Overall | What's Up, Doc? (1972) | Nuts (1987) | The Main Event (1979) | Up the Sandbox (1972)

Barbra Streisand Collection (Main Event/Nuts/Up the Sandbox/What's Up Doc?) (1972)

Barbra Streisand Collection (Main Event/Nuts/Up the Sandbox/What's Up Doc?) (1972)

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Released 9-Dec-2003

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Overall Package

    This is a mixed bag of a collection with one good title, What's Up, Doc?, one different and interesting title, Up The Sandbox, one mediocre film, NUTS, and one appalling movie, The Main Event. This is one I could really only recommend to Streisand fans and anybody else is better to just stay away.

     The video transfers for the collection are generally pretty good, although some of the films are a bit grainier than others.

     By and large the audio is monaural which is a tad dull.

     The extras are good if you like hearing Stresand say nothing much in between long pauses. The directors' commentaries are pretty good though.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Friday, October 31, 2003
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
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Overall | What's Up, Doc? (1972) | Nuts (1987) | The Main Event (1979) | Up the Sandbox (1972)

What's Up, Doc? (1972)

What's Up, Doc? (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 - scene specific commentary
Audio Commentary-Peter Bogdanovich (Director)
Featurette-"Screwball Comedies...Remember Them?"
Theatrical Trailer
Awards
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1972
Running Time 89:59
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (46:05) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Peter Bogdanovich
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Barbra Streisand
Ryan O'Neal
Madeline Kahn
Kenneth Mars
Austin Pendletone
Michael Murphy
Philip Roth
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Artie Butler


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

    Judy (Barbra Streisand) is a con artist and a walking accident zone. She is also feisty and knows exactly what she wants. She wanders into a hotel lobby one morning and sets her eyes on Howard (Ryan O’Neal), a musicologist in San Francisco for a conference with his fiancé Eunice (Madeline Kahn). Howard has with him a bag of rocks with musical properties. However, this bag is also identical to another bag full of jewels and another bag containing top secret documents brought by other patrons to the same hotel. When Judy makes the moves on Howard, he initially refuses, but Judy just doubles her efforts. Of course, at the same time, the bags all get mixed up, and we have master criminals and intelligence operatives running back and forth on the 17th floor trying to get the right bag back while Howard tries to keep Judy from his fiancé Eunice and Judy tries to keep Eunice from Howard while she is with him. This all culminates in a rather amusing party scene and a chase through San Francisco.

    What’s Up Doc? is exactly as the promotions people say – a screwball comedy. It’s silly, quirky, totally implausible, but lots of fun in a classic Jerry Lewis kind of way (although nobody could be Jerry other than Jerry). Streisand manages to put in a very amusing performance as the young Judy, but her co-star O’Neal is not as good and she tends to overshadow him a little.

    Still, if you take this for what it is, you should get a good time out of it, and that’s exactly what director Peter Bogdanovich intended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

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

    For a print this old, this is an exceptional remastering. Colour is rich and vibrant in a way that so many films of the era are not. It positively glows off the screen. Given that this is such a colourful film, this is important.

    The picture is a touch grainy in the background, which merely indicates its age, and the whole thing has a bit of a softness to it, suggesting that it was filmed with a slight filter.

    There were no MPEG artefacts that I could see, but there were a couple of film-to-video artefacts, such as moire on the grille plates on the fronts of cars, and more moire on Howard’s loud pinstripe suit when he turns it to the camera at certain angles. There was the faintest of aliasing here and there but nothing worth making note of.

    As far as film artefacts go, this picture is incredibly clean given its age. There are the odd specks of dirt but nothing distracting like a line down the middle of the screen.

    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 it is at 46:05 during a fade out and is well camouflaged.

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

Audio

    All audio tracks are in 1.0 Dolby Mono. They come in English, French, German and Italian. There was little discernible quality variance between any of the tracks.

    As for the original English track itself, dialogue was always clear and easy to understand, and I noticed no overt audio sync problems.

    The tone of the track is a little ‘hissy’ overall, but it has a decent range for what it is. The musical score by Artie Butler is well rendered.

    Other than that, this is a monaural experience with no surround information and no subwoofer use. Use your amplifier to listen to the audio in 2.0 Dolby Mono for a slightly better effect.

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 are 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has the theme from the film playing in 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

Scene Specific Audio Commentary – Barbra Streisand (Actress)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this is a fairly broken up commentary as if Streisand did not have much to say. The disc automatically skips to the next scene she is commentating on, but you cannot fast-forward during those long patches of silence which is a little irritating.

Audio Commentary – Peter Bogdanovich (Director)

    Also presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this commentary is far more interesting, Bogdanovich being a livelier commentator and being far more in the know than Streisand on the making of this film. He rarely shuts up and has many good anecdotes about what went on while on set.

Featurette – “Screwball Comedies ... Remember Them?” (8:38)

    Presented in 1.33:1, 2.0 Dolby Mono, this is a documentary made at the time, on set, which has a few laughs and gags and some interjections by the cast and crew. Whilst not very structured, it is still amusing enough.

Theatrical Trailer (3.38)

    Presented in 1.78:1, 2.0 Dolby Mono, this trailer is practically a making of doco in its own right. Whilst not much in the way of promotional material, it is still worth a look.

Awards

    A still frame listing the awards this film received.

