Mr. Deeds (2002)

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Released 11-Mar-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes-6
Featurette-From Mandrake Falls To Manhattan
Featurette-Spare No Expense
Featurette-Clothes Make The Man
Music Video-Where Are You Going-Dave Matthew's Band
Outtakes
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Deeds Greeting Cards (6)
Easter Egg-Behind The Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Adma Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights; Men In Black II; Big Daddy
DVD-ROM Extras-Web Links; Script To Screen
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 92:41
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (69:41) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Steven Brill
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Adam Sandler
Winona Ryder
John Turturro
Allen Covert
Peter Gallagher
Jared Harris
Case ?
RPI ? Music Teddy Castellucci


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, numerous instances (Sony, cornflakes, ...)
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Mr. Deeds is a film starring goofy but likeable comedian Adam Sandler. It is also a remake of a 1936 Frank Capra film called Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (starring Gary Cooper as Mr. Deeds). I also found out it was made as a TV series in 1969.

    Preston Blake (Harve Presnell), a charismatic Ted Turner/Rupert Murdoch type of media mogul, dies in a mountain climbing expedition in his eighties and leaves behind a media empire, 40 billion dollars and no will. The CEO of his company (Blake Media), Chuck Cedar (Peter Gallagher), institutes a search to find the nearest living relative which turns out to be a small town pizzeria owner (and amateur would-be author of greeting card lines) called Longfellow Deeds (Adam Sandler).

    Chuck and his lawyer Cecil Anderson (Erick Avari) travels to the small town of Mandrake Falls, New Hampshire in a fancy helicopter to locate Deeds. Deeds is excited by the good news and agrees to accompany the men back to New York City to claim his fortune. The whole town turns up to wave him goodbye.

    Over in New York, Deeds' affable and good-hearted nature charms everyone except snobbish members of society and cynical news reporter and host of the "Inside Access" TV show, Mac McGrath (Jared Harris), who is determined to ridicule the new multi-billionaire. He gets show producer "Babe" Bennett (Winona Ryder) and her assistant Marty (Allen Covert) to dig out some dirt on Deeds.

    "Babe" endears herself to Deeds by posing as a small town girl called Pam Dawson from "Winchestertonfieldville" working as a school nurse. Soon they start falling in love. But will Deeds find out that "Pam" is not what she seems. Also, why is Chuck so eager to get Deeds to sell his shares in Blake Media to him?

    No doubt this is intended to be one of those "feel good" comedies where you can't help but be enthralled by the corny lines and situations, but it didn't hit the mark with me. Deeds is supposed to be innocent and naive and with a heart of gold, but Adam Sandler didn't come across as that "innocent and naive" and I couldn't help feeling that he was mocking the role rather than playing it. The shareholders' meeting towards the end didn't really work for me either, as Deeds' "speech" didn't strike me as believable or capable of turning the room sentiment around.

    There are some interesting characters and cameo roles, including Emilio Lopez (John Turturro) the "sneaky" butler with the foot fetish, "Crazy Eyes" (Steve Buscemi) and John McEnroe playing himself.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a very decent looking widescreen 1.85:1 transfer, 16x9 enhanced, based on a 35mm film print.

    Detail levels are excellent and colours appear fairly "punchy" and vibrant, and I did not really notice any film or compression artefacts.

    All-in-all, I found this a pleasant transfer, just missing out of reference quality because it is ever-so-slightly on the soft side.

    There are several subtitles: English, Dutch, English for the Hearing Impaired, and Dutch Audio Commentary. It would have been nice to get an English Audio Commentary subtitle as well. I did not notice much differences between the English and English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles apart from transcription of background song lyrics and the occasional Foley effect.

    This is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL). The layer change occurs at 69:41 during the transition from Chapter 23 to 24 while the camera pauses on the desk of the director of the United Negro Fund. It is a well placed layer change and should not cause annoyance.

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

Audio

    There are two audio tracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s). I listened to both tracks.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is rather pleasant. Although most of the film is dialogue focused, the sound engineer took the trouble to mix in Foley effects into rear speakers whenever appropriate, such as environmental sounds as well as background music ambience.

     The "echo effect" in Blake's cavernous apartment is very fake, though, and sounds like it was done by delaying the sound and then routing it to the rear channels.

    However, I noticed at least one instance where there is audible clipping distortion in the dialogue - around 22:04-22:10. There were also a number of other instances where the dialogue seemed to be at or close to the point of clipping. Other than that, the dialogue seems fine and I did not notice any instances of audio synchronization issues.

    The background music is by Teddy Castellucci and is orchestral but not that memorable. David Bowie's Space Oddity is featured (and sung by various characters) in one scene.

    The subwoofer is only lightly used.

