|Category||Romantic Comedy||Main Menu Audio
Cast & Crew Interviews
Featurette-Making Of (4:15)
|Region||1,2,3,4,5,6||Director||Antony J. Bowman|
Universal Pictures Video
Andrew S. Gilbert
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||?1.85:1||
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Annoying Product Placement||Yes, very slightly|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Jack (Hugh Jackman) is a truck driver who lives in the middle of the outback, in Lucktown. He's your typical bloke's bloke - he drinks with the boys, he drives a huge road train for a living, he has a blue heeler as a pet, and he writes romantic novels. Well, one romantic novel, anyway. His novel was duly published, and he has become the toast of the big city. The problem is, blokesTM don't write romantic novels. Accordingly, Jack has used a pseudonym for all his dealings with the publishing company, Ruby Vale (Claudia Karvan), the name of a close friend of his, which gives rise to a second problem - she doesn't know about any of this until the publisher's publicist, Ziggy (Angie Milliken) comes to visit Lucktown in order to discuss "Ruby's" second novel and to discuss a publicity trip to Sydney.
At its heart, this is a story that we have seen before, with Jack and Ruby taking the roles of the rom-com pair. Seemingly insurmountable obstacles are placed in their way, not the least of which is Ruby's extremely decent fiancé, Hamish (Andrew S. Gilbert). What makes this story stand out from the rest are its fully-rounded support characters and its uniquely Australian viewpoint on the whole affair.
It's just a ripping good yarn.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of exactly 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The image is generally crisp and clear, although darker scenes tended to lack in detail. Shadow detail was quite limited at times, mostly because of the lighting utilized. We saw what was intended to be seen. If it was not intended to be seen, it was black, and that was that. There was no low level noise.
Colours were very strongly saturated at times, particularly reds and oranges, to the point of skin tones having an oversaturated orange tinge about them at times. This appeared to be a deliberate effect in order to emphasize the outback setting of the movie, as scenes in the city had quite a different colour balance about them and they certainly never appeared oversaturated. Despite this very strong colouration, there was never any colour bleed noted.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Neither were film-to-video
artefacts nor film artefacts seen. This transfer is clean as a whistle
in this regard.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times, and no audio sync problems were noted at all.
The music was composed by Burkhard Dallwitz, and really complements the movie nicely. It frequently makes use of laid-back ambient guitar riffs which add a layer of extra class to this movie - the music really paints a sublime emotional tapestry around which the movie is hung.
The surround channel was used extremely aggressively by this soundtrack, much to my surprise. Music in particular was aggressively mixed into the rear channel, almost to the point of excess. The rear channel almost, but not quite, overpowered the front channels musically. Ambient noises were frequently present and clearly audible. This was totally unexpected and really helped to create an enveloping mix. This also prevented the soundfield from collapsing into mono-only for dialogue. The sounds of both the outback and the city were nicely recreated in this mix, and it is certainly one of the very best surround-encoded soundtracks I have ever heard.
The .1 channel was used appropriately to support
the music when necessary and to support the occasional sound effect. It
was very nicely integrated into the overall sound field, and never called
attention to itself.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Michael Demtschyna
(read my bio)
30th November 2000
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, 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. Denon AVD-1000 DTS AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials and the NTSC DVD version of The Ultimate DVD Demo Disc.|
|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|