met Billy (3:56; SD) looks at the long-lasting friendship between Rob Reiner and Billy Crystal, when they met on the set of All in the Family.

Also included is a Music Video (2:50; SD) and the Theatrical Trailer (2:12; HD).

 


VIDEO – 4.75/5


Shout Factory releases When Harry Met Sally onto Blu-ray where it is presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer which was remastered from a 4K scan of the original camera negative. I can’t say how this compares with the 2011 Blu-ray release, but this looked absolutely fantastic with incredibly sharp and nicely defined picture, with the natural film grain and noise remained intact. Colors are vibrant without appearing artificially bolstered and there were no obvious signs of artifacts, aliasing or any significant dust marks or scratches, so it is a clean looking transfer.

AUDIO – 4.0/5


The disc comes with a standard but good DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and presumably this is the same one from the Blu-ray release. Even so, it still is effective with the clear dialogue coming via the center channel and there is some ever so minor depth, mostly present for the score and soundtrack.

 


OVERALL – 4.5/5


Overall, When Harry Met Sally… is just a wonderful and damn near perfect romantic comedy from the tightly and sharply written Nora Ephron script, Rob Reiner’s creative direction and, most of all, the incredibly chemistry shared between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan (and even Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher). This “30th Anniversary Edition”, “Shout Select” release has amazing video, respectable audio and a fine selection of bonus material.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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