Osage Reviews...NO STRINGS ATTACHED (Blu-ray; Paramount) - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 2 Old 07-03-11, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Osage Reviews...NO STRINGS ATTACHED (Blu-ray; Paramount)

Releasing Studio: Paramount (Cold Spring Pictures/Spyglass Entertainment)
Disc/Transfer Specifications: 1080p High Definition; Region 1 (U.S.) Release
Tested Audio Track: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Rating: R
Director: Ivan Reitman
Starring Cast: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline


Before we even get started here, let me say this, with full authority and passion within – holy home theater speakers, Batman, is Natalie Portman one of the cutest gals on the planet. I don’t know what it is about this chick, but ever since I saw her in the Star Wars prequels, I was smitten. I’m not sure if it’s that cute mole on her face…her seductive, dreamy eyes…the wickedly flirtatious smile of hers…but she just does it for me.

That aside, Kevin McCarthy called this “a funny, raunchy flick with a ton of heart.” Sounds like someone with female tendencies quoted that, not a dude. Again, just like with the last chick flick I reviewed, Hall Pass, this is fraught with clichés and implausible situations. The premise is that Kutcher’s character remains “friends” with Portman’s character ever since the days of sleepaway camp, eventually leading to the two of them becoming “sleep together buddies” as adults, but I simply don’t buy it. Add to that the see-it-coming-a-mile-away ending which of course suggests that the two of the really love each other and you have the makings of yet another quick-to-the-theaters-and-right-out-on-home-video forgettable borefest. In fact, my local Blockbuster was giving this one away free as a rental with the rental of any other new title.

My wife wanted to see this. Let me make that clear right from the opening gate. Unfortunately, I am going to have to sit through more garbage like From Nada to Prada, Monte Carlo and Friends with Benefits before my life is over. Also, I’d like to discuss, for a moment if I may, my personal feelings regarding Ashton Kutcher and this gangly clown's blatant lack of talent or entertainment value. I can’t stand this guy. I know he’s still with Demi Moore (still a massive head scratcher to me) but I don’t find him funny or suitable for most roles he plays. What is it with this guy? Why does he portray a lanky, goofy tentpole in every single film he’s in that sleeps with everything walking? And why do all these female characters want him so badly? I understand it’s a script written to be made into a motion picture, but these adaptations and scenarios are beyond ridiculous at this point – the same way I feel about Adam Sandler’s characterizations in all the films he’s in; I mean, every single script has him being lusted after by the hottest pieces of tail in his energy zone, and he portrays a disheveled, unshaven mess. I simply don’t get it.

Well, Kutcher is doing his annoyingly typical self again, trying to portray a grown up male human in No Strings Attached but still coming across as an immature frat boy without a personality. The film opens with younger versions of “Adam” (Kutcher) and “Emma” (Portman) at a sleepaway camp (actually frighteningly realistic younger versions of them) as the two of them discuss, amongst other things, staying friends forever and Emma allowing Adam to...well...use his fingers on her. The film then jumps in intervals a few years, then a few more years, until we’re in the present time, and all the while, the two of them end up meeting in unlikely places (again, implausible). First, they meet at a college frat party, then on the street at some market where Emma is now a doctor and Adam is going out with a hot, tanned chick with a thick accent. The two of them exchange numbers and before you know it, they’re sleeping together.

As the present time passes, Adam and Emma do so much hooking up, Emma decides to offer Adam the proposition of being sleeptogether buddies – with no strings attached. From there, the two of them can’t keep their hands off one another, going to town in every place they can, from handicapped toilets to closets and hospital supply rooms. It’s clear, though, that Adam is beginning to harbor feelings for Emma, and Emma the same, but while this develops, some jerk bag that works with Emma at the hospital and who has the hots for her intervenes when he sees how close they’re becoming. The doc issues an underlying threat at Adam about how he’s only going to be the sleep friend while he’ll really be there for her and eventually marry her. Meanwhile, Adam is called to the home of his wildly eccentric lunatic father (Kevin Kline) who was a TV actor in Hollywood, and who Adam finds out is dating and sleeping with his ex (the hot tanned foreign chick from earlier). Kline’s character must be more than twice the ex’s age, and Adam’s disgusted with it.

In an attempt to slow down their feelings for one another, Emma tells Adam they must “take a break” from their romps and sleep other people – can you imagine? What ensues are hijinks designed to make one another jealous, as Adam goes home with two women from a Christmas party he’s attending that end up making out with one another and wanting him in the middle of a threeway once at his pad; he sends pictures of the three of them to Emma’s cell phone, and clearly drunk off her behind, Emma is enraged and drives to his place to confront him. From there, the film just spirals into clichéd themes involving finding true feelings for someone, letting a defensive guard down and of course two people ending up with one another at the end – something you always see coming before the opening credits roll. In between, Adam is called upon again by his off the wall father to meet him and his ex in a restaurant, where he tells him and Emma that they are planning on having a baby together – in a “sedated” state, Adam offers some humorous gestures and comments, while Emma basically tells Adam’s father and his much younger lover to…well…go off themselves while clinging onto Adam to make the ex jealous and uncomfortable. I simply cannot believe human adults actually act like this…I mean, I know toddlers in day care programs that aren’t as childish when it comes to territoriality. Is this what we’ve evolved to?

Still, I wouldn’t mind – at all – having a sleeptogether buddy like Portman. Wow, is she cute; I understand Kutcher’s character’s frustration when the fellow doctor that likes her threatens him to stay away from her, basically, essentially driving him to fall for her even more, and I probably would have done the same given the situation (that is, peruse the woman in defiance of some creep making informal threats at me about my manhood). No Strings Attached though is just another portal for the horribly untalented Ashton Kutcher to flex his “comedic” muscles through the typical eye darting gestures and Guess Who-like animations while completely justifying the strictly-physical relationships so many seem to invest in nowadays; in my opinion, it’s an insulting message for those parents attempting to raise children in a respectful, human way.

Oh, I forgot to mention -- there's a performance here also by rap star Ludacris, who is oddly cast as one of Kutcher's character's buddies, but it's so haphazardly handled, what with his constant attempts to keep his ghetto-tastic tendencies at bay while trying to "fit in" with the social circle these characters are knee deep in.


Paramount’s Blu-ray presentation of No Strings Attached, in typical comedy genre fare, was generally stunning and riddled with detail and eye popping visual elements; the only issues I noticed were soft extreme facial close up shots of certain characters, in which the 1080p image went flat and lifeless. On extreme close ups, there appeared to be a softness which created a clear lack of detail in facial pores, hairs, etc. – odd for a high definition transfer. Some darker night-drenched scenes exhibited a hazy, glazed-over look which crushed some depth now and then, but this may have been due to photographic/stylistic element injections.

Otherwise, when the action shifted to outdoor, brightly-lit sequences, the transfer really shined – grass, foliage and cement details popped off the screen with sharp dimensionality while colors were perfectly saturated.


Not much was going on during the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track for No Strings Attached; as is typical for this genre, there was little to no rear stage spread and most of the focus of the mix was towards the front center, with occasional leakage to the front main channels.


One for your woman, and that’s about it. There’s some eye candy during sequences such as when Kutcher takes the two ladies home while they explore their lesbianism through drunken kisses and the like, but otherwise this is a one-time rental, if that, with the cute-as-a-button Portman in the lead.

I’ll have up my take on the highly anticipated Season of the Witch once I view it.

Last edited by Osage_Winter; 07-09-11 at 04:16 PM.
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post #2 of 2 Old 07-09-11, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Re: Osage Reviews...NO STRINGS ATTACHED (Blu-ray; Paramount)

Some edits to content made.
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attached , bluray , osage , paramount , reviewsno , strings

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