Highway to Hellas (2015) (NTSC)
Featurette-Making of Highway to Hellas (17:36)
|Year Of Production||2015|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Aron Lehmann|
Christoph M Herbst
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English (Burned In)||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
For some years the small Greek tourist island of Paladaki has been living off a development grant from a German bank that was intended to fund a hospital and power plant. As the island receives its power by undersea cable from the mainland, no power plant was built and as for the hospital . . . The bank has got suspicious and mid-level bureaucrat Jorg Geissner (Christoph M Herbst) is sent to the island to check it out. If it is confirmed that the hospital and power plant do not exist, the bank will take over the island’s beach and build a luxury holiday resort. On the island the mayor Spyros (Akilas Karazisis) enlists the aid of con-man, womaniser and business owner Panos (Adam Bousdoukos), who is half German, to guide, or misguide, their visitor and to pull the wool over his eyes until they can work something out. Various misadventures ensue.
Highway to Hellas is a typical fish out of water story as an uptight and fastidious German, with briefcase, suit and tie, is conned by the yokels (and made a donkey of figuratively and literally) before falling in love with the delights of the island and local woman Elani (Georgia Tsagaraki). While there are some funny slapstick sequences, such as the disabling of the power supply which does not go to plan, much of the film trots out every cliché imaginable about an outsider in paradise and is very predictable; there is never any doubt as to where it is going. In addition, watching people acting drunk gets tiresome while Herbst is mainly limited to pulling faces for the camera.
Filmed on location on the very picturesque Greek island of Tinos, Highway to Hellas looks beautiful and makes you want to dive into the inviting Aegean Sea. Otherwise the film is rather forgettable.
Highway to Hellas is presented in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio, in NTSC and 16x9 enhanced.
The colours of the island, the sea and the sky are bright although they have that digital flatness. Detail is clean, blacks and shadow detail very good, contrast and brightness consistent, skin tones fine. Other than aliasing on the rocks in one sequence I noticed no marks or artefacts.
There are burnt in pale yellow English subtitles for the German and Greek dialogue.
The DVD cover indicates that the audio is 5.1 but in fact it is a German, with Greek and English sections, audio using Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono) at 192 Kbps.
Dialogue is clear while some of the effects such as the motorbike engine or the explosions have some depth. The score by Boris Bojadzhiev was Greek themed and so is as predictable as the rest of the film.
Lip synchronisation seemed slightly out occasionally.
|Surround Channel Use|
This making of is in German (except for one sentence of English at the end) without English subtitles; there are only German subtitles for a couple of sentences in Greek. Thus this extra is of limited value unless you understand German. It consists of film and on-set footage plus interviews with the director Aron Lehmann, cast members Christoph M. Herbst and Adam Bousdoukos, the producer and the authors of the novel upon which the film was based who also co-authored the screenplay.
Film’s trailer, which does have English subtitles.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The only other version of Highway to Hellas at present is the Region 2 German release, which as far as I can see is the same as ours.
Highway to Hellas may omit a cliché or two, such as a bit with a dog, but it does have a donkey, a child and a fastidious outsider who gradually comes to lose his inhibitions and accept and enjoy his new environment. I think that the filmmakers had fun in the sun in Greece, and the film is not badly made, but this is hard to recommend unless you like views of beautiful Greek islands.
The video is good, the audio acceptable. The principle extra is of limited value as it is in German.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|