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

    What’s Up Doc? is a classic screwball comedy. While certainly not in the league of The Party or It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, it still remains good for a chuckle and a bit of enjoyment on a Sunday afternoon.

    The video is exceptionally good for a film this old.

    I would have preferred a 2.0 Dolby Mono track rather than a 1.0 Mono track as it would save me switching my amplifier back and forth between modes.

    The extras were pretty good, especially the director’s commentary.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Tuesday, October 28, 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
DVD Net - Terry K

Comments (Add)
Worth revisiting for the supporting cast - Bran (my bio, or something very like it)

Overall | What's Up, Doc? (1972) | Nuts (1987) | The Main Event (1979) | Up the Sandbox (1972)

Nuts (1987)

Nuts (1987)

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Released 13-Apr-2005

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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

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Terry K

Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | What's Up, Doc? (1972) | Nuts (1987) | The Main Event (1979) | Up the Sandbox (1972)

The Main Event (1979)

The Main Event (1979)

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Released 13-Apr-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Barbra Streisand - scene specific commentary
Listing-Cast & Crew
Featurette-"Getting in Shape for The Main Event"
Gallery-Production stills
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1979
Running Time 104:47
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Howard Zieff
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Barbra Streisand
Ryan O'Neal
Paul Sand
Whitman Mayo
Patti D'Arbanville
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Michael Melvoin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (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
French
Arabic
Dutch
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

    Hillary Kramer (Barbra Streisand) is a successful perfume manufacturer with an enterprise at the top of the game. However, when her partner embezzles the company’s money and runs off to South America leaving her broke, she must sell the company and find alternative means of income. She finds she has a contract with a boxer, Eddie ‘Kid Natural’ Scanlon (Ryan O’Neal), and forces him under duress to return to fighting in order to earn her some money. However, as she helps him get back into shape, their love-hate relationship turns to romantic interest and soon Kramer is cheering for the Kid ringside not as a manager but as a lover.

    The Main Event is easily the weakest of the Streisand films I have reviewed, with only a little on-screen chemistry between the leads, which is unsurprising given Streisand overshadowed O’Neal when the two were paired in What’s Up Doc? Plus, it has an utterly implausible plot which just keeps going on. It is meant to be funny, but largely it is just drab and ‘been-there-done-that’ stuff. Plot devices are not original and although this is not itself a bar to enjoyment, they are also hackneyed and clichéd and this is a problem.

    Moreover, this is too old now to be considered an enjoyable romp because by contemporary standards it just isn’t. I am probably on Streisand overload about now, but this was like going to the dentist and having perfectly good teeth ripped out ... without the novocaine to help with the pain. She is so irritating and nasal in this movie that she ruins it from start to finish. Every scene she is in, which is all of them, sucks.

    If you are a huge Streisand fan you probably already have this disc, and nothing I say is going to make a difference to your enjoyment of it. But in my opinion this one is really not worth the time. Even judicious editing would not really save it as you would have to excise Streisand’s performance in total and, oops, there goes the movie. Overall, very irritating and very mediocre.

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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 here is better than a film of this calibre deserves. Image detail is crisp and well rendered, with only minor background graininess.

    Colour is rich and vibrant. Shadow detail was fine.

    There was nothing in the way of glaring MPEG artefacts. Film-to-video transfer faults were minimal, limited to some barely noticeable aliasing.

    The opening title sequence is a little blurry and suffers from some dirt, but otherwise there was nothing noteworthy in the way of film artefacts.

    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 somewhere during the film, but I missed it twice and I’m not going back a third time to find it and nobody can make me. My psyche cannot endure the pain again. If anyone cares enough about this film to watch it more often, write to me and I will put the details in. All I can suggest is that the pause is well concealed enough for me to miss it twice.

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

Audio

    There is an English and a French audio track here, both in 1.0 Dolby Mono. There is little difference in the way of quality between the tracks.

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand on the English track. I noticed no glaring audio sync issues.

    Like the other early Streisand films I have reviewed, the range on the mono tracks is acceptable, but only just that. This one lacks any background hiss which is an improvement on What’s Up, Doc?.

    There is no surround information or subwoofer use.

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

Extras

Menus

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

Scene Specific Audio Commentary – Barbra Streisand (Actress)

    Presented in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, Streisand does her usual job of not saying much in between long pauses of silence.

Featurette – “Getting In Shape for The Main Event” (18:50)

    Presented in 1.33:1, 2.0 Dolby Mono, this is a little documentary about, funnily enough, getting in shape for the film so the cast can show off their bodies naked or in tight clothing.

Cast & Crew

    A single still listing principal cast and crew.

Stills Gallery

    A collection of inset stills from the production of the movie.

Theatrical Trailer (1:53)

    Presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Mono 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

    Watching The Main Event is so painful I will take torture at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists over enduring it a third time. Pray to God you never have to watch it more than once.

    The video is pretty good, and more than this show deserved.

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

    The extras were pretty lousy, befitting a film of this quality.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Thursday, October 30, 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
Comments (Add)
Loaded statement.... - REPLY POSTED
Bags we take up a collection - Allan M REPLY POSTED

Overall | What's Up, Doc? (1972) | Nuts (1987) | The Main Event (1979) | Up the Sandbox (1972)

Up the Sandbox (1972)

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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