Nuts (1987)

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Released 13-Apr-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Barbra Streisand
Gallery-Production stills
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1987
Running Time 111:00
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (53:18) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Martin Ritt
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Barbra Streisand
Richard Dreyfuss
Maureen Stapleton
Eli Wallach
James Whitmore
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Barbra Streisand


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Arabic
Dutch
French
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Claudia Draper (Barbra Streisand) is a high class call girl who is arrested for manslaughter in her apartment. She is diagnosed by two psychiatrists as mentally incompetent to stand trial. After attacking her lawyer at the hearing, she is assigned counsel from legal aid. Enter Aaron Levinsky (Richard Dreyfuss), a lawyer who admits himself that he is far from good. However, he believes his client is fit to undergo a competency hearing and challenges the decisions of the psychiatrists.

    Nuts is an early attempt at the courtroom drama, done long before movies like Class Action and A Few Good Men made the genre popular and shows like The Practice took it to an all-new level. It is a fairly understated piece, and works all the better for it, with only one or two grandiose monologues which are out of place and highlight the stage origins of the movie.

    Fans of Barbra Streisand are in for a treat here as she puts in a very good acting effort, a far cry from her comedic pieces, and more convincing than her effort as the psychiatrist in Prince Of Tides. Dreyfuss is also a pleasure to watch, although he too gets to overact in a couple of scenes where it is totally unnecessary.

    Overall, Nuts holds up reasonably well nearly twenty years on. It is far from perfect, betraying its stage origins once too often, and indulging in a few too many overdramatic pieces which just do not work in the grander scheme of things. But as a movie which explores the oft-times thin line between crazy angry and crazy insane, it is well worth a viewing.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is only a minor alteration from the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    While reasonably well defined, the picture is a little too soft and a little too grainy, a combination which does not do wonderful things for a transfer. Most annoyingly, there is some quite noticeable posterization on facial close-ups, particularly in shadowy light.

    Colours were also a little too tan or brown, with skin colour and wood panelling sometimes becoming a little mixed up.

    As far as other glaring MPEG and film-to-video artefacts go, there is some alternating moire and aliasing on the blinds in the courtroom when in the far background, but otherwise the picture was pretty good.

    There was a bit of dirt on the print, but nothing really noteworthy.

    Subtitles are available in English, English for the Hearing Impaired, French, Arabic, and Dutch. They are white with a black border.

    The dual layer pause is at 53:18 during a pause in dialogue and is not really distracting.

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

Audio

    There are two soundtracks available – English and French, both in 2.0 Dolby Surround. The French track was reasonably good, being only a little thinner than the English track.

    Regarding the English track, dialogue was no problem, always being clear and easy to hear, and without any overt audio sync problems.

    There is a decent range to the musical score by the leading lady herself, and the voices of the actors traverse from loud court room arguments to soft drugged-up banter with good clarity.

    There is a decent amount of directional cuing from across the front-driven soundfield, but nothing much from the rears in the way of surround presence. They really only chip in to add to the score.

    There is no subwoofer use.

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

Extras

Menus

    All menus are in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has the theme from the film playing in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

Audio Commentary – Barbra Streisand (Actress)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, the audio commentary track is okay, but with long gaps of silence. Streisand also has a tendency to explain what is going on on the screen as if talking to a small child, which is a tad condescending and irritating.

Trailer

    Presented in 1.78:1, 2.0 Dolby Stereo, the quality of this trailer isn’t too bad, and it has a surprisingly good soundfield.

Still Gallery

    A set of stills from the making of the movie, inset in a 1.78:1 border.

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as I can tell, the R1 version is largely identical barring the NTSC/PAL format difference and the region coding.

Summary

    Nuts is a decent court room drama, a precursor to the court room drama staples that have so influenced Hollywood and TV production, and worthy of a viewing.

    The video is a little soft and a little grainy, and the colour is slightly off.

    The sound is good for a 2.0 Dolby Surround mix.

    The extras were okay.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Saturday, October 04, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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