Coup de Chance Does Not Disappoint

"The new Woody Allen is here!  The new Woody Allen is here!"  That was the sound at every mailbox in America this week.  Or at least I assume so.  That was definitely the sound at my mailbox as I ran out to collect my release date guaranteed blu-ray copy of 2023's Coup de Chance (Stroke of Luck) from MPI Home Video.  And I'm taking it on faith that everyone else in the country was exclaiming that in unity with me as they shared in the identical experience, and I just couldn't hear them over the sound of my own joy.

I kid because 80% of the film community now seem to delight in busting the Woodman's balls for being hopelessly uncool, both for the obvious reasons in his personal life that I'm not going to re-litigate, and just the fact that he's 88 and extremely out of touch with the youngest generation.  And admittedly, this film starts a little slow.  But by the time I got to the scene of Melvil Poupaud (yes, the star of A Summer's Tale) stewing in the detective's office muttering, "I have no respect for anyone who relies on luck," this film is a delight and if anybody can't appreciate it, that's their loss.
Allen is back on an upswing.  I'll defend pretty much all of his films to some degree, but this is definitely superior to A Rainy Day In New York and Rifkin's Festival.  Once again he's working with Vittorio Storaro (Apocalypse Now), who's been shooting all his stuff since Cafe Society, though some of those quirky, over-saturated blues and oranges from Rifkin's are back.  There are some humorous touches, but this is another one of his murderous dramas, probably closest in tone to Cassandra's Dream.  The whole cast is excellent, especially Poupaud and Valérie Lemercier as the mother.  Coup has a jazzy score, which on paper reads awfully predictable for Allen, but this isn't his usual 30s era dance band or Dixieland, he's using records like Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe," and it works great with the film.  Oh, and exhausted Allen defenders will be relieved to know all of the relationships depicted in this one are age appropriate. 😉
2024 MPI BD.
Coup is presented in what has become Woody Allen's usual ratio of 2.00:1.  All of Allen and Storaro's films are shot on digital, so we're not grading film grain or anything here.  But fine detail is crisp and nothing seems tinkered with in any of the all-too common ways.  Again, some of the colors seem a little too artificially boosted, but I believe that's the filmmakers' choice, and not an issue with MPI failing to properly present the official DCP on disc.  This film was also released on UHD in Italy, and I'd love to see how this looks in 4k; but this is the first English-friendly release to date, so we're stuck with this single layer BD.  And considering it's a relatively short film with a 20+GB encode, it seems perfectly fine for 1080.

We do get our choice of 5.1 DTS and 2.0 LPCM (which sound pretty similar if you play the 5.1 on a stereo set-up anyway) French audio tracks, with English and English SDH subtitles.
Woody Allen is pretty notorious as a "no extras" filmmaker, but this is actually the first Allen film in a long time not to include at least a brief featurette.  All we get this time is the theatrical trailer.  So it's not exactly a packed special edition.  But for those of us who just want a nice, HD presentation of Allen's 50th(!) feature film, this is it.  Those Italians are lucky, though.

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