Director: Brad Silberling

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan, Dennis Franz, Andre Braugher, Colm Feore

An angel falls head-over-wings in love with a young woman.

Silberling’s flawed but likeable fantasy film just about keeps from becoming schmaltzy. It’s helped by a number of very good performances: Meg Ryan does her usual adorable / vulnerable girl-next-door schtick; Nicolas Cage is subtly off-beat (see if you can catch him blink!); Dennis Franz (the grouchy Sipowicz in NYPD Blue) is a great cuddly uncle figure; and Homicide: Life on the Street’s Andre Braugher is… well, angelic.

Both the Region 1 and Region 2 DVDs present the film in its original anamorphic ratio, (it has some superb cinematography), enhanced for 16:9 TVs. The film has a polished, if undemanding, 5.1 sound mix, and first-class production values.

When it comes to special features the Region 2 version is a pale shadow of it’s Region 1 counterpart. It still contains an excellent half-hour “making of…” documentary, and twelve minutes of deleted scenes, (with or without commentary - not, as the UK sleeve suggests, with two separate commentary tracks), but the American disc also has a fascinating ten minute look at how the visual effects were achieved, three full-length commentary tracks (including an isolated score track with comments by composer Gabriel Yared), two music videos, selected scenes with comments from the production designer and cinematographer and several trailers. This is one of the many early Warner Home Video discs with fewer features than the American version, (others include Contact and The Devil’s Advocate). Be aware. Be very aware.


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