Pluto Nash (The Adventures of Pluto Nash) (2002)

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Postponed from Sale
Available for Rent

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Canyon
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Featurette-The Making Of The Music Video
Featurette-Ain't No Need-IMx
Deleted Scenes-4
Theatrical Trailer
DVD-ROM Extras
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 90:55
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ron Underwood
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Eddie Murphy
Randy Quaid
Rosario Dawson
Joe Pantoliano
Jay Mohr
Luis Guzman
James Rebhorn
Peter Boyle
Pam Grier
John Cleese
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music John Powell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    If you are expecting this to be like Beverly Hills Cop, but set in the future, then be prepared to be very very disappointed. By all accounts, this is a big budget flop - costing around US$100m to produce, the theatrical run barely lasted six weeks in the US with minuscule box office takings. The film was actually made in 2000, but shelved for a few years and only released recently.

    I wasn't expecting a great deal, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this is somewhat watchable, as long as you are willing to suspend disbelief and don't mind the rather cheesy plot.

    The year is 2080, and the moon has been colonised. At "Little America", Pluto Nash (Eddie Murphy) is an ex-smuggler who has just been released from prison and is relaxing at a nightclub belonging to his friend Tony Frankowski (Jay Mohr). Suddenly, Tony's creditors appear and demand payment. Eddie comes to the rescue and buys the club (no doubt with his ill-gotten smuggling money).

    Fast forward a few more years to 2087. Pluto has managed to transform a decrepit joint into the hippest nightclub in town ('Club Pluto'). And of course it attracts the attention of none other than the mysterious and reclusive mega gangster and casino operator Rex Crater. Rex wants to buy Pluto's nightclub and turn it into a casino, and he won't take no for an answer.

    So, Rex dispatches two goons - Mogan (Joe Pantoliano) and Kelp (Victor Varnado) - to make Pluto "an offer he can't refuse." But Pluto does refuse, and narrowly escapes along with his outdated robot bodyguard Bruno (Randy Quaid) and newly hired nightclub singer/waitress Dina Lake (Rosario Dawson).

    The rest of the film is about Pluto's adventures as he tries to discover who and where Rex Crater is, along with the help of ex-cop Rowland (Peter Boyle) and mother Flura (Pam Grier). The film's funniest dialogue comes from "James" (John Cleese) - the computer chauffeur of a car stolen by Pluto.

    However, if you set your expectations really really low (think about the film they were making in Bowfinger and you'll come close), then this is a reasonably watchable film. Interestingly, even though the film is set in the future, it has a somewhat "retro" 1950s feel about it (think Frank Sinatra and the rest of the "Brat Pack"), and other bits of the film feel like a western.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    "Bad films get good transfers." If that statement holds true, then this film better well get a near-perfect reference quality transfer. Well, guess what, it does.

    This is a widescreen 1.78:1 transfer, 16x9 enhanced, presumably based on a 35mm film with an intended aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    The film has a vibrant, high contrast and detailed look that comes across very well. Blacks are very good, but never to the point of sacrificing shadow detail.

    I didn't notice any significant source, video or compression artefacts.

    There is an English for the Hearing Impaired subtitle track available. This includes descriptions of background music, eg. "Modern instrumental version of jazz classic." There is also dialogue attribution.

    This is a single sided single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track on this disc: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s).

    Although there is low bass present, particularly in the music during the opening credits, and use of surround channels and subwoofer are consistent with what you might expect out of a comedy/action flick, I wasn't all that impressed with the audio track.

    Explosions and gun shots sound somewhat artificial. However, dialogue sounds reasonably clear and I did not notice any audio synchronization issues.

    Foley effects were occasionally directional and the subwoofer is mainly used to support the low frequencies in the music, and seldom utilised for Foley effects.

    The background music seems to consist of relentlessly upbeat hip hop influenced versions of jazz classics. I guess that is consistent with the sci-fi retro theme of the film.

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

Extras

    Given that this is a single sided single layered disc, extras are constrained by the amount of disc free space remaining.

Menu

    The menu is static but includes background audio.

Dolby Digital Trailer-Canyon

    Ho hum.

Filmographies-Cast & Crew

    This contains selected film highlights (plus mug shots) of:

Featurette - The Making Of The Music Video (3:06)

    This is a "making of" featurette for the music video below, presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). I would have preferred to see a "making of" featurette for the film. Subtitle tracks are available.

    This includes excerpts from the film, the music video, behind the scenes footage, and interviews with:

Music Video - Ain't No Need-IMx (3:41)

    This is the actual music video itself, presented in 1.78:1 letterboxed and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Deleted Scenes-4

    This features the following deleted scenes:

Theatrical Trailer (1:11)

    This is presented in 1.78:1 (16x9 enhanced) and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). This looks like the US trailer, for the title of film is "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" instead of just "Pluto Nash."

DVD-ROM Extras

    This seems to consist of the interActual DVD player plus some web pages and links.

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 is currently a rental only title and misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Both versions have similar features apart from audio and subtitle tracks.

Summary

    Pluto Nash is a fairly cheesy comedy/action flick starring Eddie Murphy. Given that it was a box office failure, I am sure Eddie wishes he had never made this film, but I found it surprisingly watchable. Just don't set your expectations too high.

    The video transfer is near reference quality.

    The audio transfer is decent but sounds somewhat cheesy.

    Extras are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Saturday, April 05, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using Component 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 surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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Comments (Add)
Not Quite as Bad as Promised... - Dark Lord (Bio? We don't need no stinkin' bio!)
Not that bad...better than crap like "xXx" and "The Fast and the Furious" at least. -