|Category||Comedy||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced, DD 2.0 mono|
|Year Released||1999||Commentary Tracks||Yes, 1 - Kelly Makin (Director)|
|Running Time||98:03 minutes||Other Extras||Main Menu Audio
Cast & Crew Listing
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono, 192Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Hugh Grant is Michael Felgate, a dapper English art auctioneer. Michael loves schoolteacher Gina (Jeanne Tripplehorn), whom he has been dating for three months. He asks her to marry him, in the funniest scene in the movie. For trivia buffs, note the continuity fault at 9:30 with the fortune cookie plate. Gina tearfully explains that she cannot marry Michael because her father, Frank (James Caan) is a mafioso, and she is sure that if Michael becomes a part of her family, he will also become a part of the Family. Of course, Michael vehemently denies that this will ever occur, and so Gina somewhat reluctantly agrees to marry Michael.
Unfortunately, through a series of mis-steps, Gina's fears become a reality, as Michael is asked for just one more "favour" by his future father-in-law, plunging him into more and more farcical situations as the movie progresses until we reach the ultimate farcical, and potentially deadly, conclusion.
Personally, I think what lifts this comedy out of the stereotypical depths into which it would otherwise have plunged are the numerous odd-ball bit parts scattered throughout, from the almost psychotic Johnny Graziosi (John Ventimiglia) to the hysterical Chinese restaurant "owner, not waitress" Lori Tan Chinn to the bemused potential client Gene Morgansen (Mark Margolis), who manages to be very funny without saying a word, to the initially petulant delivery van driver. Indeed, a lot of the comedy in this movie is implied by the reactions of the participants rather than by having the comedy rammed down your throat - a great example of this is at the engagement party, when we encounter Johnny's art for the first time. There is always a lot going on in the background, adding a subtle subtext of comedy to the movie, and enhancing your enjoyment of this movie the second time around as you notice these little touches. Having said that, the on-screen events do stretch credibility to the very limit and sometimes beyond, such as the critical scene in Michael's office where Gina doesn't see a painting that there is no way in the world she could miss seeing. Nonetheless, the movie remains a lot of fun, and worth at least a watch or two.
This transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
This transfer is nicely sharp and clear, with lots of fine detail visible in the image. Some minor edge enhancement mars the image occasionally, such as during the scene in which Michael is interviewed in his office by the FBI, at 37:50 - 39:29, but this is a minor complaint and will go unnoticed by the majority of viewers. Shadow detail is generally quite good, though some of the scenes where the actors are wearing all black seem to be somewhat limited in this respect with their clothing simply being a mass of black rather than being subtly detailed. I suspect that this is more a result of the cinematography rather than the transfer, since in other parts of the same scenes, these same clothes do contain subtle details of shading. There is no low level noise, though there are occasional scenes where some background film grain is apparent.
The colours were nicely rendered, with a generally warm and rich tone to the greys, browns and blacks which predominate. Splashes of colour enter the image at times, providing a nice contrast to the darker tones of the majority of the movie. None of these ever even hint at colour bleeding.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minor aliasing. This aspect of the transfer is actually a highlight of the transfer, as it is a very sharp transfer, and yet this artefact is very well controlled in spite of this sharpness. A lot of the shots included in this movie are the type of shots that are extremely aliasing-prone, such as shots of shiny black-and-chrome limousines and moving shots of skyscrapers, and yet there is almost no shimmering going on at all. Film artefacts went unnoticed until some very minor artefacts appeared in the end credits.
This DVD is an RSDL
disc, with the layer change occurring at 52:29. There is only a
minimal pause at this point and it is not intrusive.
Dialogue was impeccably clear and easy to understand except for one specific section which was deliberately difficult to understand. Some of the dialogue has been ADR processed, with the resultant slightly rubbery sync that this provides, but there were no definite audio sync problems with this transfer.
The score by Basil Poledouris was singularly unremarkable and left no impression on me whatsoever. The songs included in the score from other artists, on the other hand, left considerably more impression on me, and were very appropriate, adding their own ironic or comedic touches to the appropriate scenes.
This movie is a dialogue-driven movie, and as such, the surround presence was limited to the occasional crowd scene, the occasional ambient sound cue, and to the music. Predominately, this is a front-and-center mix with some contribution from the remainder of the front soundstage hemisphere at times.
The .1 channel had only subtle usage.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is good.
The extras are a little limited, but the presence of an Audio Commentary makes up considerably for this deficiency.
© Michael Demtschyna
21st April 2000
|DVD||Palsonic DVD-2000/Start SD-2010VNK-C, 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; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer|