Dinner Rush (2000)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-The Famous New Yorker
Trailer-Madman Propaganda (4)
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Bob Giraldi|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Luis Cropa (Danny Aiello, in a role similar to that which he played in Leon) is a New York restaurateur who does a little illegal book-making in his spare time. When a close friend is murdered he decides he wants out of the book-making business, but ties like these aren't broken lightly. The mob insists on a cut of his lucrative restaurant on top of the deal and they begin to muscle in.
The strongest elements of this film are its brilliant characterisations and clever dialogue. Udo Cropa (Edoardo Ballerini) is fed up with working for his dad and has become a star chef in his own right, shunning the traditional Italian cuisine for a more contemporary menu. His sous-chef Duncan (Kirk Acevedo) is a compulsive gambler who is searching for the big win, but is forever in debt. A tense love triangle exists between Duncan, Udo and one of the waitresses, without disrupting their working relationship. Waitress Marti (Summer Phoenix) yearns to one day hang her paintings in a gallery rather than the restaurant. A renowned food critic arrives and the pressure is on, dealing with a packed restaurant, demanding customers, a local detective, heavies from the mob and the restaurant staff.
Director Bob Giraldi supposedly used his own restaurant for the setting of this film, and has previously made music videos for Michael Jackson and Pat Benatar. This is a beautifully directed piece of work, with a great focus on the kitchen scenes and food preparation.
I found this flim very rewarding when I first saw it, and it didn't disappoint on DVD. Featuring a brilliant surprise ending, this isn't your average Hollywood fare. If you enjoy simple films like Chocolat then this will satisfy on a similar level.
I sincerely hope any future release of this film will receive a better transfer than what we have here.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
The level of sharpness is quite good. Though it is sometimes broken up by a little grain here and there, I didn't find it too distracting. Shadow detail is solid, particularly in the darker exterior scenes I noted some objects and activity in the murky shadows. There is no noticeable low level noise.
Colours are very warm, particularly in the interior restaurant scenes. Skin tones are well rendered and consistent. Some extreme colour manipulation was performed in the film's opening sequence for artistic effect.
There are no compression artefacts, which surprised me because the film is squeezed onto a single layered disc. There is no aliasing, although this transfer does suffer from some noticeable interlacing issues, especially pronounced in scenes with fast motion. There are many film artefacts, particularly during the opening scenes, which are dominated by white specks. They continue to appear intermittently throughout the transfer. A large, noticeable artefact, possibly a water mark, appears at 75:35. An ugly scratch appears at 69:56, persisting for several seconds. Some slight telecine wobble is evident during the opening and closing credits, but this is not overly distracting.
The English subtitles were activated by default on my player; I had to turn them off manually. The subtitles flow well with the spoken word, although they frustratingly don't translate the brief instances of Italian dialogue.
There is no layer change on this single layered disc.
There is a packaging error that claims that there is 5.1 and 2.0 audio available, however there is only one audio option, English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448kb/s).
All of the English dialogue was easy to understand, even with the considerable kitchen noise. Conversations sway in and out of Italian language at times and are still easy to follow. There were no audio sync issues.
The score is credited to Alexander Lasarenko and has a distinct Italian feel, using soaring melancholic, operatic vocalists and harpsichord for a very classical effect. Other suspenseful pieces in the film use electronic beats and strings. A very enjoyable soundtrack that I would definitely consider purchasing on CD.
Surround channel usage was limited to atmospheric sounds such as some crowd and kitchen noise. Soundtrack music often spilled slightly to the rears, and was gently enveloping. This surround mix is more than adequate for a dialogue-based film such as this.
The subwoofer successfully accentuated gunfire and kicked in for the electronic elements of the music score.
|Surround Channel Use|
Presented in an aspect of 1.85:1 and not 16x9 enhanced, this is a good representation of the film without any real spoilers.
Presented in 1.33:1, this contains audio mastered at a very low volume. Features interviews with the cast and some plot discussion.
Featurette? Not by my definition. This is actually a string of six very similar TV spots featuring director Bob Giraldi, played one after the other. Repetitive and irritating.
Several pages of directions to make the Italian dishes Vitello, Galletto, Fusilli con Melanzane and Panelle. After watching this film I seriously felt like some pasta - yum!
Trailers for Spirited Away, Rain, Start Up.com and 24 Hour Party People.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 release misses out on:
The Region 1 New Line release misses out on:
Although the expensive Region 1 is RSDL formatted, I would guess that there is one transfer of the film on each layer. We thankfully have the added bonus of two short featurettes.
If pan & scan is your thing, then the Region 1 is for you. Our Region 4 is clearly the winner at the moment as far as extras are concerned.
The video transfer suffers from many film artefacts and is quite disappointing for such a recent film.
The audio transfer is slightly enveloping and draws the viewer in with ambient sounds.
The extras are few, but better than the Region 1.
|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.|