- Special Collector's Edition
Paramount Home Entertainment
Date: March 15, 2005
Review posted: March 24, 2005
(Jude Law), life was about everything women could offer – one night at
a time. From wealthy widows with a taste for younger men to his
single-mom girlfriend, Alfie had it all. But when the consequences of
his playboy lifestyle suddenly affect the women in his life and his
best friend, Alfie begins to wonder if there is more to life than
the original 1966 film, which starred Michael Caine, Jude Law’s Alfie
may be the poster boy for our age. He is the quintessential
metrosexual; he is vein, cocky, shallow. Alfie’s idea of the simple
life is “women I care nothing about.” He throws around five dollar
words whenever he can, all of them gleaned from a novelty desk
calendar. When archeologists dig this film up 5000 years from now,
they will find a fairly accurate representation of, if not exactly who
we are, the person we want to be.
Words are the
overriding motif of the film, from Alfie’s calendar (which he not only
uses for himself, but also gives to others as gifts) to the billboards
that populate his Manhattan. It is an interesting device, and we see
how utterly meaningless words are to Alfie. We know all about his
lifestyle before we even know his name, and most of what he says has
little meaning other than that what the person he is talking to wants
to hear. The device is clever, but it so obvious that it loses some
of its effectiveness. But subtlety does not seem to be in this film’s
vocabulary. When Alfie begins to question his life, he meets an old
man who tells him an age-old story of love and loss that is so
familiar and done-to-death as to be cringe inducing.
The film is
not altogether bad. In fact, the film has many strong suits. Jude
Law is perfect in the role. He is incredibly charming, and he has the
ability to really drive a scene, which is more important in a film
like this where he spends so much time talking to the camera. He is
the core of the film, but he is complimented by the women in the
film. Nia Long, Marisa Tomei, Susan Sarandon, Sienna Miller (Law’s
real life wife), and the rest are all pitch perfect. There are some
laugh out loud moments in the film, and there is a style here that is
not typically seen in most romantic comedies, and, for that matter,
not typically seen in most Charles Shyer films (Father of the
Bride, Father of the Bride II, The Affair of the Necklace, etc.).
The film looks like a fashion ad from any magazine; one almost expects
to see Guess or Prada in the bottom corner of the screen. The look is
perfect for the film because it speaks to Alfie’s personality as much
as Alfie himself.
suffers the most is in its utter predictability. Just about every
moment in the film can be seen coming miles away, and that fact takes
away from an otherwise funny movie. The denouement also leaves
something to be desired. Alfie realizes what is important, but he
also knows that what is important is lacking in his life. He also
gives no indication that he will change at all, not that people like
Alfie ever change a whole lot. If there was a point to all of this,
it will probably be lost on Alfie, and on most of us too.
is presented in the original 1.85 to one aspect ratio. The transfer is
sharp, with all color levels coming through very well. The original
warm, high fashion look of the film is translated perfectly.
This DVD has
several audio options: English 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, 2.0 Dolby
Digital Surround, and French 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround. The
presentation here has incredible depth and wide dispersal. There is
much ambient sound in this film, and it all comes through here quite
by Writer/Director Charles Shyer and Film Editor Padraic McKinley:
An interesting track, technical without being dry. Shyer and McKinley
talk about editing for pace, creating New York City out of four
different locations, and other interesting bits of trivia.
by Writer/Director Charles Shyer and Writer/Producer Elaine Pope:
The co-writers talk about how Alfie went from the page to the
stage, updating a classic film, and offer some speculation as to the
film’s lack of commercial success.
of Alfie: The
film’s editor, production designer, and director of photography sit
down with Charles Shyer and discuss how they came to be part of the
film and how certain scenes were created.
of Alfie: Shyer,
Jude Law and others talk about bringing the character and his world
into the 21st century.
of Alfie: Shyer,
Law, and the women of the film look back at the women of the original
film and talk about how each character was updated and modernized.
Deconstruction of a Scene:
Editor Padraic McKinley breaks down an early scene in the film – where
Alfie rides his Vespa to work, looking at all the girls on the street
– and talks shot by shot about how the scene was cobbled together from
four different locations, all shot at different times in a variety of
Watanabe Dance Footage:
Alfie’s boss dances around the garage in this deleted scene. Optional
commentary by Shyer and Elaine Pope.
Music In: A look inside
the Abbey Road recording sessions. Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart talk
about the joys and complexities of creating the film’s original music.
And, really, who better to understand Alfie than Mick Jagger...
Scenes: 8 deleted scenes,
most featuring Alfie talking to the camera, that did not make the
final cut. Optional commentary by Charles Shyer and Padraic McKinley.
Gallery: Pages of the
script complete with notes, from select scenes in the film.
Behind-the-scenes shots from the different locations used in
storyboards from select scenes.
Trailer: The original
is a funny movie with some glaring flaws. Jude Law is charming and
carries the film as far
as it can go. This DVD is made by the special features, which are
incredibly detailed. As light romantic comedies go, one could do worse
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