The Man from Elysian Fields (2001)
Main Menu Audio
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Trailer-Italian for Beginners; I'm With Lucy; The Last Kiss; Tape
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||George Hickenlooper|
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
The so-so plot is redeemed by solid performances and a decent script, with Garcia and Margulies (of television series ER) making a convincing husband and wife. The only uncomfortable performance is in the very wooden narration from Mick Jagger, whose reading voice sounds as though he forgot to remove the proverbial silver spoon. Angelica Huston makes an appearance as Mick Jagger's wealthy client, and James Coburn manages yet another great performance as himself.
Fans of disturbed metal band Tool will be interested to see an appearance by the amazing contortionist duo Osseus Labyrint, who joined the band on their last Australian tour.
Director George Hickenlooper has delivered a dark and occasionally humorous film that burns slowly to begin with, but builds some pace as the twists develop in the second half of the feature. This is a good rainy Sunday night film, not overly challenging for the old grey matter.
Considering the age of this film, this is a pretty ordinary transfer.
The feature is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The overall transfer is not particularly sharp, exhibiting a dirty, undefined look throughout, although it is possible that this was the intention of the director. The absence of any truly deep blacks was disappointing, and this greatly affected the level of shadow detail. No low level noise was apparent.
Colours were rich and no signs of bleeding were evident. Skin tones also appeared true.
I was surprised to find no major MPEG artefacts were present. Some slight grain is evident on occasion, but is not too distracting. Most annoying was the number of ugly film artefacts, particularly during scene transitions (5:39, 58:05). These appeared in all forms, from large black and white specks to hairs.
Disappointingly, no subtitles are available on this single layered disc.
There are two audio tracks to select from, the default being Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s). There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) track. I listened to both soundtracks.
Dialogue clarity varied from very clear indoor voices, to location audio with no ADR. On my first viewing of the film I had to review one scene many times to understand what was being said due to loud traffic noise (34:00). Audio sync was a minor issue on a few occasions, the most pronounced of which was the use of a typewriter (44:08).
The musical score is credited to Anthony Marinelli, and it has a very jazzy, percussive feel. Tabla drums are used to build tension with great effect, and the score as a whole complements the darker emotions of the movie.
Being a dialogue driven film shouldn't mean that we receive a frontal audio mix. Surround activity was absolutely minimal on the Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Rear channels were rarely used for ambience, but some soundtrack music spilled to the back occasionally (49:14). I was disappointed to find that when people were speaking off-camera that their voices stayed in the front centre channel. Although it is not flagged, the Dolby Digital 2.0 track directed more ambience to the rear with Pro Logic II enabled, giving a much more immersive soundfield.
Subwoofer response was virtually non-existent apart from one scene, in which a deep rumbling was used to build tension (37:00).
|Surround Channel Use|
There is very little to get excited about here.
Contains some interesting info on six of the cast members and the director.
Twenty photos. Some are production stills and a few were taken on the set.
Includes trailers for the films Italian for Beginners, I'm With Lucy, The Last Kiss, and Tape.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 version misses out on:
It remains to be seen whether we will get the missing Audio Commentary and TV spots if/when this title is released to sell-through in Region 4.
The video quality is ordinary, considering the film was only recently made.
The audio transfer has a totally frontal soundfield, with poor dialogue quality on occasion.
The extras aren't much to speak of.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-525, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.|