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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Walk In The Clouds
Walk In The Clouds
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Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 11, 2001 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

Like his adaptation of "Great Expectations", director Alfonso Arau's "A Walk In The Clouds" is able to offer some absolutely stunning visual moments (cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki also worked on "Great Expectations"), but fails in its attempt to build a really convincing romance.

A lot of people have dismissed Keanu Reeves as an actor; I've always felt that although not the best performer, he usually does a pretty respectable job at his best. He's miscast here, or simply just didn't have a grasp on the material; it comes across as a pretty flat performance. Reeves stars as Paul Sutton, a soldier coming home from World War II to find that his wife(who you may recognize from a popular TV show)'s been cheating on him. He leaves, off to Sacramento, when he runs into Victoria Aragon(Aitana Sanchez-Gijon). Victoria is young woman who is coming home from college, accidentally pregnant, and worried about what her family will think when the husband does not show up with her.

Paul offers to pose as the husband and then leave, but, of course, the two end up falling in love. She thought that her father would be angry with her coming home alone - but she comes home with Paul and he's mad anyways. The remainder of the movie involves the two trying to work to find out if they're really in true love while her whole family also attempts to find out if she's really married to this guy. All romances usually rest on whether or not the two stars have chemistry, and that's certainly lacking here. Sanchez-Gijon is engaging on her own, but the two of them are not a terribly convincing couple.

This also makes the movie feel too lengthy; even at 105 minutes, the movie begins to drag on during the middle. The one thing that really shines in the movie is the cinematography. Lubezski has shown in this film, as well as Tim Burton's "Sleepy Hollow", that he is really a wonderfully talented cinematographer. The beautiful scenery really remains to be the only eason to see "A Walk In The Clouds".

An odd note: the Zucker brothers, the two famous for the "Naked Gun" movies and "Airplane", actually were producers on this film.


The DVD

VIDEO: The one reason that I eagerly awaited this release was to see how well Fox would present Emmanuel Lubezki's breathtaking cinematography. Although they did a fine job with "Great Expectations", "A Walk In The Clouds" looks even more impressive. The 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is filled with rich, beautiful images. Although not completely without flaw, the presentation is often excellent.

Sharpness is usually great, although some scenes seem to be a tad bit soft, but almost as if by intention to give it that warm, romantic look. Detail and clarity are pleasing, and some scenes have quite a nice amount of depth to the image. Problems are fairly minor; some light pixelation in a couple of scenes - nothing too distracting. Print flaws are largely absent, with just a speckle or two throughout.

Colors are absolutely magnificent, with some stunningly rich greens and other colors in the bright, warm outdoor sequences. Colors are well-saturated and beautiful, with no problems. Flesh tones are accurate and natural, as well. Although not without a few minor flaws, the best moments of this Fox presentation look so good you may find yourself pausing to study Lubezki's beautiful cinematography further.

SOUND: "A Walk In The Clouds" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. It's a case of a movie where you don't go in expecting anything agressive, but just a presentation that offers strong audio quality. That is what we do recieve here, audio that is generally music and dialogue driven. There is limited noticeable surround engagement in a few scenes, but for the most part the surrounds offer the score. Dialogue is clear and clean, easily understood.

Some flashback scenes that Paul has during the film do offer more agressive sound, but these are very brief. The movie as a whole is what one would expect from a romantic drama like this one.

MENUS:: Although menus are non-animated, I liked the way that film-themed images were used as backgrounds.

EXTRAS:

Trailers: The trailer for "Walk In The Clouds" as well as "Ever After"(although that one always looked more like a music video), "Prelude To A Kiss", "Here On Earth", "The Beach" and "Never Been Kissed".

Featurette: A short 5 minute behind-the-scenes featurette is included, offering production footage and interviews. Nothing too fascinating, but better than the usual promotional featurette.

Final Thoughts: "Walk In The Clouds" is maybe worth a rent for those looking for a romantic drama, but otherwise it's probably something to skip. Fox has done enjoyable work on the DVD, though.

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