Kath & Kimderella (2012)

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Released 23-May-2013

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Interviews-Cast-Kel Knight In Shining Armour (1:54)
Outtakes-Try That Again Peoples (8:49)
Featurette-Making Of-How To Make A Movie Part 1 (6:33)
Interviews-Cast-Look Who's Talking (22:01)
Deleted Scenes-Deleted Scenes (7:37)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Movie Stuff (8:57)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2012
Running Time 82:25
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ted Emery
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jane Turner
Gina Riley
Magda Szubanski
Glenn Robbins
Peter Rowsthorn
Rob Sitch
Richard E. Grant
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Kim Green
Paul Mac


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes, King Javier lights a few cigars
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     I would like to preface this review by stating upfront that Kath & Kimderella is not the type of film that a reviewer who espouses the artistic merits of films such as Lola Montes or Sansho the Bailiff would likely connect with or appreciate. In my defence, I would like to state that Kath & Kimderella has a Rotten Tomatoes critic rating of 26% at the time of writing this review (the audience rating is higher at 39%). Critical reviews have been harsh. Quickflix reviewer Simon Miraudo stated, "You'll likely be looking for distractions to help make the time pass quicker. The obvious choice would be to keep count of all the hackneyed catch phrases, though I found tallying the repeated shots of exposed butt-cracks to be more fruitful". The Age's Philippa Hawker adds, "Despite these familiar set-ups, it soon becomes clear that there is something missing from Kath And Kimderella". David Stratton from ABC At The Movies wrote that "the script, by Turner and Riley, and direction, by Ted Emery, lack distinction". The film (or fillum as the main characters call it on the extras) was shown on Channel Seven in Australia in the same week it was released on Blu-ray/DVD. As Channel Seven had invested in the project, I'd say this was a promotional tie-in, as it is most unusual for a film to be seen on television so soon after its theatrical release.

     Having begun this review on a negative note, let me positively add that if you are a fan of the Kath & Kim TV series you'll no doubt enjoy what is on offer here. And yes, it is more of the clichéd and caricatured performances which make the show so distinctive. Please don't come to this film expecting character development of any sort, in fact quite the opposite; you'll find that by the end the main characters are not richer, rather they are duller. On the production side of things, at least the producers have allowed for the film to be shot decently, and the soundtrack is so eclectic you have to simply experience it for yourself!

     All the main characters from the show return here; Kath (Jane Turner) and her husband Kel Knight (Glenn Robbins), Kim (Gina Riley) and her soon to be ex-husband Brett (Peter Rowsthorn) and of course Sharon (Magda Szubanski). Rob Stich plays King Javier of Papilloma, an autocratic ruler of a long-forgotten Spanish Province at the heel of Italy (which is a joke in itself as the word papilloma is related to warts). Richard E. Grant plays Alain, his main servant and there are cameos by Dame Edna Everage and an extremely funny one by Frank Woodley. Kath & Kim's alter-egos Trude and Prue serve as comic relief, making comments at the end of scenes here and there.

     The idea to go to Italy must have appealed to the writing team of Riley, Turner and Szubanski, but I feel it was a big mistake to set the film away from suburban Australia. The setting of Fountain Lakes is where these characters belong and find their home, their meaning. Take them away from that and they literally are like 'fish out of water'. However, once in Italy you begin to admire David Parker's wonderful cinematography, as there are plenty of shots of the majestic landscape of Positano, Italy where the cast and crew filmed for two weeks. I must also praise the production design team too as they have done a good job in presenting an aristocratic setting and making it plausible.

     I felt that Dame Edna Everage's and Alex Perry's cameos were wasted here, they're hardly in their one scene each, whereas Frank Woodley's performance as an interpreter for the hard of hearing was hilarious, one of the highlights of the film for me. I enjoyed former Full Frontal cast member Glenn Butcher's role as a gay friend of Mark Trevorrow's character, Marko. Richard E. Grant does what he can with the limited and one-dimensional character of Alain while Rob Stich has a ball here as the despotic, rich and flamboyant King who thinks that Kath is rich and royal. The scenes in the castle were well done from a production point of view.

     Apparently this rated well in previews and I would say it's because, by now, we are all familiar with the Kath & Kim brand, so we know what to expect. Just don't view this hoping to expect anything else other than what you are used to with these suburban characters.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Kath & Kimderella was filmed using Panavision cameras on standard Super 35mm film. Therefore, the anamorphic widescreen Panavision lens camera was able to capture some nice location shots in Italy which look good on film, much better than would be shot for the television show.

     The aspect ratio is 2:35:1, 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.

     The film comes on a 7.16 gb dual-layered DVD with an average bitrate of 6.49 m/b per sec, which is about standard for DVD.

     David Parker's cinematography stands out in the outdoor coastal shots taken whilst in Italy. Overall, I'd say the colour timing is natural-looking.

     There are no film to video transfer issues here, otherwise there is slight film grain as a result of shooting on 35mm film.

     Subtitles are available in English.

     The main feature is presented on the first layer of the DVD, therefore there is no RSDL change on this disc. The extras are presented on the second layer of the DVD.

