Husbands and Wives (1992)

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Released 13-Oct-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Manhattan Murder Mystery
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 103:29
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Woody Allen
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Blythe Danner
Judy Davis
Juliette Lewis
Liam Neeson
Mia Farrow
Sydney Pollack
Woody Allen
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    This film is an interesting counterpoint to the real life marriage break-up between Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, and I'm sure many viewers wondered how much fact and fiction collided.

    Gabe (Woody Allen) and Judy Roth (Mia Farrow) are a reasonably happily married couple. The are both shocked when their best friends, another couple called Jack (Sydney Pollack) and Sally (Judy Davis) announce their separation just before dinner. Pretty soon the amicable split turns nasty as Sally suspects Jack has been cheating on her even before the split and Jack in turn accuses Sally of being "difficult to live with."

    The event makes Gabe and Judy question their own marriage. Gabe starts flirting with a pretty student of his at university, Rain (Juliette Lewis), who has a history of relationships with older men but currently has a boyfriend her age. Judy tries to matchmake Sally to her work colleague Michael (Liam Neeson) but discovers she is also attracted to him.

    Pretty soon Jack finds another companion, one who is everything that Sally isn't. Sam (Lysette Anthony) is young, pretty, blonde, and into aerobics, health food and astrology.

    Everything comes crashing down when Jack decides he wants to return to Sally, Sally rejects Michael, Judy consoles Michael, and Gabe toys with the idea of having a relationship with Rain. Oh dear, how will it all end?

    The film is shot in a pseudo-documentary style, complete with "interviews" with the various characters, plus additional characters such as Judy's ex-husband (Benno Schmidt) and a callgirl (Cristi Conaway) that Jack frequently visits. The unseen "narrator" is none other than the costume designer Jeffrey Kurland.

    I suppose one could consider this a typical Woody Allen film about neurotic relationships set in New York City. However, I did not find it as engaging as his earlier films - there is a lot less wry humour and a lot more introspection and character study.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a widescreen 16x9 enhanced transfer, presented very close to the intended aspect ratio of 1.85:1 (the actual measured aspect ratio is 1.81:1), based on a 35mm film print.

    The opening credits have a fair amount of telecine wobble, but fortunately this settles down as the film progresses.

    The beginning of the film looks like it was shot on a handheld camera, with lots of jerky, unsteady shots and wild pans, but that is presumably intentional to create a documentary feel to the film. Fortunately, the fast pans are well handled in the transfer and do not result in any pixelization, blurriness or judder.

    Many scenes in this film look somewhat dull, with subdued brownish colours, but again I suspect this is intentional, as the film actually has well saturated highlights and good shadow detail.

    The film is quite grainy, but not to the level of annoyance. There are a few film marks here and there, but nothing major.

    There are quite a few subtitle tracks present. I turned on the English track just to verify that it was there. Dialogue accuracy seems okay.

    This is a single sided single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There are several audio tracks available: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    Given that the film was originally released in Dolby Stereo, I was surprised that the surround encoded flag was not set. In any case, the audio track might as well have been in mono, for the film is very front centre focused and I did not notice any stereo effects.

    The background music is a hodge-podge of songs by Cole Porter, Wes Montgomery, and Irving Berlin plus a few others, including an excerpt of Mahler's 9th symphony heard in the concert performance.

    Dialogue was reasonably clear throughout and I did not notice any issues with audio synchronization.

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

Extras

    Extras are limited to two trailers.

Menu

    The menus are 16x9 enhanced and static.

Theatrical Trailer (1:52)

    This is rather grainy, and presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded (192Kb/s). Several foreign language subtitle tracks are included.

Trailer-Manhattan Murder Mystery (1:41)

    This is a bit soft, and presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). Several foreign language subtitle tracks are included.

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:

    I would rate both versions as being equal, apart from foreign language audio and subtitle tracks.

Summary

    Husbands and Wives is about a married couple re-evaluating their relationship as their best friends, another couple, decide to split.

    The video transfer quality is acceptable.

    The audio transfer quality is acceptable.

    Extras are limited to two trailers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Sunday, October 05, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RP82, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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