Just Married (2003)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (65:19)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Shawn Levy|
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, (minor) Budweiser|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Ashton Kutcher (the current young beau of Demi Moore) and Brittany Murphy star in a lightweight romantic comedy which follows the unfortunate love story of two young newlyweds. The basic premise would seem to be that despite being deeply in love, they rush into marriage far too quickly, leading to a stressful and violent honeymoon. Perhaps the intended message is that you should take your time to get to know your partner properly before getting married, although it's a little hard to find any message at all in this over-processed pap.
Blue-collar Tom Leezak (Kutcher) meets wealthy Sara McNerney (Murphy) when he hits her in the face with a a pigskin during a beach football game. This inauspicious start soon leads to a whirlwind romance and the two become lovers and then co-habitees. This stage of their relationship is dealt with far too briefly, so the viewer gets little opportunity to witness the depth of their love. The director should have developed the relationship further at this stage, so that the happy, loving relationship could form a contrast to the disastrous start of their married life. Instead, we see them as whiny, spoiled children for most of the film and this does not lend itself to sympathy.
Tom and Sara head off to Europe on honeymoon immediately after getting married. The movie then turns into a series of slapstick set-pieces which are churned out with no feeling and very little humour. The situations which lead to the hammy "jokes" are so contrived that you feel Hollywood is spoon-feeding you and frankly it is all rather patronising. There is a lot of very physical comedy in the film, and Kutcher and Murphy, to their credit, do carry this aspect quite well.
The major sub-plot of the film is the jealousy of Peter Prentiss (Christian Kane), a yuppie who has had his eye on Sara for some time. Following them to Venice, he manages to widen the growing rift between the newlyweds, such that they return to the USA as soon-to-be divorcees. Kane is quite credible as the devious Peter and rises above the rest of the film to deliver a reasonable performance. Kutcher is reasonably charming and tries very hard to be funny but rarely succeeds, whilst Murphy cries and simpers so often than you just want to send her to her room. The real flaw with this movie is not the main actors however, but the main characters. You simply do not know them well enough to care about the survival of their relationship, or to sympathise with their honeymoon catastrophes.
The syrupy ending of the movie is in little doubt from the word go, and watching the film is ultimately not a very fulfilling way to pass a couple of hours. There is nothing novel on offer, and bloody noses can only be used so many times before they simply are not funny. Perhaps I fall outside the target demographic for this movie, but neither my wife nor I managed more than a strained smile throughout this formulaic drivel. Worth a rental at best, and probably more suited to a younger teenage audience.
The video quality of this transfer is good and there are no major flaws to be seen. This is perhaps not unexpected, given that the film was only released in cinemas a few months ago.
The video transfer is presented 16x9 enhanced in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The generally sharp image does become a little soft at times but I imagine this was the artistic choice of the director. There is no major film grain to be seen.
There are not too many dark scenes in the movie, so shadow detail and black levels do not play a major part in the proceedings. Where used however, both are good with solid blacks and no low-level noise evident. Colours are cleanly rendered, with plenty of bright primaries cropping up and no hint of colour bleeding. Skin tones look natural throughout the film.
The transfer has no MPEG artefacts. Aliasing is not a problem. Edge enhancement can be seen fairly frequently, but I did not find it to be overly distracting (examples can be seen around Kutcher at 14:03, 24:22 and 62:00, or on the flag at 34:57). Telecine wobble is not in evidence.
There are no significant film artefacts in what is a very clean transfer.
The English subtitles (for the Hearing Impaired) are clear and well timed, though they do drop quite a few words for the sake of brevity.
The disc is dual layered with the layer change cropping up at 65:19. This is noticeable but is placed at a scene transition, so is not overly disruptive to the flow of the movie.
The overall audio transfer is good and without significant flaw.
The English audio track is of the Dolby Digital 5.1 variety, encoded at the full bitrate of 448 kbps.
The sound is clean throughout, with no hiss, clicks or drop-outs noticed. Dialogue is always clear and the overall transfer is fine. Audio sync was good throughout.
Original music is credited to Christophe Beck who seems to have spent most of his career writing television themes, and is serviceable although nothing special. The xylophone and strings lend an appropriately jaunty edge to the happier scenes, and pop tunes are used appropriately to provide a suitable ambience.
There is some minor activity from the surrounds throughout to support the on-screen action. The surrounds are mainly used to support the musical score and ambient effects such as traffic, bar noises and boats. One sound effect which did seem a little strange to me was the crickets chirping at night - in Venice? Maybe I'm wrong, but it seemed inappropriate. The soundstage is mildly enveloping, but the front speakers understandably do the bulk of the work.
The subwoofer is occasionally used - mainly for musical support and the odd car engine sound - but is fairly unobtrusive as there is little in the way of deep bass activity.
|Surround Channel Use|
Isn't it so often the way? The weaker the feature the greater the number of extras.
The menu consists of an animated photograph album, showing most of the "funny" moments from the movie before you watch it - not a very smart design. Accompanied by the soundtrack, you get to select from a choice of playing the movie, audio and subtitle selections, choosing one of twenty-eight chapter stops, or playing the fairly numerous extra features.
Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 kbps with the surround flag enabled. Director Shawn Levy is joined by Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy. This is mildly entertaining, and is slightly preferable to the actual film dialogue.
The following scenes are on offer, with an optional commentary from the director. All are rough cuts with the time codes present on the bottom of the (letterboxed) frame. Audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 192 kbps. The scenes can be selected individually or played in sequence:
Presented fullscreen with good quality video and a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps. This short (3:39) montage is typical EPK fluff.
This fairly lengthy (20:55) Comedy Central Featurette takes the form of an interview/quiz with host Mario Cantone (who does a great Eric Cartman impression) and is generally nauseating. It is given a fullscreen transfer with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps.
Running for 2:18 the trailer is presented fullscreen with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps, and generally shows all the "best" bits from the film.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This disc appears to be largely identical to the Region 1 release. There is no compelling reason to prefer one version over the other (unless you wish to see a 1.33:1 presentation, which is also included on the Region 1 disc).
Just Married is a not very funny romantic comedy. If slapstick is your bag, or if you are a major league fan of Kutcher or Murphy, then this may be worth a rental. Otherwise, there are many superior romantic comedies (try Pretty Woman or When Harry Met Sally for example) which deliver far more bang-for-your-buck. Possibly worth a rental for a teenage audience?
The video quality is good.
The audio transfer is good albeit uninspiring.
The extras are numerous and almost as annoying as the feature.
|DVD||Harmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. 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||Onkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES|
|Speakers||JensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer|