The Film (3/5)
In this romantic comedy, A New Leaf stars Walter Matthau (Fail-Safe) as Henry Graham, a once wealthy man, who has spent his entire inheritance. Completely broke finds himself needing money in the worst way, and asks his hateful Uncle Harry, played by James Coco (Murder by Death) to loan him 50,000. Uncle Harry agrees, but on the condition that Henry pays him back in six weeks or he will have to turn his 500,000 worth of physical assets to him. Out of ideas around the six week mark, Henry’s servant Harold (George Rose from The Flesh and the Fiends) suggests he marry a rich woman, and repay his uncle. Henry struggles to find someone until he runs into Henrietta (Elaine May, the director of the film herself!). She is a passive, clumsy, goofy botanist that he easily convinces her to marry him. Ultimately he plans to kill her for the money, but he conflicted with doing such a thing, leading to the climax at a camping trip. This is basically your typical 70s silly comedy romance, that some may find appealing while others will see it as dated humor.
Eureka presents A New Leaf in its original 1:78:1 ratio in 1080p with an encode of MPEG-4 AVC, and the results are just fantastic. This release boasts a new high-definition digital transfer with exclusive image restoration and the results are terrific. The colors are brilliant, strong, with excellent depth,and great contrast. Overall this is a very clear, sharp image from Eureka. I was extremely impressed with how this film looked in HD. The audio is LPCM Audio English 2.0 and it’s also outstanding. Dialog and sound effects are all top notch. There are optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. This is a Region B blu ray release.
Eureka’s release of A New Leaf has a few extras as well – not as much as extras enthusiasts would undoubtedly like, but there are some.
First there is an uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
From there we have “The Bluebeard of Happiness”, which is a new video essay by critic David Cairns
And with just about all Eureka blu ray releases there is the obligatory 32 page booklet featuring new and vintage writing on the film, and archival images
A New Leaf is a fun, pleasant Sunday afternoon kind of a film that those who are very much into comedies from the seventies. You most certainly will enjoy watching over and over again in a very glorious 1080p release from Eureka. For those that prefer excellent picture quality over an abundance of extras, you are in luck!