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

Extras

    There is a pleasing collection of extras on this disc.

Menu

    Someone has taken a long time authoring the menus, for they are 16x9 enhanced and extensively animated, including introduction, transitions and background music. The main menu has the character of Emilio the butler "sneakily" whizzing in and out of the frame. The scene selection menus are also animated, including thumbnails of scenes from each chapter.

Dolby Digital Trailer-City

    Enough said.

Audio Commentary - Director Steven Brill and Writer Tim Herlihy

    Director and screenwriter seem to be earnestly taking part in a "Dumb and Dumber" competition to see who can make the most inane comments and blatantly obvious statements. The two prattle on basically continuously throughout the entire film, and there is a lot of useful information imparted - including casting, alternative versions of scenes and dialogue lines, how the scenes were shot - but the pair also spend a lot of time laughing at each others' jokes. They are either old friends, or have become good friends. The two even comment on the background music and opening/end title credits!

Deleted Scenes-6

    The following are deleted scenes that you can play individually or as a set:

    All the deleted scenes are presented in 1.85:1 letterboxed (no 16x9 enhancement) and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Featurette - From Mandrake Falls To Manhattan (18:22)

    This is the longest featurette, presented in a mixture of full frame and 1.78:1 letterboxed. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). It includes excerpts from the film (both the 2002 remake and the original 1936 version), behind the scenes footage, and interviews with:

    This featurette covers the rationale for doing the remake, comparisons with the 1936 version, discussion of specific scenes (sliding down the staircase rails, beating the black foot, the fake "mugging", the fire scene), casting and characters (Winona Ryder, Peter Gallagher, John Turturro, Allen Covert, Jared Harris, John McEnroe, Al Sharpton), location hunting ("Mandrake Falls", "Deeds' Pizza"), and shooting in New York (Rockefeller Center, Madison Square Garden, Central Park).

Featurette - Spare No Expense (6:31)

    This is another short promotional featurette, presented in a mixture of full frame and 1.78:1 letterboxed and with Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) audio. It includes excerpts from the film, behind the scenes footage, and interviews with:

    This featurette focuses on the sets and locations intended to show off the wealth of Preston Blake including the helicopter, Preston's apartment and bedroom, and the boardroom. Additional scenes are also discussed, including restaurant interiors, Central Park at night, Madison Square Garden, the iced lake, and the stockholders' meeting.

Featurette - Clothes Make The Man (6:46)

    This is also a short promotional featurette, presented in a mixture of full frame and 1.78:1 letterboxed with Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) sound. The focus of this featurette is a discussion of the kind and style of clothes worn by the major characters, and why a certain look was achieved. It includes excerpts from the film, lots of photographic stills, and interviews with:

Music Video - Where Are You Going - Dave Matthew's Band (4:03)

    This is a typical MTV music video presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Outtakes Reel (1:44)

    This is presented in 1.85:1 letterboxed (no 16x9 enhancement) and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Filmographies-Cast & Crew

    This contains one still per person containing a mug shot and filmography:

Featurette-Deeds Greeting Cards (6)

    This contains a set of animated greeting cards featuring Deeds' "poetry":

    The "cards" are presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). There is also an "advert" still to encourage you to visit the Official Adam Sandler web site so that you can email these cards to other people.

Easter Egg-Behind The Scenes (0:39)

    This is selected by clicking on the Mandrake Falls Fire Department Volunteer logo on the suitcase in the Special Features submenu. It shows the orchestra playing the music score whilst Adam Sandler is eating. It is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Theatrical Trailer (1:45)

    This is presented in 1.85:1 (16x9 enhanced) and Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s).

Trailer - Adam Sandler's 8 Crazy Nights (1:12); Men In Black II (1:59); Big Daddy (1:58)

    These are presented in 1.85:1 (16x9 enhanced) (apart from Big Daddy which is in full frame/open matte) and Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s).

DVD-ROM Extras - Web Links; Script To Screen

    This installs the InterActual Player 2.0. Script to Screen plays the film side by side with pages from the script. The main menu also includes a number of links to web sites for Deedsy's greeting cards, Columbia Tristar main page, Sony Picture Entertainment main page, Adam Sandler official site, and Official movie site (MrDeeds.com).

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 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Both versions seem to be substantially the same in terms of contents.

Summary

    Mr. Deeds is about the adventures of a small town pizzeria owner who inherits 40 billion dollars and his adventures in the big city.

    The video transfer quality is excellent.

    The audio transfer quality is good apart from at least one instance of overclipping distortion.

    The extras are very good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Friday, January 10, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDCustom HTPC (Asus A7N266-VM, Athlon XP 1800+, 512MB, Pioneer DVD-103S, WinXP, PowerDVD 4.0 XP), using RGB output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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