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

Audio

     The soundtrack is probably the most eclectic choice of songs I've ever experienced in a movie, from seventies and eighties pop standards to classical music to modern pop and cover songs. The soundtrack adds to the humour from the opening bars of Sweet's Fox on the Run to Missy Higgins' cover version of Sherbet's Howzat, which closes the film in the closing credits.

     The main audio track is a Dolby Digital English 5.1 track encoded at 448 kbps. A Descriptive Audio track is available in English for the hard of hearing in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, encoded at 256 kbps.

     The dialogue is clear from the centre channel and the audio is synchronised.

     Paul Mac, who has a cameo in the film, provided the original music while Kim Green supervised the musical score. The soundtrack includes numbers such as Darren Hayes' Insatiable, Pussycat Dolls' Don't Cha, Marty Rhone's A Mean Pair of Jeans, Marcia Hines' You, Ngaiire's cover version (with Paul Mac) of Never Can Say Goodbye, Las Ketchup's The Ketchup Song, Vivaldi's Mandolin Concerto in C major, RV 425, Rossini's Barber Of Seville Overture (which reminded me of the closing credits of The Beatles' 1965 comedy film, Help!) and Handel's Zadok the Priest. So, Paul Mac has done a wonderful job on the musical score here; the soundtrack caters for everyone's taste in music, there's even some Latin dance music chucked in here!

     The surround channels are prominent when the film's soundtrack plays, which is often; otherwise, the surround mix tends to come from the front three channels.

     The subwoofer mainly provides bass support for the soundtrack.

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

Extras

Kel Knight In Shining Armour (1:54)

     Glenn Robbins (as Kel Knight) discusses the duelling scenes with Rob Stich's character, King Javier. Outtakes from the scene including Rob Stich and Jane Turner are included.

Try That Again Peoples (8:49)

     Forty-nine scenes of outtakes and goofs with some scenes containing multiple goofs! Be warned, there's lots of laughs here from both cast and crew.

How To Make A Movie Part 1 (6:33)

     This extra is subtitled 'Making the Kath & Kim Movie'. Jane Turner, Gina Riley, Magda Szubanski, Rob Stich and Glenn Robbins remain in character to share their ideas on shooting the film in Italy. Richard E. Grant shares how funny the cast and crew were. We also get some behind-the-scenes shots. There are plenty of outtakes and goofs included here also.

Look Who's Talking (22:01)

     The six main characters answer questions which are shown on titles. All the cast answer these questions in character, except for Richard E. Grant. Jane Turner discusses what the film is about, why a Kath & Kim film, why go to Papilloma, what was the trip highlight and how Italy compared to Fountain Lakes. Gina Riley tells us what life was like in the Royal Palace, what she missed from home, if she loved Italy and what she thought of Italian food and Italian men. Magda Szubanski shares what Sharon thought when she found out about the film, who she met that was special and what the local netball team did without her. Glenn Robbins as Kel states why he changed his mind to go to Italy, what he thought of the King and what may change now that Kath & Kim are film stars. Rob Stich tells us how he met Kath & Kim, comments on Kath's dancing and Kel's fencing skills and then tries to describe the film. Richard E. Grant rounds off the interviews by explaining how he got involved on the project, whether he met Kath & Kim before and how difficult it was to play Alain the Page.

Deleted Scenes (7:37)

     Ten deleted scenes including alternate scenes with Dame Edna Everage and one scene with Rob Stich and Jane Turner that had identical dialogue but was shot in different locales.

Movie Stuff (8:57)

     Jane Turner, Gina Riley, Magda Szubanski, Glenn Robbins, Rob Stich and Richard E. Grant discuss making the film in Italy and what it's about. Again, all the cast except for Grant remain in character. Some of the interviews are repeated from previous extras on the DVD. Richard E. Grant mentions working with director Ted Emery, who directed the television series of Kath & Kim. Scenes are included from the film. This extra is similar to the third extra on the DVD, How To Make A Movie Part 1 and could have been left off in my opinion as there's not much new here, apart from Grant's insights at the end.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 Australian DVD release is the only version available at the time of writing this review.

Summary

     Taken out of its suburban setting, the big-screen version of Kath & Kim has high hopes but ultimately misfires. Transporting these quintessential Australian larrikin characters into the middle of a European fairy-tale story, Kath & Kimderella, has its moments of comedic highlights, but only die-hard fans will live happily ever after viewing.

     Perhaps Turner, Riley and Szubanski should have heeded the warnings of Sex and the City 2, i.e. never take established and well-known characters into settings in which they don't belong. The main audience will be left scratching their heads!

     Even under the direction of the TV series’ regular Ted Emery, the action progresses as a series of sketches tied together and some plot points resolve too quickly in my opinion. Cinematographer David Parker does make good use of the beautiful and pristine Italian coastline, in contrast to the interior sets in Melbourne which are cluttered and cramped in comparison.

     The humour of the television show owes much to Barry Humphries' character of Dame Edna Everage, who invented the modern suburban comedic Australian housewife role, but even Dame Edna Everage's cameo seems out of place here. At least fans of the show can treat themselves to some more Kath & Kim, this was made for them. The DVD includes about 55 minutes of extras, of which half is not repeated. This is recommended for fans only.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Wednesday, June 19, 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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