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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Consenting Adults (1992)

Consenting Adults (1992)

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Released 15-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 94:53
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Alan J. Pakula

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Kevin Kline
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Kevin Spacey
Rebecca Miller
E.G. Marshall
Forest Whitaker
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Michael Small

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    It's hard to believe that Alan J. Pakula could have directed a film as good as All The President's Men after seeing this piece of absolute contrived rubbish,  but I guess we all make some dud choices in our lives. Kevin Spacey and Kevin Kline also seldom appear in complete turkeys, but they team together here.

    Advertising jingle composer Richard Parker (Kline) and his wife Priscilla (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) have their peaceful suburban lives disrupted by the arrival of some new next-door neighbours. Eddy Otis (Spacey) and his wife Kay (Rebecca Miller) appear happy, successful and rich. A flash house, fancy cars, boats, and holiday homes are the order of the day. Despite Richard thinking Otis is slightly odd, or at the very least extremely confident in himself, the couples hit it off immediately and form a strong friendship. Richard and his wife soon learn just how Eddy manages to afford all these costly trappings when he offers to defraud an insurance company and earn them $25,000. It seems Otis is a master at conning the companies out of settlements with little regard for the moral implications or getting caught. Richard's morals are further tested when Otis notices the way Richard behaves whenever the gorgeous Kay is in their company. One night Otis proposes a little bed-swapping exercise. In the middle of the night the men will switch beds and make love to each other's wives, hopefully without either of the women knowing what is occurring. Richard is aghast and instantly rejects the proposal. But further prompting from Otis and an argument with his own wife about him not willing to take any risks sees Richard agree to the dangerous game. He will quickly wish he hadn't.

    This marvellous set up takes some 30 minutes and sees the air thick with sexual tension, with all four people manoeuvring around each other. The plot has been nicely set for something interesting to happen and when one of the woman meets with foul-play (that's foul-play and not fore-play!) I thought we were in for a good thriller. But rather than let one clever idea take its course, the director and scriptwriter have layered this story with half a dozen good ideas that make the plot just too darn clever for its own good. The last half plays out like every other run-of-the-mill thriller in living memory with at least four incredibly contrived plot holes (I mean does anyone know of anyone that gets bail when they have been charged with a violent murder - I don't think so).

    It's a shame as it all started out so promisingly.

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Transfer Quality


    Yuk. That one word pretty much sums up this transfer, which effectively mirrors the rubbish plot. If you want to know more, then read on.

    The first problem is the aspect ratio, which is modified from its original theatrical aspect of 1.85:1. Here we get an aspect of 1.75:1 and even worse is the lack of 16x9 enhancement.

    You could hardly call this transfer sharp. It is very soft, a legacy of the non-anamorphic transfer. Shadow detail suffers poorly on several occasions, especially when Kevin Kline's character is sneaking next door and in the closing scenes. The biggest problem of all though is the grain. It is much like looking at a chunk of 80-grade sandpaper. It is evident throughout the entire film and is really quite annoying. There is no low level noise.

    Colours are quite awful. I'm not sure if this is how it was intended but the overall look is often washed out and faded, and at other times it is bold and heavily saturated in red tones. The skin tones hold up reasonably well as do the blacks.

    There are no MPEG artefacts. Aliasing pops up a couple of times, but in reality the transfer is not sharp enough for this to be a problem. The worst example probably occurs at 13:09 on some cane outdoor furniture. Film artefacts are abundant and some of them are absolute rippers in terms of size. Check out the incredibly large splotch at 4:48 and another at 11:14.

    The are plenty of subtitles available. I sampled the English stream for much of the film and found them excellent, if perhaps a little large on the screen.

    This disc is single sided and single layered so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There are two audio soundtracks on this disc. Both are Dolby Digital 5.1 surround tracks in English and Spanish. Quite frankly I found the 5.1 mix to be completely wasted here. I would suggest the original Dolby surround track has simply been dumped out to a digital format and labelled as a 5.1 mix as there is significant panning across the front soundstage but a little leakage of dialogue occurs to the left and right speakers on occasion, hinting at analogue origins.

    The said dialogue is also only average. I had immense trouble picking up some of what Forest Whitaker's character was saying. There are no audio sync problems, except for when Kevin Kline and Kevin Spacey are jogging together early on in the film. There is some really obvious ADR work going on there.

    The score is by Michael Small and is really quite clichéd for the type of thriller this is. A score that you have heard a million times before.

    There is basically no surround activity, and the subwoofer only rumbles a couple of times when the action heats up a little.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There is not a single extra on this disc.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title is yet to be released in Region 1.


    Absolute contrived rubbish. Kevin Kline doesn't get out of first gear in this incredibly ordinary thriller that promised so much in the first 30 minutes but left you ultimately unsatisfied. While Kevin Spacey plays a creep better than most going around he is also left with precious little in terms of script to work with here.

    The video is below average for what is expected these days. Soft, muddy, wrong aspect ratio and no 16x9 enhancement do not make for a decent night's viewing.

    The audio is also average, appearing to be nothing more than a recycled Dolby surround analogue soundtrack.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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