Home Fries (1998)

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Released 14-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 89:44
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Dean Parisot
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Drew Barrymore
Catherine O'Hara
Luke Wilson
Jake Busey
Shelley Duvall
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $14.90 Music Rachel Portman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/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
Smoking Yes, check the cigarette factory
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    You can't accuse Warner Home Video of lacking innovation. We don't always like their innovations — their experiment with selling (generally poor quality) NTSC transfers at cheap prices wasn't one I'd encourage. Now they have brought out a range of low-price movie-only discs (Action Jackson was the first one of these that I reviewed). These discs seem to be selected from relatively low-profile movies that wouldn't get a full-rate release, so I guess we get them this way, or not at all. Gotta say that I'm happy to have them this way (judging by these first two), and I'll be interested to see what else comes out in this range.

    Sally (Drew Barrymore) is a young red-head working at Burger-Matic in a small town in the US. She's not awfully receptive when her lover, Henry (Chris Ellis), comes past, because she's (extremely) pregnant and he's married (and not to her). She needn't worry, though, because he doesn't have long. And that's when things get a little odd...

    Beatrice Lever (Catherine O'Hara) is a manipulative mother who doesn't let her boys grow up. They are still sleeping in bunk beds, even though Dorian (Luke Wilson) is 24. Angus (Jake Busey) is a little younger. She's an amateur at emotional blackmail, but she gives it her all. She denies suggesting to her sons that they kill her husband (their stepfather), and she never admits encouraging them to go after any witnesses, including those working at the Burger-Matic who might have heard them on their radio headsets.

    This is a strangely constructed black romantic comedy, but it works. And it's interesting to see Drew Barrymore and Luke Wilson together in a movie made some time before Charlie's Angels.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.85:1, so this is acceptable.

    The image is a little bit soft, looking like very light film grain, but it is clear enough to enjoy. Shadow detail is more than adequate and there is no low-level noise.

    Colour quite well rendered, but seems a touch less than fully saturated — it doesn't stop us enjoying the movie, though. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are no film artefacts that I noticed. Aliasing is only very minor, and relatively infrequent. There is no noticeable moiré. There are no MPEG artefacts, not even any background shimmer.

    There are subtitles in English, and English for the Hearing Impaired. I watched the English for the Hearing Impaired: they are easy to read, well-timed to the dialogue, and close to word-for-word.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered, so there is no layer change. The single layer is ample for this movie without extras.

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

Audio

    The soundtrack is only provided in English. Surprisingly, it's a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, although it doesn't make a lot of use of the rear channels.

    The dialogue is quite clear and easily understood. There are no visible audio sync issues.

    The score comes from Rachel Portman, and it's fairly unobtrusive, but does the job. There are a number of quite recognisable songs in the soundtrack.

    The surrounds are used infrequently for directional sound, but they are used to deepen the soundstage a little. The subwoofer gets a couple of moments to shine, but is mostly unused, as you might expect in a film that's mostly dialogue-driven.

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

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc. The only special features listed on the back cover are: interactive menus and scene access...

Menu

    The menu is static and silent. It's simple to use.

R4 vs R1

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

    This film was released on DVD in Region 1 years ago. The R1 DVD is a double sided single layered disc, with the widescreen version on one side, and a pan-and-scan version on the other. What we have is essentially the widescreen side, but in PAL rather than NTSC. The R1 has no extras, either.

    This Region 4 disc has quite a good transfer (the R1's transfer is described as very good, too), so there's really no reason to get the R1 unless you desperately need a pan-and-scan version.

Summary

    An entertaining black romantic comedy on a bare-bones DVD with a good transfer.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    There are absolutely no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Thursday, October 23, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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Comments (Add)
Audio drop outs - Tom (read my bio)
no dolby 5.1 - REPLY POSTED
Re 5.1 -