The Money Pit (1986)

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Released 11-Jun-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Menu Audio
Featurette-Making Of
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 87:07
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (51:26) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Richard Benjamin
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Tom Hanks
Shelley Long
Alexander Godunov
Maureen Stapleton
Joe Mantegna
Josh Mostel
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Michel Colombier


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Hungarian
Czech
Turkish
Romanian
Greek
Arabic
English Titling
Hungarian Titling
Czech Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Money Pit is a funny film. It relies on slapstick in a large part for its humour and there are times when it'll have you rolling on the floor laughing! There's also some pretty funny dialogue. Anna (still feeling positive even after the house starts to fall apart): The house is going to be great. Walter: Yeah, if we can peel the rind off it!

    Walter Fielding (Tom Hanks) and his girlfriend Anna (Shelley Long) are living in a New York apartment. The only problem is that the apartment belongs to Max Beissart (Alexander Godunov), a famous and very egocentric and pompous conductor who also happens to be the ex-husband of Anna. Now that he's returning from an overseas tour he wants his apartment back. Now this wouldn't be a such problem except that Walter is broke and apartments in New York are worth a fortune, even assuming you could find a vacant one! So Walter calls his friend and shady Real Estate broker Jack Schnittman (Josh Mostel) who points him in the direction of an old mansion that is up for sale for the extremely modest price of $200,000. They head off to inspect the house and are shown around by the eccentric owner Estelle (Maureen Stapleton). She is trying to sell the house quickly to get money to pay the "blood sucking" lawyers because her husband Carlos turns out to have been Hitler's pool man and is being extradited. So, despite the deal being too good to be true, they buy the house. As soon as they move in they find that nothing seems to work. They try to repair the house themselves but they soon find it's a task for the experts with the house now beginning to fall down around them quite literally. If that's not bad enough, their troubles really start when they try to organise various contractors to repair everything from the plumbing and electricity to the collapsed staircase.

    The Money Pit hails from Tom Hanks' early filmmaking career when he appeared in quite a few comedies and romantic comedies including The Burbs, Splash, Turner and Hooch and Big and even though he seems to concentrate on more dramatic roles these days, it's not because he lacks comedic talent. This talent is put to good use in this movie with Tom delivering some nicely humorous dialogue including a couple of memorable one liners "Ah, home crap home!" and "Here lies Walter Fielding. He bought a house, and it killed him". This is a great light-hearted film. Take my advice and do what I did - watch it on a Friday night when a few belly laughs are just what you need to get you all relaxed after a stressful week at work.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie is presented on DVD in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, which is its original theatrical ratio, and it is also 16x9 enhanced.

    In general the image is quite sharp and provides good shadow detail. There was  no evidence of any low level noise.

    A full colour palette is used, however, there is some variation in the vividness of the colour during the movie. At times, particularly in the outdoor scenes, the colour is vibrant, however at other times it takes on a slightly faded appearance.

    There was no sign of any compression artefacts. The transfer has been made from high quality source materials resulting in very few marks or scratches, however some film grain is visible throughout. Despite the many opportunities, aliasing in notably absent. There was one instance of moire at 20:59.

    There are seven subtitle streams available, including English For The Hearing Impaired. The English subtitles appear to be word perfect based on the 10 minute sample I checked. They are displayed in easily read text and are well timed. There are also 3 titling streams available corresponding to the 3 audio track languages. These are used on only a couple of occasions to provided translations of some foreign language dialogue. It's a pity that when you have one of the main subtitles turned on that you then miss out on the translations.

    This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed in Chapter 10, at 51:26. The change is so good I almost missed it.

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

Audio

    Three Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks have been provided, including English which is the one I listened to. The English audio is also the default track.

    There were no obvious problems with the audio sync on this disc and the dialogue was always perfectly clear and easy to understand.

    Michel Colombier's musical score is fairly limited, with the movie making use of a wide range of music including some classical pieces, such as one from Johann Sebastian Bach as well as more modern efforts including Richie Valens' La Bamba, Sammy Davis Jr. performing I've Gotta Be Me and Deborah Harry performing Rush Rush. These all nicely complement the movie.

    Neither of the rear channels are used frequently, their contribution restricted to providing mostly ambience and supporting the musical score. The front channels carry the bulk of the load with the left and right speakers providing some nice directional effects.

    Despite there being plenty of opportunity for the subwoofer to make its presence felt, it is only moderately used and is definitely not going to make you think that there's a house falling down around you. Pity.

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

Extras

    Only a pretty meagre selection of extras have been provided on this disc.

Menu

    The static menu features Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio and is displayed in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette-Making Of The Money Pit (7:31)

    There's nothing much to get excited about as far as this fairly standard promotional piece is concerned. There's the expected excerpts from the movie, a few behind the scenes shots and some words from the Director and Tom Hanks. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 mono and the aspect ratio of the very soft picture is 1.33:1. Subtitles are provided.

Theatrical Trailer (1:25)

    The trailer is very grainy and the image is extremely soft and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio. Subtitles are available if required.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:

    Which version is better? Well, there doesn't seem to be much that would make you favour one over the other. Apparently there's no significant difference between the dts and Dolby Digital audio options on the R1. Then there's the eternal question of PAL verses NTSC to consider. I think it's about line ball.

Summary

    The Money Pit is a fun film. If you don't get a laugh out of this then I suggest you check your pulse to see if you are still alive.

    The video quality is quite good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras are meagre in quantity and of poor quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Cole (Surely you've got something better to do than read my bio)
Monday, August 11, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-995
SpeakersFront L&R - B&W DM603, Centre - B&W LCR6, Rear L&R - B&W DM602, Sub - Yamaha YST-SW300

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