You Can't Stop the Murders (2003)

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Released 20-Apr-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Scene Selection Audio
Gallery-Photo
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 94:18 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Anthony Mir
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Gary Eck
Akmal Saleh
Anthony Mir
Richard Carter
Kristie Hutton
Robert Carlton
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Jamie Fonti


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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 None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I recently reviewed Home Fries, a rather strange little story set in small-town America. So it's interesting to come to this film, which is a rather strange little story set in small-town Australia. Although this one is fairly slow to start, I'd say it has the other one beat for quirkiness. I think I like this one better, but I could be biased by the fact that this one is Australian.

    This is not a laugh-a-minute film. There are a few laugh-out-loud moments, but mostly it's a wry-grin film, mixed with some grimaces at gags that don't quite come off. It's fairly slow to get started, and there are moments when it feels like it's about to run out of steam, but there's a decent payoff — it's worth waiting for.

    The film was written by Gary Ecks, Akmal Saleh, and Anthony Mir, and directed by Anthony Mir. It stars Gary Ecks, playing Gary, Akmal Saleh, playing Akmal, and Anthony Mir, playing Tony (how do they come up with these names?). There are bit parts from some better-known comedians, including Jimeoin, Garry Who, Stephen Abbott (better known as The Sandman) and David Collins and Shane Dundas (you may know them better as the Umbilical Brothers).

    Gary is a cop in West Village, a small town not too far from Sydney. His partner is Akmal, and together they make up two thirds of the police force of West Village — the remaining third is Police Chief Carter (Richard Carter). Gary dreams of winning the annual line-dancing contest; Akmal dreams up ideas for films; the Chief is something of a religious zealot, but in a quiet way. Gary also yearns for Julia Broadmeadows (Kirsty Hutton), the local TV station's hard-hitting investigative reporter (she yearns to be on 60 Minutes).

    Suddenly, headless dead bodies begin to appear in West Village. (The title of the movie rather gives away the theme of the serial killer.) Big city detective Tony Charles is sent to investigate. Gary is disappointed — this was his big chance to make good as the policeman who solved the murders, and this shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later detective looks like stealing the glory (and Julia!). But Gary gets his chance...

    Don't expect too much, but if you liked The Castle, give this film a go — you might be surprised.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. I'd guess that the intended aspect ratio was probably 1.85:1, so this is quite close.

    The picture is quite clear, with only a little bit of softness. Shadow detail is adequate, but not spectacular. There's no low-level noise, but film grain is a problem; there are a few shots that are rather grainy, such as at 50:44 and 13:59, and especially 80:55 — the rest of the film shows less grain, but never none.

    Colour is fairly well rendered, but a bit drab — I wouldn't be surprised if this were intended, to emphasise the drabness of the little town. There are no obvious colour-related artefacts, except for some slightly overblown colour in the simulated TV footage, and occasional orange tinge to skin tones in the sun.

    There are some tiny film artefacts, but you have to look for them. Even though they are tiny, they are a bit disappointing, given that this film is copyright last year, and was only released this year.

    There's some (deliberate) aliasing on the simulated TV footage, but next to none on the film proper. Shimmer is fairly common, but it's held to a low enough level not to be too irritating. There are no MPEG artefacts.

    There are no subtitles at all, which is a shame, especially for a film sponsored in part by SBS.

    The disc is single sided and single layered. That means no layer change.

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

Audio

    There are two soundtracks, both in English. One is Dolby Digital 5.1, while the other is Dolby Digital 2.0 (not surround-encoded). I only listened to the 5.1. It's awfully loud — at a guess, perhaps 10dB higher than it ought to be.

    Dialogue is reasonably clear, and readily understood (at least to a master of the Australian vernacular). Audio sync is not a problem.

    The score, from Jamie Fonti, is fairly sparse, but good enough. There are some recognisable songs in the soundtrack, too.

    The surrounds are only used intermittently, as though the engineer on the mixing desk only remembered them every so often. Still, when they are used, they are used fairly well. The subwoofer sees occasional use, too.

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

Extras

    There are only a couple of extras.

Menu

    The menu is static with music, but easy enough to navigate.

Gallery—Photo

    A series of photos taken during the making of this film.

Trailer (2:33)

    This is a reasonable trailer, but nothing special.

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 ascertain, this film has not been released on DVD in Region 1.

Summary

    A quirky and interesting Australian movie given a reasonable transfer to DVD.

    The video quality is reasonable.

    The audio quality is good, but far too loud — once you turn it down, it's fine.

    The extras are fairly basic — maybe there will be more when the DVD is released for retail.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Sunday, October 26, 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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