Jamón Jamón (1992)

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Released 16-Aug-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Promo
Notes-Director's Notes
Filmographies-Cast
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 90:22 (Case: 100)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Bigas Luna
Studio
Distributor
Lolafilms
Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Penelope Cruz
Javier Bardem
Jordi Mulla
Stefania Sandrelli
Case Click
RPI $29.95 Music Nicola Piovanni


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Jamón Jamón is a Spanish film about the relationships that surround a young woman who becomes pregnant to the son of a successful local business family.

    Silvia (Penelope Cruz) falls pregnant to a young man, Jose (Jordi Mulla), the son of a successful local factory owner where she works. When Jose's mother, Conchita (Stefania Sandrelli) becomes aware of their attraction she employs an attractive young man, Raul (Javier Bardem), from the local ham warehouse to seduce Silvia. As Jose appears to be non-committal in their relationship, Silvia is drawn to the passionate Raul. Unfortunately, Conchita also begins a relationship with Raul. While Silvia and Conchita continue their relationship with Raul, Jose is also seeing Silvia's mother. As the group's complex relationship continues they are drawn towards an inescapable and tragic conclusion.

    This film was released in 1992 and was intended by the director to be a portrait of Spain. The title refers to the Spanish cured ham known as jamón that is common throughout the country. This dish is now seen side-by-side with computers and other modern technology that contrasts with the traditional Spanish lifestyle. I personally found that this story revealed little about Spain and instead focused upon relationships that were one-dimensional with macho men and sultry women.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.75:1 and it is NOT 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is always quite soft and never reveals high levels of detail at any stage. Average levels of shadow detail are displayed during the dark segments of the film. No low-level noise was detected at any time during the transfer.

    The colour palette displayed during the transfer always appears slightly muted with a strong emphasis on the browns, oranges and greys of the film's bleak location.

    A small amount of posterization may be seen during the transfer at 15:15, but this is only minimally annoying. A number of aliasing artefacts may be seen throughout the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 3:50, 7:12, 7:19, 7:29 and 8:17. Due to their frequency, these artefacts are moderately disturbing.

    Numerous film artefacts are present throughout the transfer. Examples of these artefacts may be seen during the opening credits at 2:23, 2:31, 2:47, 3:26 and 5:14. Due to their continual presence these artefacts are quite annoying. Obvious and occasionally heavy film grain may also be seen throughout the transfer, although this is only minimally distracting.

    A series of unusual artefacts may be seen throughout a scene in a nightclub beginning at 29:20. During this scene, bright sections of the image appear as black marks across the image for numerous individual frames. Further examples of this artefact also occur to a lesser extent at 27:07 and 67:01 - all are extremely disruptive. This artefact is apparently present in the source material that was used for the transfer.

    Obvious, slightly irritating telecine wobble may be seen during the opening credits and at 41:43. Small pieces of fluff trapped within the telecine gate may be seen during scenes at 6:31 and 17:39.

    At 56:10, the bottom of the frame moves vertically and at 73:22 the whole image moves up and down within the frame. These movements by the image are very distracting. At 76:35 the transfer appears to skip a couple of frames.

    A single set of yellow English subtitles is provided on the disc and these are always clear and easy to read.

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

Audio

    A single Spanish (flagged as English) Dolby Digital 448 kbps 5.1 soundtrack is provided on the disc.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand.

    The whole transfer suffers from obvious audio synchronization problems. A number of audio dropouts may be heard at 3:59, 18:08 and 42:35. Obvious static hiss may also be heard throughout the transfer and this is quite disruptive during the quiet scenes.

    The original score by Nicola Piovanni is effective and works well with the on-screen action.

    The surround and LFE channels are used minimally throughout the transfer and never make their presence felt at any time.

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

Extras

Menu

    The animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Theatrical Trailer (2:22)

    This trailer is presented with a Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Promo (4:49)

    This extended trailer is presented with a Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

Director's Notes

    This is a six-page collection of notes from director Bigas Luna about his inspirations for making this film.

Filmographies

    Complete filmographies are provided for Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

Umbrella Propaganda

    This is a collection of cover images for Shallow Grave, Cyrano De Bergerac, My Beautiful Launderette and Cinema Paradiso.

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 UK Region 2 Tartan version of this disc misses out on;

    The Korean Region 3 Cinexus version of this disc misses out on;

    The Spanish Region 2 Manga version of this disc misses out on;

    This disc does not appear to be currently available in Region 1. Unfortunately, I have been able to find little detail regarding the quality of the transfers for either the R3 or R2 Spanish releases. As the R3 version is an anamorphic transfer this would be my version of choice despite being cropped from the original 1.66:1 aspect ratio. Luckily, the edges of the frame are used only minimally so the required cropping should not significantly affect the shot composition. The R2 Spanish version reportedly has a reasonable quality transfer so would also be worth considering. The R2 UK release of this disc reportedly has an 'abominable transfer' and even the R4 version is a significant improvement.

Summary

    Jamón Jamón is an instantly forgettable film that fails to ever really engage the viewer and could only be recommended for fans of Penelope Cruz.

    The video transfer displays numerous artefacts and the lack of 16x9 enhancement is disappointing.

    The constant audio sync problems, background hiss and numerous dropouts relegate the audio transfer to functional at best.

    The small collection of extras provides little detail but is still welcome.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Saturday, January 11, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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