|Category||Drama||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.78:1, not 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0|
|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||Yes, 1 - Tom Shadyac (Director)|
|Running Time||110:37 minutes||Other Extras||Biographies-Cast & Crew
Featurette-The Medicinal Value of Laughter (17 mins)
Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Audio & Animation
Philip Seymour Hoffman
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages
|English (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s)|
|English (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.0, 384 Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|English||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Patch Adams (Robin Williams) is a self committed patient at a psychiatric hospital, suffering from depression. During his self-inflicted incarceration, he comes to realize, with the help of his fellow patients, that he wants to help people. To do so, he determines to become a doctor at a rather belated age compared to most medical students. He has a brilliant mind, but a rather unorthodox philosophy that initially creates problems with the establishment at the medical school - most notably Dean Walcott (Bob Gunton). By sheer force of will, he eventually starts to persuade some of his fellow students as well as staff at the university hospital towards his views, although some still vehemently resist his ideas to the extent that he is dismissed from school, albeit before being reinstated. With the help of Carin Fisher (Monica Potter) and Truman (Daniel London) though, he does establish his visionary institute on a farm - with unfortunately dire consequences which lead him to reject his views. After being told that he is unable to graduate, he appeals to the State Medical Board and gets to graduate in his usual irreverent style.
Whilst based upon a true story, some of the characters of the film are amalgams of many people in Hunter "Patch" Adams' life. However, the story is a compelling one that is brilliantly brought to life by probably the only actor who could possibly play the part - Robin Williams. Whilst he is undoubtedly the star here, the performance of Monica Potter is no less compelling - this is the second film I have seen her in (Con Air being the other) and I think she has a fine future. Amongst the support cast, Philip Seymour Hoffman is especially memorable in his performance as Mitch, the "born to be a doctor" over-privileged blueblood. This is a story that obviously caught the imagination of all involved, as this is a quite wonderful from every aspect. Bearing in mind that this is Tom Shadyac's fourth film (after Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor and Liar Liar), it would seem that a very good directorial career is blooming too.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.
This is a very sharp and well defined transfer, with a nice clarity to it. Overall shadow detail is very nice, with some very nice detail in the various hospital scenes.
The colours are very nicely rendered throughout, with a nice degree of vibrancy. Early on the colours have a very cool, gray tone to them which switches to a very warm, glowing tone after the film switches to the medical school. There is no hint of oversaturation of colour and colour bleed is not a problem at all.
There were a few, very minor MPEG artefacts noted, which would not probably be noticed unless you were really looking for them. For instance, there is a little loss of focus during the closing and opening of the medicine cupboard at 2:26; they did not really detract from the enjoyment of the film. There were no significant video artefacts noted, and whilst there were a few film artefacts, even those few noted were relatively minor and in no way detracted from the film.
Subtitles can be selected via the remote control, and all subtitles are available via the remote, no matter what Region the DVD player is set to. The subtitle menu, however, is dependent on which Region the DVD player is set to.
This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change at 53:50. The layer change is quite noticeable and is a little disruptive to the flow of the film - although miles better than being a dreaded flipper of course.
The audio tracks available on this DVD are dependent on the Region that the DVD player is set to in the same way as for subtitles. They are selectable via the audio menu, and via the remote control. All audio tracks are selectable via the remote control at all times.
There are five audio tracks on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.0, French Dolby Digital 5.0, Italian Dolby Digital 5.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.0, and an English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 track. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.0 soundtrack as well as the English Audio Commentary track.
Dialogue was always clear and easy to understand.
There were no audio sync problems with this disc.
The score by Marc Shaiman is very good, and is wonderfully supportive of the film and contributes well to the overall effect of the film. It is never intrusive and sounds as if the composer was especially motivated by the film.
This is not an especially detailed soundtrack, with minimal use made of the rear channels other than for music. The film is of course very much dialogue driven so there is limited scope for massive surround effects, and therefore you do not really miss any detail. However, the resultant overall sound picture is quite believable.
Sorry, no bass channel in this soundtrack.
Anyone want to buy a Region 1 version? Unless DTS sound is essential, no overwhelming reason to do so.
The video quality is very good indeed.
The audio quality is also very good.
The extras add quality to a damn good film package.
© Ian Morris
24th 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|