|Category||Drama/Comedy||Featurette - Cast and Crew Interviews
Filmographies - Cast and Crew
Main Menu Audio and Animation
Music Video - C J Bolland
Random Music Selector
Scene Selection Animation
Television Spots (2)
|Running Time||95:31 minutes|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The tagline for the movie is "the weekend has landed". That really does tell you the entire plot of the film. Set in Cardiff, Wales this is perhaps the ultimate testament to the club scene of the nineties. It is the story of six people, whose lives are very much interwoven by the weekend. Jip (John Simm) is stuck in a dreary job whose only relief is the forty eight hours every week when work is not an issue. His entire existence is based around getting to the weekend to blow his hard-earned pounds on a forty-eight hour binge of beer, drugs, dance and sex, as he blows off the frustrations of his working life. He is aided by his best mate Koop (Shaun Parkes), a sadly untalented wannabe DJ selling vinyl records to hip-hop freaks at a local record store, who also has a problem with jealousy with respect to his girlfriend Nina (Nicola Reynolds). Nina has just tossed in her job at a local take away and is out to celebrate her joining the two million unemployed in Britain. Lulu (Lorraine Pilkington) has just ditched yet another unfaithful boyfriend and is out to have a fun time with her best mates. But, the weekend will not be complete without the drugs, and for these they turn to another mate in Moff (Danny Dyer), son of a local police superintendent. Rounding out the party for this weekend is Nina's younger brother Lee (Dean Davies) who is out to pop his cherry - not in sex terms but in drug terms. What follows is a ninety-minute summation of how these six people relieve the tedium of their existence in a blur of music, dance, drugs, alcohol and hopefully sex - the latter being especially important to Jip who is having a rather soft time of it recently.
This simple story is woven into quite an engrossing film by director Justin Kerrigan, as we explore the whole culture of clubbing in the nineties. Whilst I am a bit removed from the demographic at which the film is aimed, I have little problem following the journey that he has planned. Some rather striking uses of film techniques adds tremendously to the visual appeal of the film, and the whole thing really does end up as some sort of definitive coda to the 1990s. As is usual with British films, the characters here are exceedingly believable and the performances more than adequate. As is so often the case with British films, the cast is not exactly made up of household names and I do not recall having seen any of the cast on film before (although their filmographies certainly suggest that they are not novices). Possibly the only weak link in the main cast here is Dean Davies, but then again he is also blessed with the least essential character in the film. Whilst none of the rest turn in superbly memorable performances, they are all enthusiastic participants and leave little room for complaint about their performances.
Is this good or is this bad as far as films go? There will be plenty of arguments either way, but all I can say is that this is an engrossing film that whilst I would not return to it often, is certainly a film that I intend to return to again. A very interesting film, and precisely why independent film has to be encouraged wherever it is found in the world. Love it or hate it, we do need films like these that shake us out of our routine just a little.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, being the original theatrical ratio, and is 16x9 Enhanced.
This is one good-looking transfer, with nary a thing wrong with it. Generally very sharp and detailed throughout, other than where it was not intended to be (the dream-like sequence during the club scene for instance), there is not much hidden by this transfer. For some of the best examples of how good this transfer is as far as sharpness is concerned, just check out towards the end of the film as the camera pans across the endless rows of terraced houses. It looks seriously good, even though the subject matter can be quite dour in real life. Shadow detail is very good indeed, even where it was not expected to be. The transfer is quite a clear one, with only minimal issues with grain, and even then some scenes in the club look like they were supposed to be grainy. There did not seem to be any problem with low level noise in the transfer. It would seem that this is a wonderful transfer of what the director intended us to see.
The colours are generally gorgeous throughout, with a lot of bright colours to be had. In general, these are rendered in a very nicely vibrant way, totally at odds with the impression I had of Cardiff on my last visit there. There were a few instances of oversaturation during the club scenes at around the 46:00 minute mark, but I would suggest that these are intended as they are the result of intense red lighting. Perhaps the only place where the oversaturation was not intended was at 18:30 when Koop's bright red jacket just starts to waver to the wrong side of the oversaturation line. There was one rather brief instance of colour bleed at 87:27 when Moff's blue track pants look to be just getting out of control on a very long shot. Other than that, there was little to complain about as far as the colours are concerned in what is generally a richly-toned film.
There are no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer.
There are no apparent film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. What few
film artefacts were present hardly interfered at all with the film. Overall,
I was very impressed by the video transfer here, as it could so easily
have degenerated into something that looked quite poor, with plenty of
opportunities for aliasing in particular to become a problem.
There is just the one soundtrack on offer on this DVD, being a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack presented at the still unusual bitrate (for Region 4) of 448 Kb/s.
The one area of minor concern in the soundtrack is that the ADR work done on the film has resulted in a slightly unnatural presence to the dialogue, especially during the opening sequences of the film where the characters establish themselves. Other than that, there is no concern with the soundtrack and dialogue was reasonably easy to hear and understand throughout - just give the volume a bit of a lift during the club scenes in order to overcome the music a little. There did not appear to be any problem with audio sync during the transfer, other than when Lulu is introduced as the ADR work here seems to be just a little sloppy.
The original music for the film comes from Rob Mello and Mathew Herbert, and given the subject matter is obviously very 1990s techno-dance stuff. Whilst this is not my choice for great music, there is little wrong with the music per se and it cannot be denied that at times it does get the old body moving just a tad. Amongst soundtracks based solely upon modern pop music, this is certainly one of the better efforts I have heard.
1990s club music needs a powerful beat and that is
what we get here courtesy of some excellent use of the bass channel. Whilst
this could have descended into a bass nightmare very quickly, in general
the sound engineers have kept this from straying too far towards that area
and the result is a very bassy sound without really creating an overpowering
bass sound. Surround channel use is in general very good and the rear channels
have been nicely used for some ambient effects. The overall soundscape
is very natural and believable and you do get a nice encompassing feeling
when the rear channels really kick in. Excellent stuff indeed and I really
have little to complain about here at all.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
7th November 2000
|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|