Housos vs. Authority (Blu-ray) (2012)

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Released 27-Feb-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Over 1 hour of extra Housos footage
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 102:42
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Paul Fenech
Studio
Distributor
Transmission Films Starring Paul Fenech
Angry Anderson
Maret Archer
Andrew Ausage
Tahir Bilgic
David Cooper
Elle Dawe
Mark Duncan
Mike Duncan
Paul Fenech
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (3254Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes, Plenty of it!
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, A few funny scenes at the end are included

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Paul Fenech, the writer and star of the Australian TV channel SBS show Pizza and Swift and Shift Couriers has taken his irreverent, black comedy-style writing up a notch here in the hilarious and politically incorrect, Housos vs. Authority. The movie is a continuation of the first series of the television show which aired on SBS in 2011. Following on from the movie Fat Pizza, which was made from the original television series of Pizza, Fenech was fortunate enough to get the Paramount subsidiary production company, Transmission Films, to produce and market this film for a miniscule budget. (Apparently, it cost $A200,000, but it took over $A550,000 theatrically in its first week of release late in 2012.)

     We have the same cast of characters that Fenech has used in his previous television series. Elle Dawe plays Shazza, the main character of the film who goes to Uluru to visit her dying mother. Jason "Jabba" Davis stars as Dazza, Shazza's defacto boyfriend and along the way Paul Fenech stars as Franky, his Kiwi mate Kev Taumata plays Kevin and Vanessa Davis plays Vanessa, a 'westie' chick infatuated with her backside. Russell Gilbert narrates as Bazza, Shazza's uncle. His role was created for the film as Ian Turpie passed away in 2012. He had previously narrated the Housos TV series as Wazza, Shazza's gambling-addicted dad. Included here are all types of members of Australian society, with token hoods of 'Middle-Eastern appearance' played by Ashur Simon, Tahir Bilgic and Rob Shehadie. Angry Anderson returns as Angry the Bikie, the leader of the local bikie gang, we have keystone-cops characters Cop Garry, played by Garry Who and Cop Murray, played by Murray Harman. Finally, making appearances in the film are Barry Crocker as a Judge, Brendan Jones and John Mangos as journalists, Mark "Chopper' Read as Dazza's abusive dad (shown in flashback) and even Jack Levi (remember his deadpan alter-ego Elliot Goblet?) who cameos as a booth operator at Uluru.

     There's no doubt that Housos vs. Authority is not everyone's 'cup of tea'! There are many implied sex, drug use and violent scenes. There is frequent coarse language. Seriously, someone should count how many times the 'f-word' is mentioned here because this would challenge any Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino film for its use. If we were to view the setting and characters here as the live-action version of a cartoon show, then you can make better sense of how and why every character in this film is exaggeratedly stereotyped. Paul Fenech's character, Franky, is also involved in frequent escapades from the local police, and I can't help but think that these scenes are included to emphasise how 'cartoonish' these characters are (think of Wile.E Coyote and the Road Runner when you see these scenes).

     I enjoyed the humour on offer here, but if you did not enjoy the TV series on SBS, then don't bother with this film and don't take it too seriously. SBS will be producing the second season of Housos in 2013 as a result of the interest in the television series and this movie.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Remember, this was produced on a very low budget so don't expect Hollywood-style cinematography!

     The aspect ratio is 1:78:1, 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.

     The transfer looks fine overall with a few extreme dutch-angles, low angle and wide angle shots to emphasise the black humour inherent in every scene!

     The colour timing can best be described as 'natural-looking'.

     There are many outdoor day scenes which utilise natural lighting, most probably because the limited budget did not allow for planned shooting with controlled lighting as this would require a larger production crew.

     Subtitles are available in English for the hard of hearing.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Similarly to the video transfer, the audio transfer is sufficient for this type of film without being reference-quality, which it doesn't pretend to be.

     The main audio track is an uncompressed DTS HD-MA 5.1 track so it will sound quite dynamic at your normal volume level for your surround-sound system. There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 English Descriptive Audio track for the Hard of Hearing.

     Dialogue is not always clear here, but that's because of the characters represented such as housing commission welfare-recipients, bikies, 'junkies', pacific islanders and middle-eastern gang members. The audio is synchronised.

     The musical score is mainly hip-hop influenced and is quite energetic. Look out for The Funkoars' It's all good which is played throughout the film.

     There is basic surround channel usage in the soundtrack overall; it's mainly utilised for background music.

     Similarly, the subwoofer supports background music in the soundtrack mainly.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Over 1 hour of extra Housos footage (84:18)

    There is one extra included with 52 short scenes. These are mainly deleted and extended scenes, with two music clips, two interviews, two 'making-of' scenes and a 7 minute Today Tonight current-affairs report where the journalist involved in the segment on the movie also reflects on his cameo in the film. You have an option to 'play all' or view the extra scenes individually. Be warned however, if you choose the 'play all' option, you cannot skip to the end, as you will need to manually skip through 52 chapter stops to get back to the main menu. The cast discuss the film here 'in-character' which can be hilarious. For example, I found Franky's interview with Liz, which explains Melissa Tkautz's non-appearance as Franky's ex Liz in the film, especially funny! The features are:

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Housos vs. Authority has only been released in Region B Australia at the time of writing this review.

Summary

    As mentioned, this is not everyone's 'cup of tea' but if you enjoyed the television show then have a look at this film as you are likely to enjoy it. Just don't take it too seriously however!

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Saturday, March 02, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 020), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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