Up the Sandbox (1972)

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Released 13-Apr-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Barbra Streisand
Audio Commentary-Irvin Kershner (Director)
Featurette-"The Moviemakers" - a 1972 documentary
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1972
Running Time 94:10
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (67:15) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Irvin Kershner
Studio
Distributor
National General
Warner Home Video
Starring Barbra Streisand
David Selby
Ariane Heller
Terry Smith
Gary Smith
Jane Hoffman
John C. Becher
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Billy Goldenberg


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary 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
German
French
Spanish
Dutch
Portuguese
Hebrew
Swedish
Greek
Hungarian
Turkish
Polish
Arabic
English for the Hearing Impaired
German 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

    Up The Sandbox is an interesting film for its time, a drama firmly rooted around themes of women’s liberation and sexual equality with a dash of humour thrown in for good measure.

    Margaret Reynolds (Barbra Streisand) has two kids already, is a loving mother, and loving wife. She lives in a claustrophobic New York apartment while her husband, Paul (David Selby), tries to write a book and she tries to keep everything in order without going insane from domestic pressures. However, she finds out one afternoon that she is pregnant again, and even more pressure comes bearing down on her. In order to escape these pressures, and avoid telling her husband she is pregnant again, she begins escaping into fantasies where she is a reporter, an explorer, a gangster and anything but a housewife. Her fantasy life encroaches upon her real life to such an extent that we as an audience start having difficulty discerning between what is real and what is made up.

    Adapted from the novel by Anne Richardson Roiphe, director Irvin Kershner has created a very interesting film here, and at the same time managed to get an exceptional performance out of Streisand. While some of the camera work is less than ideal at times, on the whole this is a very well made film and I am surprised that I had not heard of it before now.

    I couldn’t help but notice similarities here with the work of Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation) and have to wonder a little about the influence. Up The Sandbox is not quite in that league, but it is definitely something different, something a little off the wall, and worth a look if, like me, you enjoy that kind of film.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    The picture quality is a touch grainy overall, indicative of a film of this era. It is, however, much better than the transfer of NUTS, and also a better film which helps. It is still a touch soft, but not in a soft-filter focus way. This softness is not extreme, and does not mar the image.

    Colour is natural and well balanced, but lacks the vibrancy of the transfer of What’s Up Doc? or the clarity of more recent Hollywood fare. Shadow detail is not very good, with shadows exhibiting lots of grain and a slight bluish tinge.

    The transfer was devoid of MPEG artefacts, and suffered from only the faintest of background low-level noise resulting from the graininess of the print and the odd bit of non-distracting aliasing.

    Where this transfer falls down is in the film artefact department. The print was very dirty for a film so recent and I was kind of surprised. The dirt is not so overwhelming as to be a persistent distraction but it was one of the first things I was aware of when watching the movie and I began noticing that there was dirt at a persistent low-level throughout the movie. Thankfully, there was nothing much in the way of hairs or lines down the screen.

    Subtitles are available in English, German, French and Italian. They are white with a black border.

    The dual layer pause it is at 67:15 during a fade to black. It is not very noticeable.

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

Audio

    Just like the other early Streisand films I have reviewed, What’s Up Doc? and The Main Event, all audio tracks are in 1.0 Dolby Mono. They come in English and German only. There is little variation in quality between the tracks.

    The original English track has good clear dialogue with no glaring audio sync issues.

    It does not have a fantastic range, however, and comes across as a little flat overall.

    This is another monaural soundfield lacking any surround information or subwoofer use. Again, I suggest using your amplifier to listen to the audio in 2.0 Dolby Mono.

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, for once Streisand has a bit more to say than usual, although mostly about herself. Still lots of long pauses.

Audio Commentary – Irvin Kershner (Director)

    Also presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, Kershner has a lot more to say than Streisand, and what he has to say is more interesting. He still lapses into pauses here and there, but otherwise he makes entertaining listening.

Featurette – “The Moviemakers” (9:34)

    Presented in 1.33:1, 2.0 Dolby Mono, this is a documentary made on set during the filming of the fantasy sequence set in Africa. Kershner actually took part of the crew and Streisand over to Africa just to film this one sequence.

Trailer (1:54)

    Presented in 1.78:1, 2.0 Dolby Mono, this is a very dirty and grainy trailer with poor audio.

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

    Up The Sandbox is a strange and quirky film reminiscent of the work of Spike Jonze, only predating it. Streisand gives a good dramatic performance which is reasonably level-headed and plausible, unlike her overacting in NUTS.

    The video is acceptable, but marred by graininess and dirt.

    Again, I would have preferred a 2.0 Dolby Mono track rather than a 1.0 Mono track.

    The extras were decent, although again I would skip to the director’s commentary and avoid Streisand’s.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Wednesday, October 29, 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

Other Reviews NONE
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Ratings confusion... - Anonymous