Case Number 23795: Small Claims Court

GWYNETH PALTROW 4-FILM COLLECTION

Emma
Lionsgate // 1996 // 121 Minutes // Rated PG
Shakespeare In Love
Lionsgate // 1998 // 122 Minutes // Rated R
Bounce
Lionsgate // 2000 // 106 Minutes // Rated PG-13
View From The Top
Lionsgate // 2003 // 87 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // May 9th, 2012

The Charge

The exquisite horror of Gwyneth Paltrow!

The Case

She is the stuff nightmares are made of and I know this firsthand. Back a few years ago I quit smoking out of concern for my health and longevity. My doctor told me that I might have very vivid dreams, and I thought to myself, "That might be nice!" What could be wrong with a dose of realism to my slumber? Little did I know that for at least three months I was tortured by a very real, very visceral image of Gwyneth Paltrow nightly tempting me with cigarettes. Not only would she smoke in front of me, but she would tease me. She would hurl names at me, and say outrageous things like "You are such a PUSSY!" At one point she started tossing lit matches at me. I would wake up screaming "You SUCK Gwyneth Paltrow!" I could smell her, and she would reek of expensive perfume and Marlboro Light 100s. This was long before Country Strong mind you!

The good people of Lionsgate have decided it is time to pack together four films starring my nightmare woman, so that I can relieve my days of torture from La Paltrow. They have chosen Shakespeare in Love for which she won an Oscar, Emma, Bounce, and View From the Top. One sublime choice, one midling one, a so-so romance, and then finally a stinker to top it all off. It is the curse of winning an Academy Award early on in your career, because the only way is down after all of that.

Given the law of diminishing returns, it is no surprise the real treasure here is Shakespeare in Love, because it is charming and accomplished. Gwyneth shines, and it is the time she had her best romantic partner in Joseph Fiennes (Elizabeth). She becomes the muse for a down-on-his-luck Shakespeare, and it all works to great grand effect.

Next up is Emma which is a light romp based on a Jane Austen novel. Paltrow plays a matchmaker who accidentally falls for a man she is trying to set up with a client. It's a pleasant period comedy, but decidedly light and fluffy. It's not all that memorable other than it was probably the role that got her the better one later.

Bounce is a bit darker with Gwyneth taking on the role of a recent widow who falls in love with a man who gave her deceased husband a ticket on a doomed plane. It was her big turn across from Ben Affleck (Daredevil), and surprisingly they didn't have that much chemistry.

View From the Top was an airline comedy that had the unfortunate luck of filming during 2001. Gwyneth plays a flight attendant here, but you can tell studio tinkering made it fall flat. The aftermath of 9/11 forced many of the bits to be altered, and the comedy got sucked right out of this one. Gwyneth is okay at comedy, but she is outshined by co-star Christina Applegate (Married With Children) who chews up every scene they are in.

All four discs are what have been out on the market for years. Each one has an okay transfer and just fine surround sound tracks. The shame is Shakespeare in Love looks the roughest in audio visual quality while View From the Top looks pretty pristine. Extras vary according to discs, and none of the supplements are new. Most come with a behind-the-scenes, and only Bounce gets a commentary.

True fans of Gwyneth Paltrow will already own these films, but thanks to packs like this now I can too. The idea is convenience, and for that Gwyneth Paltrow 4-Film Collection is a great value. Whether you love her or hate her, it's safe to say a couple of these should hit home with anybody. Of course they all make me want a cigarette really bad, and that's the truth.

The Verdict

Guilty of haunting my dreams, Gwyneth is free to fly on.

Review content copyright © 2012 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice, Emma
Judgment: 88

Perp Profile, Emma
Video Formats:
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

Subtitles:
* English

Running Time: 121 Minutes
Release Year: 1996
MPAA Rating: Rated PG

Distinguishing Marks, Emma
* Trailer

Scales of Justice, Shakespeare In Love
Judgment: 94

Perp Profile, Shakespeare In Love
Video Formats:
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)

Subtitles:
* English

Running Time: 122 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Rated R

Distinguishing Marks, Shakespeare In Love
* Featurette

Scales of Justice, Bounce
Judgment: 78

Perp Profile, Bounce
Video Formats:
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 106 Minutes
Release Year: 2000
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13

Distinguishing Marks, Bounce
* Commentary

Scales of Justice, View From The Top
Judgment: 72

Perp Profile, View From The Top
Video Formats:
* 2.35:1 Anamorphic

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13

Distinguishing Marks, View From The Top
* Featurettes

Accomplices
* IMDb: Shakespeare in Love
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0138097/combined

* IMDb: Emma
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0116191/combined

* IMDb: Bounce
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0186894/combined

* IMDb: View From the Top
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0264150/combined