"Catch and Release" is a very interesting movie. It has a lot of nice witty humor, with an appealing storyline, a good beginning, a good end, and a pretty boring middle.
Gray's (Jennifer Garner) fiancé has just died the day before their planned nuptials and she is having a hard time dealing with the aftermath of life without him. She moves in with her fiancé's best friends Dennis and Sam (Sam Jaeger & Kevin Smith), trying to find some semblance of comfort. She is put off when one of his oldest buddies Fritz (Timothy Olyphant) also moves in to the pullout couch, thinking him to be unreliable and callous. She soon learns of some big secrets her fiancé had been hiding from everyone. While trying to deal with the pain and confusion caused by the secrets, Gray begins to rebuild her life, heal from the hurt, and even fall in love with the most unlikely person.
Director Susannah Grant tries to bring a compelling storyline, but ends up falling short. "Catch and Release" could have been really enjoyable, but the only entertaining parts are during the beginning and near the end. The first part of the film has some great entertaining humor, and what seems to be a wonderful sad story, mixed with what could be the start of a cautious love story. Then comes the middle where it gets real murky. The storyline jumps around--mixing stories up and confusing the audience with what is important and what isn't. It would have been much easier to deal with if it had been shorter, but the middle of the film just continues on and on about love and stories that we really don't need to know. By the time we finally get to the end, we are tired of it all but it is still refreshing to see the good humor return and bring us back to what "Catch and Release" was supposed to be about...love.
Jennifer Garner is pretty good in "Alias" and is quite well known for it. Too bad she is only mildly entertaining in "Catch and Release." I just didn't feel like she put her heart into this one. There are times when she is convincing as a grieving widow, but other times she seems to pop back to normal way too quickly after her fiancé's sudden death. Maybe it was just poor writing that didn't allow her to push her character to its fullest, but I just couldn't get into it. As far as Dennis and Sam go, Sam Jaeger as Dennis was okay. He was entertaining at times, but never really truly made me believe his character. Sam on the other hand...Kevin Smith was awesome. Kevin Smith totally makes "Catch and Release." He brings a lot of charm and humor to the table, adding some much needed light-heartedness to "Catch and Release."
"Catch and Release" is mildly entertaining. Like I said before, the beginning is very nice, the end is charming, but the middle is boring, dull, and not that entertaining.
Here we actually have a very nice video transfer. The colors are good and bold, though with a little too much contrast at times. Overall detail is nice--at times it can be a little soft but for the most part still very nice. I especially loved the reds and greens; they really seemed to pop the most out of any other colors. There are times that the film seems to be a little warm, but the blacks are very rich and seem nice and deep throughout.
We get a 5.1 Uncompressed PCM track and a 5.1 Dolby Digital track that is very pleasant. Obviously "Catch and Release" is dialogue heavy, and thankfully it is fairly even throughout. There really aren't any low-ends and not much use of the surrounds, but the track works just fine. The soundtrack is also a mixed bag, with some really interesting songs. I am not so sure of the song choice here, sometimes we have a very nice compelling song, and then we get a weird mix of songs that don't seem to fit. Just seems kind of out of place.
Commentary with Director Susannah Grant & Kevin Smith: Kevin Smith is a funny guy, I really enjoy a lot of his movies, but here he just takes this commentary to a weird level that really isn't that funny. He steps in and just interviews Grant nearly the entire time, almost completely forgetting to even talk about the movie until after the first half. They finally talk about casting roles but most of the time is spent talking about Grant and her history and even her personal life.
Commentary with Director Susannah Grant & Cinematographer John Lindley: This commentary track starts a little more upbeat, drags in the middle, and finishes fairly strong. We do learn some interesting things about the ratings board, and your normal shooting techniques, characters...you know, normal commentary stuff. Unfortunately this doesn't have enough interesting info to hold our attention.
From Concept to Completion: You know everything just from the title of this extra...we learn everything from the concept to the completion of the film. By far the best extra on this disc with much more information than the commentary tracks. We get behind-the-scenes footage, cast and crew interviews, and just a well-rounded feature!
Deleted Scenes: All two of them...pretty lousy.
Auditions: Here we get to see part of the auditions from Kevin Smith, Sam Jaeger, and Juliette Lewis. This is okay...if you enjoy b-roll footage and actors learning their lines.
Okay maybe I have been a little hard on "Catch and Release." I really wanted to enjoy this film, I like Kevin Smith, and it had a very interesting plot. Unfortunately I just couldn't get myself past the dead middle of the movie that desperately wanted to be good that just wasn't. The video transfer is nice and the audio track is good, so maybe I am being a little hard, but go Rent it and watch it for yourself.