Mo' Money (1992)
|Year Of Production||1992|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Peter MacDonald|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Harry J. Lennix
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, Production stills.|
As my first review, I chose Mo' Money from a list of DVDs that had been passed over by my fellow reviewers. Not having seen this film prior to this review, I didn't know why. After having seen it, I would hazard to guess that they have as well, and knew well enough not to bother with it.
A comedy written by its star should be a telling clue to be wary. In this case, our protagonist is Damon Wayans (The Last Boy Scout, Major Payne). Damon also introduces us to his brother Marlon (Scary Movie 1 & 2), in his first serious film credit.
Mo' Money is a story of two brothers, Johnny and Seymour Stewart (Damon & Marlon), who are pulling small time scams in an effort to avoid having to work. The film starts well, with some good initial drama, and then descends into a bizarre courthouse/courtroom scene that is barely credible (although probably provides for the funniest moments in the film). Arrested for trying to pull off a small time stolen TV scheme, Johnny has his charges dropped as a favour by a policeman (Joe Santos) who was Johnny's father's partner.
In an effort to try to get him to work rather than scam for his money, the cop convinces Johnny and Seymour to start selling children's books on the street. Through this, Johnny meets Amber (Stacey Dash), who he is smitten with. This quickly leads him into somehow getting a job at the credit card company where Amber works.
Johnny is quickly embroiled in an elaborate credit card scam operated by the security chief of the credit card company. As the stakes become too high, and his relationship with Amber starts to mature, Johnny decides he wants out of the scam and the final act deals with his attempt to exit the scheme, leading to a dramatic climax.
Whilst purporting to be a comedic film, I'm struggling to recall too many moments that I found to be humorous. There are certainly attempts at comedic scenes and dialogue, but the writing is average at best, and the performances a little off the comedy boil. Marlon was somewhat comedic with his manic style, but I just didn't seem to buy into it. I thought it could have made a more interesting action film, I wonder if this was Damon's original intent and he was forced into making it into comedy to play off his success on In Living Color. Generally, I was disappointed. I thought it had a lot more to play on; maybe that was the problem; too much for one film. Certainly not unwatchable, but ultimately capable of more.
Generally I was satisfied with the video quality of this disc. Unfortunately, and I find this with many transfers, the quality of the transfer is not uniform across the length of the film.
Mo' Money is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1(listed as 1.85:1 on the back cover) and is 16x9 enhanced. Whilst there are no definitive listings of the original aspect ratio that I can find, I have a suspicion that the film was originally presented with a 1.85:1 transfer in theatrical release. There seems to be no evidence of any cropping on the presented disc, so I am content to accept the transfer as given.
The transfer was acceptably sharp in most scenes, but not of reference standard. I observed the shadow detail to be acceptable in most scenes too. Some, such as the chase scene at 7:40, were lacking somewhat, but overall, relatively acceptable. Grain was only noticeable in one scene, at 42:50, and was only mildly distracting. There was only very little low level noise evident in some of the darker scenes, of which there are many.
I was a little disappointed with colour representation on this disc. I felt that the use of colour was important in the context of the cinematography in this film, but the saturation was slightly subdued. The colour balance was correct, but I think that the saturation level needed to be a little higher.
There are some small film artefacts, but they are mostly not noticeable. There is a small amount of aliasing, such as on a brick wall and car grille at 17:30, but it wasn't overly obtrusive. On an interlaced display (such as a TV) it would have been more annoying. There are no MPEG artefacts, and edge enhancement was not visible.
There are a huge 21 different subtitle tracks on this DVD. I sampled the English subtitles, and whilst I felt that they abbreviated the dialogue way too much for my liking, they were generally accurate and true to the story.
This is a single sided, single layered disc, so there is no layer change.
There are five separate audio tracks on this DVD; English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. All are Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded (192Kb/s). I listened to the English track. I found the fidelity of the audio track to be noticeably low in some areas, as is evidenced by the surround format and low bitrate. A 5.1 mix would have been quite useful here, given the music and action oriented nature of several scenes.
The dialogue was easy to understand and there were no audio sync issues.
Various R&B artists are credited with providing original music for this DVD, and they complement the film well. One memorable song is The Best Things In Life Are Free by Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson.
Despite the audio track format limitations, I found that the surround channel was used well, such as in a dance club scene at 61:50 and in a car chase at 76:05.
With the use of a funky R&B score, the subwoofer does get a bit of a workout in the dance club scene mentioned above, and in some of the more action-oriented scenes.
|Surround Channel Use|
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:
The Region 4 version of this DVD is clearly the version of choice, with its 16x9 enhanced widescreen transfer.
Mo' Money is a mildly entertaining movie that isn't as funny as it should be.
The video transfer is decent, albeit with some flaws.
The audio is good, despite only being Dolby Digital 2.0
There are no decent extras to speak of.
|DVD||Sonken DV-2600 Progressive Scan, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony VPH-1251QM CRT Projector, 100" 4:3 screen, 2.2 gain. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||Mordaunt Short MS95 mains, JBL center and 4 x surrounds, JBL sub|