Made in America (1993) (NTSC)

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Released 11-Jun-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 110:34
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,4 Directed By Richard Benjamin
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Whoopi Goldberg
Ted Danson
Will Smith
Nia Long
Jennifer Tilly
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music None Given


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Music number in closing credits

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

Plot Synopsis

     Made in America is a good natured comedy that provides some fairly good laughs. The messages about family, friends, and education are also notable positives about the story. The story revolves around high school student Zora Mathews (Nia Long), and how during a science experiment she realises she has a genetic father that she never knew about. Confronting her mother, Sarah Mathews (Whoopi Goldberg), it is revealed that Sarah used a sperm donor to conceive her daughter. Zora and her reluctant best friend, Tea Cake (Will Smith) embark on a mission to find her genetic father.

    In steps Hal Jackson (Ted Danson), a loud car salesman with insane TV commercials. The subsequent meetings between Zora, Hal, and Sarah provide many funny moments, with some hilarious accidents involving animals. The story is heart-warming in a lot of ways, seeing how different people can meet and find a connection. As I mentioned previously, there are messages in the movie regarding the value of family and friends, and the importance of education.

    Some may find the story to be a little saccharine towards the end, and it is a little predictable, but what good-natured comedy isn't these days? All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and would definitely recommend it for a rental viewing on a weekend. However, the technical aspects, as described below, probably don't warrant a purchase unless you're a serious fan.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this NTSC transfer is reasonable for a movie of this age.

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (Pan&Scan) and is not 16x9 enhanced. In the manner that is presented for the Next of Kin DVD, it is particularly disappointing to see that after inserting the DVD, a notice is displayed stating that the film has been formatted to fit your TV screen. Again, if you have a 16x9 TV it certainly does not fit your TV screen! The original aspect ratio is 1.85:1, and it is disappointing that the movie is not released in this manner.

    Sharpness levels are generally quite good with this transfer, although at times it does appear a little soft. Grain appears intermittently, and is particularly noticeable against bright backgrounds such as the sky. Black levels are also adequate, with the few dark scenes handled well enough. There is minimal low level noise, and shadow detail is also above average.

    Colours are very good in this transfer, with lots of vivid hues and no apparent colour bleed evident.

    The major problem with this transfer is the fairly constant amount of aliasing and shimmering against most objects that have smooth straight edges such as the usual blinds and car grilles. There are some instances where moiré effects are noticeable against blinds and can be quite distracting. Luckily there are only one or two minor instances of edge enhancement, and these are not distracting at all. Film artefacts are surprisingly minimal, with only a few black and white specks being noticeable.

    No subtitles are provided with the disc.

    This is a single layered disc, and therefore there is no layer change.

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

Audio

    An English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s) audio track is provided.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times, with no synchronisation problems.

    The contemporary music used during the movie (lots of 90's black music) is quite good and suits the on-screen action well, such as the opening sequence.

    Surround activity is minimal during the movie, but the surrounds come to life on a few occasions to support the music and to provide some ambient noise. When the surrounds do come to life, it is done fairly well, and does not call too much attention to itself.

    The subwoofer is silent for most of the movie, but does support the music somewhat. For a movie such as this, powerful bass is not called for so it is acceptable.

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

Extras

    No extras are provided with this release.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The R4 and R1 releases appear to be identical, so there is no preference for one over the other.

Summary

    Made in America is a feel-good comedy that provides some good messages about family and education. It has its moments, but may be a little sentimental for some towards the end.

    The video quality is average.

    The audio is average, with some good music tracks.

    No extras are provided.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Chanh-Khai Ly (My biodegradable bio)
Tuesday, May 27, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDOnkyo DV-SP500, using Component output
DisplayRK-32HDP81. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD/DD-EX/DTS/DTS-ES matrix and discrete.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600
SpeakersKef KHT 2005 5.1 Home Theatre System

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