|Year Released||1997||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||93:57 minutes||Other Extras||None|
Warner Home Video
John C. McGinley
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.0|
||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, after credits|
A minor one it is, but nonetheless it really should not happen: the description of the soundtracks on the disc are incorrect on the rear cover. Sorry, there is no English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack on the DVD. There is however an English Dolby Digital 5.0 soundtrack. The remaining soundtracks are described as stereo but would appear to be in fact surround-encoded. Close, but no cigar as they say in the classics. Oh, and this one is definitely not one of the classics!
Now, whilst the story sounds a tad banal, it really did have the seed of what could have been a really good and interesting film. Perhaps one day someone will actually make that film, for the one that we have gotten is not it. Whilst it tries hard, every time it looked like it might actually take off, it sinks again back into the mire. Part of the problem is in the casting - Tim Robbins to me does not suit this role and really there is a distinct lack of spark between him and Martin Lawrence, who is in fact well-suited to his role. I guess part of the problem here is that in a similar buddy movie with Will Smith (Bad Boys), Martin Lawrence really excelled in a strong on-screen relationship that created real energy, so sadly lacking here. The other part of the problem may well be the direction from Steve Oedekerk, who on the evidence of this showing is certainly no Michael Bay. He just seemed to lack the right sort of nous to be able to push the leads beyond what was in the script and make something more of the dialogue that what were simply words on a piece of paper. Of course, when your entire film is so dependent upon the two lead characters, if there is no real chemistry the whole film really falls flat on its face - and that really is sadly the situation here. A really great opportunity has gone begging, and what could have been a really good film ends up being little more than a mediocre effort.
That is not to say that at some level that this is not amusing, as it certainly is. The laughs however are few and far between and in this instance the blurb writer was certainly overindulging in some form of intoxicant. Do not be mislead - this is not a hilarious movie, and is by no means the best comedy around. If you really need to indulge in buddy movies, then there are definitely better around to command your attention.
Once again the flattish feel of the transfer is highlighted by a lacklustre palette of colours. There really was not much in the way of bright colour here, to the extent that neon lights were hardly neon lights: these sorts of colours should really have jumped out at you but they simply did not. I was truly expecting a greater degree of vibrancy here than we got and this really ends up being quite a bland looking transfer in general, relieved only by the odd moment of something barely approaching a flashy, bright, vibrant colour. Whatever else, the transfer is at least reasonably consistent in the presentation of the colours. There is no hint of oversaturation at all, other than perhaps in the opening credits where there was also some evidence of colour bleed.
There are no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There were no apparent film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. There did not seem to be too much of a problem with film artefacts, although there were a few rather noticeable dirt marks here and there. None were really intrusive and they really did not detract from the film too much at all.
One thing that I do find just a little annoying about Martin Lawrence is that his diction at times leaves something to be desired and accordingly there were a couple of instances during the film where the dialogue was just a little difficult to understand. There did not appear to be any problems at all with audio sync in the transfer.
The original music score is from Robert Folk and a thoroughly non-distinguished effort it is too. Somewhat clichéd, this really is lacking any sort of spark of originality.
Really for a Dolby Digital 5.0 soundtrack, this is quite a disappointment. It seems to lack any sort of space in the sound and comes across as quite congested in the mix at times. The ample opportunities for some nice ambient support, through the rear channels especially, seemed to go begging repeatedly and of course we have no bass channel to worry about. In all honesty I would be hard-pushed to say that I heard anything distinctive out of the rear channels. This is not the greatest soundtrack that I have ever heard and would best be described as serviceable and nothing more. At least it is free of distortion.
An ordinary video transfer.
An ordinary audio transfer.
An obligatorily absent extras package.
© Ian Morris (have a
laugh, check out the bio)
16th June 2000
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. 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 EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|