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May 18, 2010
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Blu-Ray Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
10/8/200927/4/2010Icon FilmsRebecca Miller
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
AVC MPEG-4DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1MRobin Wright Penn

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Keanu Reeves stars as Chris and Robin Wright Penn stars as Pippa Lee.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee was a novel written by Rebecca Miller who also wrote and directed movies including Personal Velocity: Three Portraits and The Ballad of Jack and Rose - probably good art house movies, but not exactly the most box office friendly titles. The same can be said of this movie, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

From all outward appearances, Pippa Lee leads a charmed existence. An anchor of feminine serenity, she is the devoted wife of an accomplished publisher thirty years her senior, the proud mother of two grown children, and a trusted friend and confidant to all who cross her path. But as Pippa dutifully follows her husband to a new life in a staid Connecticut retirement community, her idyllic world and the persona she has built over the course of her marriage will be put to the ultimate test

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Monica Bellucci in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.
Dull. That's how I would describe this movie. It's slow, tedius, mostly predictable. There is some decent acting here and there, Alan Arkin was brilliant as usual, and there are a few moments that will, perhaps, make you chuckle, and a couple that may surprise or shock even, but for me this isn't a move worth wasting 2 hours on.

Who would have ever thought you could have a cast including Robin Wright Penn, Keanu Reeves, Alan Arkin, Blake Lively, Julianne Moore, Maria Bello, Monica Bellucci and Winona Ryder and yet only manage a worldwide gross of, wait for it, $US1.3 million. That's pretty abysmal and while we can't say we loved this movie, we can't see why it didn't capture a large audience.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is a rental at best.

Icon Films have presented The Private Lives of Pippa Lee at 1.78:1 which fills your HDTV. The original film was presented at 1.85:1 but we're not sure if the film has been opened up at the top and bottom, or if the sides ahve been cropped. Either way it's so minimal you're unlikley to notice. What you will notice, however, is that unlike almost all other major motion picture releases, and even those from Icon Films, this transfer is only being presented at 1920 x 1080i (interlaced) and the video occasionally demonstrates the effects of this non-progressive format

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Getting cozy in bed.
The film has been encoded on Blu-Ray using the AVC MPEG-4 codec and it exhibits natural colour and flesh tones with some good shadow detail and a light, film-like level of grain. It's not a flashy Hollywood production, but it looks good nonetheless.

This Blu-Ray disc includes both a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track (16-bit/48Khz) as well as a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. After sampling both tracks we settled on the DTS-HD track which didn't have any massive improvements but which we felt was just a little sharper then TrueHD track, but either will suit your needs in this dialogue driven movie.

This Blu-Ray includes an English Hard of Hearing subtitle track which is coloured and positioned on the screen according to the actor speaking, and their location in the room. As we've said in the past on other movies this works quite well.

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Pirvate Lives of Pippa Lee is now on Blu-Ray.
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee comes to Blu-Ray as a bare bones disc, no extras are present at all which is somewhat disappointing given the stellar cast.

A great cast, but pretty poor movie is the best way to sum this film up. Icon Films have given it a decen transfer at least so if you were keen to check out this movie you shouldn't hesitate to get the Blu-Ray version. Still, it's not one I would return to often.

Review By: Dave Warner


Note: All images in this article are Copyrightę Icon Films. They are only indicative of the movie and not sourced from the vastly superior Blu-Ray disc format.