|Category||Comedy||Main Menu Audio
Featurette - Spotlight On Location (15:40)
Theatrical Trailer - 1.85:1, not 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 (2:16)
Biographies - Cast and Crew
DVD-ROM Extras - Web Site Mirror
Notes - DVD Newsletter
|Running Time||87:09 minutes|
|Case||Transparent Soft Brackley|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No/No||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384
German (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Be warned. This is dire - very, very, very dire. Indeed, so dire that it really should be avoided at all costs. When this came up for review allocation, there was a resounding silence amongst the review team. On the basis that I did review the earlier film The Flintstones, I got the nod for doing this one. I think that the problem is that life in general is rarely fair, but to have to review this title is really a clear indication that not only is life not fair but that it is also has a very sick sense of humour. This is enough to drive a suicidal, manic depressant to finally commit it. Can I make it any clearer? Avoid this DVD at all costs!
There is no real plot here at all, but what anything but laughingly passes for one is as follows. Fred Flintstone (Mark Addy) and Barney Rubble (Stephen Baldwin) are the quintessential loser bachelors in Bedrock. The height of their dreary lives is that they have just qualified to become rock quarry workers. One night they come into contact with an alien, Gazoo (Alan Cumming) who has been banished to Earth to study the mating rituals of humans. He could not have found a more unlikely pair to study. Cue one Wilma Slaghoople (Kristen Johnston), daughter of wealthy Bedrock socialites Colonel Slaghoople (Harvey Korman) and Pearl Slaghoople (Joan Collins). Wilma wants to become one of the ordinary people and in disgust of the thought of becoming her mother, she says ta-ta to erstwhile sleazy wealthy wanna-be boyfriend Chip Rockefeller (Thomas Gibson) and heads off in search of normality in Bedrock. She lands at the local Bronto King where her waitress is one Betty O'Shale (Jane Krakowski), who in her upbeat manner takes Wilma under her wing. We now have the main characters and have to endure the story of how Barney and Betty and Fred and Wilma became two couples. Just in case you were wondering, Chip invites the four of them to his new casino in Rock Vegas as a ruse to get his Wilma back. Hence the name of the film.
This is a fairly dire story and one can only ponder what was going through the minds of the gurus at Amblin Entertainment and Universal Studios when they approved this piece of manure for production. The only thing remotely saving this from inclusion in my list of worst films of all time is the presence of Kristen Johnston and Jane Krakowski. Indeed, had any sense been applied to the making of this film, they should have forgotten everything else and just let these two do anything they wanted to do - at least the eye candy value would have made up for the direness of this film. Funnily enough, Jane Krakowski makes a far, far better Betty than did Rosie O'Donnell in the original film. The rest of the cast here, though, are not as well cast as in the original. Now if they really want to resurrect the franchise in live action film (and pray to god that the madman Brian Levant is not let loose on it) just cast John Goodman, Elizabeth Perkins and Rick Moranis with Jane Krakowski and things would really improve. Since Stephen Baldwin cannot act to save his life, nothing was expected from him and that was precisely what we get to see - nothing worthwhile watching. Indeed, he single-handedly manages to drag the film into even deeper manure and destroys the Barney Rubble character in the process. Mark Addy probably wonders why he ever got involved with this effort and it is another example of his big break into Hollywood being a complete flop - which I might add was not his fault as I doubt that anyone, not even Laurence Olivier, could have done anything with this screenplay. And please pray that they remove Brian Levant from any further projects involving The Flintstones.
All in all, an eminently avoidable film that single-handedly has managed to destroy The Flintstones as a live action franchise. About the only thing that could have been worse about this film is if they had let Jan De Bont or Joel Schumacher loose on it. One rather telling comment by Alan Cumming in the featurette is that he has never worked on a film where they so assiduously chased him to play a role and then proceeded to cover as much of him as possible with plastic and make up. He should consider himself the lucky one- he at least has a fair chance of walking away from this disaster with a reputation intact as he is less likely to be recognized! If you really have to have The Flintstones in live action form, the earlier film is a much, much better proposition overall.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced, and a fine transfer it is too with barely a blemish on it to detract from the "enjoyment".
Just like the earlier film, great effort has gone into bringing the cartoonish elements to the screen and thankfully we have once again gotten a transfer that gives the film every chance to shine. Generally this is a very sharp and very nicely detailed transfer. There is no great indication of edge enhancement here and the effort in some of the props is brought to notice in the very well-detailed transfer. Shadow detail is very good throughout and there really are no complaints here about the level of detail and clarity brought to the transfer. There is no problem with grain in the transfer, and there is no issue either with low level noise.
Naturally enough, given the cartoon origins of the franchise, this is a visual feast as far as colour goes - especially once Rock Vegas is hit. Whilst there could perhaps have been a degree more vibrancy in the colours overall, and certainly more depth to the tones in the earlier Bedrock scenes, I doubt that too many would find much to complain about here. There are some really nice deep tones on offer here and the overall saturation is tending towards the well-saturated end of the scale without any oversaturation issues. Colour bleed does not appear to be an issue.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, and the only real complaint here is that a couple of pan shots seemed to just lose a bit of resolution. The most obvious instance is around 37:20 when Dino is trying to escape from the tree he is chained to. There did not appear to be any film-to-video artefacts in the transfer apart from one barely noticeable instance of jitter at around 69:05. Apart from a couple of odd, but barely noticeable, flecks, this was basically free from any film artefacts at all.
In the absence of noting any layer change during
the film, I am presuming that this is a
formatted DVD with the film on one layer and the extras on the other.
The dialogue here was nice and bright, and very easy to understand, although not entirely natural-sounding (funny that, given the cartoon origins). There did not appear to be any significant audio sync problems at all.
The original music score comes from the same source as for the original film - David Newman. In keeping with the original film, it is not an especially memorable effort, but within the context of the cartoon origins of the show is a reasonably supportive effort. However, the musical highlight would have to be a rather sexy sounding interpretation of Viva Rock Vegas from Ann-Margret.
I have to say that the soundtrack was overall just
a tad disappointing. Whilst there is nothing really wrong with what we
have been given, I really would have thought that such a recent film would
have been a little more dynamic, especially in the surround channels. To
be honest I felt the soundtrack was just a little flat. I was sort of expecting
a bit more action out of the rear channels and a slightly better front
soundscape. Still, it is very clear and certainly the bass channel comes
to the party well, when it was required to anyway.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
6th January 2001
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|