Winter’s Tale has a lot going for it from a decently high production design, a well rounded cast headlined by Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe, but with such an apparently difficult novel to adapt for feature film, what we get instead is disjointed and doesn’t have the right pacing.
Genre(s): Fantasy, Drama, Romance
Warner Bros. | PG13 – 118 min. – $35.99 | June 24, 2014
Note: This review contains spoilers about the plot, so please beware before reading.
Winter’s Tale is a timeless story of sweeping romance and the age-old battle between good and evil. In a mythic New York City near the turn of the 20th century, burglar Peter Lake (COLIN FARRELL) meets a dying young woman named Beverly Penn (JESSICA BROWN FINDLAY). Falling irrevocably in love with her, Peter’s only option is to discover a way to conquer evil, personified in the form of Pearly Soames (RUSSELL CROWE), stop time and bring her back from death.
Unfortunately it doesn’t exactly work out and instead he loses his memories, stumbles through time without aging and eventually meets single mother, and reporter, Virginia Gamely (JENNIFER CONNELLY) who attempts to help him rediscover his identity. However, Soames, who had assumed Lake was dead after jumping from a bridge, is also still around now running his schemes on Wall Street and is richer and more successful than ever.
THE MOVIE — 2.5/5
Quick Hit Review: I wanted to hate this, really I did and even though Winter’s Tale isn’t a very good movie and feels disjointed as all hell (no pun intended), there is some things to be admired and I’m sure there’s an audience out there that will eat every bit of this movie up… but I’m not part of that group.
For one, despite a respectable cast, not to mention well done production and costume designs, and yes I’ll include Colin Farrell in that, but between him, Russell Crowe, William Hurt, Jennifer Connelly and even a (credited) cameo by Will Smith, they never could rise above a script that never quite picked up steam and isn’t helped that Farrell and co-star Jessica Brown Findlay don’t get nearly enough screen time for their romance to resonate.
All in all, although I didn’t hate this movie, Winter’s Tale isn’t something I can either tout or even recommend unless it’s cheap on Red Box or airing on cable and you have nothing better to do or watch.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
This release comes with a glossy, semi-reflective, slip cover. Inside is a standard DVD Copy and activation code for the Digital Copy (UltraViolet).
Winter’s Tale: A Timeless Love (6:08; HD) has the cast and crew, some during press junkets, offering their views on the story, screenplay and other elements set against scenes from the movie.
Characters of Good and Evil (9:14; HD) goes through the main players in the film and has more sound bites by the cast (including Farrell, Crowe, Findlay and Connelly) and crew (Akiva Goldsman).
Additional Scenes (12:08; HD) – We get a few deleted and extended scenes obviously cut down due to pacing issues.
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Winter’s Tale arrives on Blu-ray presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-definition transfer. The picture here looks pretty darn good with fine detail levels, textures appear sharp and colors, although dampened, seems to be true to director Akiva Goldsman vision. The only drawback is, it’s not a visually enticing picture and comes across as flat than something full of life.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track provided is standard but effective. Dialogue levels are generally crisp and clear while other elements, such as ambient noises and the score come through the front and rear channels rather well. It might not be the most dynamic lossless track I’ve come across, especially for a newer release, but it’s something that is more than adequate.
OVERALL – 3.0/5
Overall, Winter’s Tale has a lot going for it from a decently high production design, a well rounded cast headlined by Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe, but with such an apparently difficult novel to adapt for feature film, what we get instead is disjointed and doesn’t have the right pacing. The Blu-ray released by Warner Brothers does have good video and audio transfers but the limited bonus material is flimsy.