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October 12, 2008
Sex and the City: The Movie Blu-Ray Movie Review
Cinema Release Blu-Ray Release Distributor Director
5/6/200816/10/2008Village RoadshowMichael Patrick King
Video Codec Sound Format OFLC Rating Star(s)
VC-1Dolby TrueHD 5.1MA15+Sarah Jessica Parker

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Sex and the City from small screen, to big screen.

Right of the bat here I have to admit that I never watched the Sex and the City TV series besides parts of the odd episode here and there when my wife flicked over to the channel. Going into this movie I was only vaguely familiar with the four main characters, and less familiar with the main story arcs from the TV series.

As a movie this was always a gamble for the studio. Would the audience come back to the characters they left behind four years earlier? With a production budget of around $65 million fingers were crossed that the movie could turn a profit - but with a worldwide gross of $US408 million this smashed all expectations, and managed to please fans of the TV series along the way.

As with the TV series thw Sex and the City movie follows the lives of four individuals living in New York City; Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte York Goldenblatt (Kristin Davis), and Miranda Hobbes (Cynthia Nixon). The girls are getting older and when Carrie decided to get married to Mr Big everything looks complete, but is it really a perfect match? Can the girls remain friends as their lives head in different directions?

Sex and the City comes to Blu-Ray as the extended version of the film with an extra six minutes of footage. Don't ask me what has been added to the movie though as I never saw the original theatrical edit. One big addition to the cast of this movie is Jennifer Hudson as Carrie's personal assistant Louise. She's got a bubbly personality and, for me, really was one of the standouts of this movie as she tried to organise Carrie's life.

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Carrie Bradshaw in bed with Mr Big.
As with the TV series (or at least the bits I have seen) much of the movie seems to be about the women, whinging about men, sex lives and life in general. In terms of the actual plot this is pretty predicable, you can probably guess most of the few twists and turns that are thrown at you. What did surprise me was that this movie wasn't really as funny as I expected it to be, but it must be said that it is entertaining with some great dialogue. Despite its two and half hour runtime the movie doesn't actually seem to drag on much.

We must also warn adults that this movie very much deserves the MA15+ rating. While I don't find sex scenes (and this movie verges on pornographic in places!), sexual innuendo, or sexual banter offensive in the slightest personally, this movie certainly pushes the limits in some areas, and we certainly believe that people should heed the rating on this movie.

Sex and the City isn't a great movie, but it was a movie that anyone can jump in and watch without knowing the characters history from the TV show. Visually this movie is great, and the actors all put in fine performances, especially in some of the more heartfelt moments.

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Kristin Davis as Charlotte in Sex and the City.

Sex and the City comes to Blu-Ray in 1080p encoded using the VC-1 codec. The film is actually presented in a ratio of 1.78:1 which fills widescreen TV's, and is slightly altered from the films original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 as seen in cinemas. Colours used throughout the movie are bright and vibrant with rich, warm colours used on a regular basis. The transfer is free of any compression issues and being such a recent movie the transfer is free of any film artifacts and dirt.

If there is one very slight issue its that contrast seems a little overblown in a couple of scenes, however that could be a directorial and lighting decision during production rather then a fault of the transfer to Blu-Ray.

There are two main audio tracks on this disc, the default is a Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 640kbps while the second is an English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. Make sure you change from the default track to the Dolby TrueHD track as you will discover a much richer experience. As you can image the lossless Dolby TrueHD track is certainly the preferred option with a little more fidelity to the audio, but in a movie such as this the differences aren't as pronounced as more 'action' oriented movies. As a dialogue driven movie audio is primarily located in the front speakers, however there is some use of surround sound channels and sub-woofer. The clarity of this audio experience is impressive, and either track should vastly improve on the DVD release which we believe (but haven't confirmed as yet) has a Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448kbps.

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Carrie, Miranda and Samantha.
There are no other audio tracks on this disc and the only subtitle track provided on the disc is English for the Hearing Impaired. Sampling the subtitle track demonstrated accuracy to the dialogue on screen, with Carrie's narration provided in italics.

While not heavy on the extras there are a few here that are worth your time including a commentary and pop-up trivia track.

Audio Commentary with Director Michael Patrick King: Running solo on this commentary I was actually fairly impressed with his effort especially given the two and a half hour runtime. I really would have loved some of the actresses involved here - especially SJP - but this is still worth a listen with many of the story arcs, and ending, discussed at length.

A Conversation with Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael Patrick King (23:40/HD): Actually quite an interesting conversation between the director and star of the movie where they discuss different aspects of the movies production including the costumes/clothing, locations and thoughts behind some of the key scenes.

The Fabulous Fashion of Sex and the City (18:03/HD): The title says it all really as this featurette looks at the fashions worn in the movie.

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Oww! You're breaking my back!
Fergie in the Studio (2:11): Presented in Standard Definition this is really a brief, pointless, look at singer Fergie in the studio. They could at least have provided the video clip for us to look at rather then Fergie and a few other guys just bopping their heads to her music. Pointless, crap.

Additional Scenes (3:50/HD): While a lot more could have been cut out of the movie, these scenes were obviously cut for pacing. These can be watched with an optional directors commentary by Michael Patrick King.

The City: An impressive Java based interactive map which allows you to see where each location is from the movie, read details about them and then watch that location in a clip from the movie.

"Dish It!" Pop-Up Trivia Track: This trivia track is well put together and includes notes about the production of the movie, as well as interesting trivia such as when the first Valentines day card was set when Carrie receives one.

As someone who never watched the Sex and the City TV show I actually enjoyed this movie more then thought I would. It's pretty entertaining, with some amusing moments, and the transfer from New Line / Village Roadshow is impressive. Throw in a couple of extras and this is a Blu-Ray release you'll want to add to you collection.

Review By: Dave Warner


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