Olsen Twins-Our Lips Are Sealed (2000) (NTSC)
Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
Introduction-Mary-Kate and Ashley
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Trailer-Mary-Kate and Ashley Catalog
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,4||Directed By||Craig Shapiro|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, Qantas|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, bloopers|
Judging by the web site (www.mary-kateandashley.com), comely teen twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen must be the most marketed "commodity" in recent history - you can purchase videos, music, computer games and clothes featuring and branded by the two girls.
The sisters initially became famous by appearing as babies (sharing a single role) in the 1980s TV sitcom called Full House. Since then, and presumably because they have a very good agent, they have expanded into just about everything, including cute direct-to-video comedies starring themselves.
This one is entitled Our Lips Are Sealed and feature the twins in Sydney, Australia. The title of the film refers to the FBI Witness Protection Program, and the film starts with a black and white "mockumentary" about the Program. We are then introduced to the twins, who basically play not-so-rich versions of themselves - as the Parker sisters. They start their freshman year in high school, and their efforts at joining the cheerleading team end up in a disaster and their fantasies of being popular squashed.
At the local museum, they managed to foil a would-be thief from escaping. The thief was trying to steal the famous "Kneel Diamond" (get the joke?). Unfortunately, the thief's uncle is none other than the infamous Emil Hatchew (Robert Miano) - bless him! - a crime boss hailing from the little known country of Yurugly (pronounced Yur-Ugly).
So, the FBI places the twins and their parents Rick (Jim Meskimen) and Teri (Tamara Clatterbuck) into the Witness Protection Program. Unfortunately the twins are blabbermouths, and can't help exposing their past. Finally, in desperation, the FBI sends them to Australia, no doubt thinking that the safest place to hide two witnesses to a crime would be a former penal colony.
The rest of the film is one gigantic product placement for Sydney, Qantas and the Australian way of life. The twins manage to be accepted by the "in-crowd" at the local high school - led by the snotty Victoria (Jade Bronneberg). However, the girls prefer to hang out with two surfies - Mac (Jason Clarke) and Sidney (Richard Carter) - at the risk of being ostracised by Victoria and her friends.
In the meantime, Emil has sent two of his "family" members to track the girls and to try and retrieve the precious diamond - which one of them is wearing on a necklace - not realising the value of the stone.
The girls manage to see many of the sights of Sydney - including Manly beach, Darling Harbour, Luna Park and climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The big finale features a surfing competition, and of course Emil shows up to retrieve the diamond himself...
Along the way, there are not-so-subtle references to other films including The Godfather, Titanic, Austin Powers and Skippy.
This is presumably a full frame transfer, since the film was a direct-to-video release. The video format is NTSC, so it looks like this is yet another Region 1 transfer released to the local market. Given that this is a made-for-video release, though, arguably NTSC is the "native" format for this film.
The overall transfer is mediocre, and often plagued by pixelization to a rather annoying level, and looks somewhat soft. Colours are okay, though not as vibrant as I would have liked. I guess the quality is about on par for a made-for-video film that was never intended to be shown in progressive scan.
Fortunately, apart from the annoying pixelization, I did not notice any other compression artefacts. I noticed some minor film marks and grain, indicating the feature was originally captured on film.
Subtitle tracks are available in English, French, Spanish. They are generally okay, although I did notice one spelling mistake ("discreet" is spelled as "discrete").
This is a single sided single layered disc.
There are quite a few audio tracks: English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192kb/s), and English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192kb/s). I listened to both English tracks.
The film sound track is broadcast TV in quality, and is generally mediocre and unexceptional.
Dialogue was pretty clear throughout and I did not notice any audio synchronization issues.
Engaging Dolby Pro Logic II, I noticed some foley effects and background music being directed towards the rear channels but I am not sure whether this is intentional.
The background music is mainly up-beat and boppy teen pop.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menus are full frame and static, but the main menu includes background audio.
This is a single still of cast & crew. It leads to the next extra ...
This is a set of stills providing an extensive filmography of the twins. Wow, I didn't realise how prolific they were, being involved in 3-4 made-for-video features a year for most of the 1990s. Each still is accompanied by a photo of the twins.
This is a short video featurette of the twins providing a brief introduction to the film and the extras contained on the DVD. It is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s).
Ashley speaks from the left channel, and Mary-Kate from the right. This is a scene-specific commentary, and the twins mainly comment on location, plot elements and their impressions of members of cast and crew (and as you might expect, they generally have positive things to say about the people they worked with). Given that the film also feature extensive voiceovers from the twins, sometimes I found it hard to distinguish between the twins speaking in the commentary and the voiceovers in the actual film soundtrack. The opening comments sound somewhat stilted, almost as if the twins were reading from a prepared script. The twins generally don't speak that often, and there were quite long segments where all we hear is the film soundtrack.
This is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s). It features the twins talking about the making of the film and providing a plot synopsis, excerpts from the film, behind the scenes footage, and interviews with:
This is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s). It features the twins preparing for and doing the Bridge Climb on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, along with their co-stars Jason Clarke and Richard Carter.
This is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s). This features the twins talking about the various outfits they wear throughout the film, from Seattle grunge to Austin Powers inspired psychedelic outfits to Amish pinafores.
This is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s).
This is presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kb/s). It features some of the other titles in the extensive video catalogue featuring Mary-Kate and Ashley.
This title is identical across both regions.
Our Lips are Sealed features the twin video and merchandising stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen starring as two sisters living a new life in Sydney, Australia as part of the FBI Witness Identity Program.
The video quality is rather pixelated.
The audio quality is okay.
Extras include an audio commentary and several featurettes.
|DVD||Panasonic DVD-RP82, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Denon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)|
|Speakers||Front and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500|