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Details At A Glance

Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1993 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 105 minutes Other Extras Cast & Crew Biographies
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 4 Director Ivan Reitman

Warner Brothers
Starring Kevin Kline
Sigourney Weaver
Frank Langella
Kevin Dunn
Ving Rhames
Ben Kingsley
Case Snapper
RRP $29.95 Music James Newton Howard

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Dolby Digital 2.0 
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Theatrical Aspect Ratio ?2.35:1 ?1.85:1
Macrovision ?
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No

Plot Synopsis

    At its heart, Dave is a romantic comedy. Kevin Kline plays Dave Kovic, a presidential look-alike who is called upon to stand in for the real president, Bill Mitchell (Kevin Kline) whilst the real president is "on the nest" with a Whitehouse staffer. Unfortunately, the president suffers a stroke during some vigorous "nesting" and is turned into a vegetable. Bob Alexander (Frank Langella) the shifty Whitehouse Chief-Of-Staff and his somewhat unwilling sidekick Alan Reed (Kevin Dunn) conspire to replace the president with Dave until they work out what to do.

    Dave agrees to go along with this until his enthusiasm gets the better of him and he sets out to make things right in America. Along the way he charms the voters and the estranged Ellen Mitchell (Sigourney Weaver).

    Dave is a fun movie. It is pure schmaltz, but, what the heck, it is very entertaining.

Transfer Quality


    The video transfer of this movie is very ordinary indeed and a great disappointment for what is a fairly recent movie (1993).

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced. The other side of the disc carries a Full Frame presentation of the movie. The Internet Movie Database lists this title as having an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. I believe that this is incorrect as other sources list this movie as having an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which makes more sense.

    The transfer was oversharpened, with subsequent ringing around foreground characters and a lot of background graininess. This was quite distracting at times. Shadow detail was acceptable, and little low level noise was apparent.

    The colours were somewhat oversaturated at times, and I noticed one scene where the saturation changed mid-scene (5:48).

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of small amounts of aliasing, none of which was of much consequence. There was considerable judder during the opening helicopter shots which was distracting. Film artefacts were frequently present, and made worse by the oversharpening of this picture. They were very distracting, and I was quite disappointed with this aspect of the transfer.


    There are three audio tracks on this DVD; an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack and an Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack.

    Dialogue was always clear and audible.

    There were a few ADR sync problems evident on this disc, but none of this was particularly distracting.

    The musical score was by the superb James Newton Howard. I have yet to hear a soundtrack from this composer which is anything but superb, and Dave's soundtrack is no exception. The music complements the on-screen action perfectly, adding just the right amount of feeling to the scenes.

     The surround channel had little use except for some music. This soundtrack was pretty much a front soundstage mix, and not particularly enveloping.

   The .1 channel received a small amount of signal at times from the processor.


    Only extremely limited extras are on this disc.


    The main menu is plain and functional. It is 16x9 enhanced.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    These are of average length, but there aren't all that many of them.


    Dave is a really enjoyable movie. The disc, whilst being acceptable, leaves a lot to be desired. Even my wife, who is not at all into the technical niceties of DVD and movies commented that it was not up to the standard of other DVDs we have viewed.

    The video quality is just barely acceptable.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    The extras present are very very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
19th May 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer