|Category||Romance||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 2.0|
||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City|
|Year Released||1994||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||97:26 minutes||Other Extras||Filmographies - Cast and Crew|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ,
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
What follows is a fairly incisive look at what generally does happen when money becomes an issue in people's lives. Sadly, but true according to my experiences with clients, most people who win big in lotteries actually end up badly scarred by the experience, as nothing is surer to cause problems then a big pile of cash. Here, obnoxious wife gets greedy, finds that the decent man she has been married to for years is not so greedy, wants all $4 million and a divorce. Charlie and Yvonne get stiffed for being decent human beings, with the happy ending coming when they are recognized for their decency by the people of New York when they have to pay Rosie the half share of the lottery winning after the obligatory court case.
Okay, the story is a little hokey but these things do apparently happen in real life - not that I would have personal experience of winning lotto. In one of the most perfect castings ever in a film, Rosie Perez is better than perfectly cast as the obnoxious money grabbing wife: she is an actress (term used loosely) that I cannot abide and ranks right down there with Jim Carrey, and this film demonstrates absolutely why. Nicolas Cage is good as the hard working, honest, decent cop and Bridget Fonda is no less effective as the down on her luck waitress. It is a pity that this film is so close to the truth as far as the general population and money is concerned.
The video transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is not especially sharp, being a little softly focused at times - presumably to enhance the romance aspect of the film. It is nonetheless a clear transfer throughout. Shadow detail is not that brilliant but is acceptable given that this is not of major importance to the film.
Colours are nicely rendered, albeit of a generally richer tone, and quite vibrant. There is a very small hint of oversaturation on the odd occasion, unlikely to worry too many and which suits the film quite well. The capturing of the gold interior of the Trump Tower in New York is especially noteworthy, as this is extremely difficult to capture (as many failed photos attest to).
There were no MPEG artefacts seen and there did not appear to be any video artefacts, almost as we are becoming accustomed to in these Sony mastered discs. Film artefacts were present but they were not all that prevalent and not at all distracting to the film.
There are three soundtracks on the DVD: the default English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded track, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track and a French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded track. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 2.0 and English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks; all comments apply to the latter soundtrack.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.
There did not seem to be any audio sync problems at all with the transfer.
The music score to the film comes from Carter Burwell, and is not especially memorable at all.
The remastered 5.1 soundtrack is especially noteworthy for the lack of detail in the surround channels; indeed, at times it was difficult to believe that the surround channels were being used. This is not a major problem since there is little opportunity in the film for audio demonstration, and the film is primarily dialogue driven. The soundscape presented however is not too bad and suits the film well.
The bass channel seems to have no use at all during the film.
A good quality video transfer.
A reasonable quality audio transfer.
The collection of extras could have been a little bit more enterprising.
© Ian Morris
12th October 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|