Tom Green-Subway Monkey Hour (2002)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Additional Footage-4 scenes
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Tom Green|
Paramount Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Fans of Tom Green, please divert your attention to an alternative review immediately.
Who amongst us could fail to find shouting at foreigners funny? Who amongst us could think that denigrating every aspect of a foreign culture is anything but hilarious? Well...me for one. Subway Monkey Hour shows just what can result when the brain of an ADD suffering nine-year old boy, sans-Ritalin, is transplanted into the body of a man. Tom Green (the erstwhile Mr Drew Barrymore) is one of the most irritating wannabe comedians ever to have (dis)graced the face of MTV. Perhaps someone who has seen the utter travesty which is Freddy Got Fingered, and enjoyed it, may find some entertainment in this crass, xenophobic and smug s***e.
This 49 minute feature is about 45 minutes too long. In it, the inimitable (thank God) Tom Green travels through Japan and performs moronic stunts around an unsuspecting, and incredibly polite group of everyday folk, trying to go about their daily business. Amongst the "hilarious" clips, we see Green buy pre-worn knickers from dodgy pornographers, put a vibrator into a sushi-train, trap a baboon in his rental van and openly mock the eating habits and various cultural norms of the Japanese.
Witty. Insightful. Ironic. Sub-text. Zeitgeist. Quasi-intellectual. Insouciant. These are all words which could not be used to describe anything associated with Tom Green. Laugh? I nearly passed the fags round. (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) OK, so I did laugh (guiltily) three times - but I did not inhale.
For the emotionally or intellectually challenged, there is much fun to be had here in this overtly racist clap-trap. For those of us whose I.Q. exceeds 99, or whose age exceeds single digits, there is the vaguest possibility of a snicker. This comedy equivalent of a urethral swab is utter, utter dreck.
The overall video transfer of this disc is typical of a television show filmed on portable video equipment - and fairly mediocre equipment at that. Think VHS and you well get a rough idea of what to expect.
The show is presented in its original televised aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and it is therefore not 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer has some quality problems. There is a mixture of 1950s vintage footage and contemporary video footage in the feature. The former is replete with real, and possibly added, film artefacts, while the latter is generally adequate. The overall image transfer is about as sharp as Green's wit...can you guess how sharp that is?
Black levels and shadow detail are not really tested since the footage is generally shot on video in full daylight. Colours are fairly vivid in the modern footage, being rendered quite solidly and showing no colour bleeding. Skin tones look natural.
The transfer does suffer from some MPEG compression artefacts. The image often demonstrates some digital macro blocking which is particularly apparent in the backgrounds. Foreground images are often pleasingly sharp and unpolluted. Aliasing is omnipresent and readily apparent (for example, during all the titles, on the steps at 4:46, and on the vehicles at 43:28) and is fairly distracting. There is some edge enhancement noticeable as ghosting around objects, for example on the lady at 1:28, the mountains at 9:53 and the portable barrier at 31:17.
There are no film (video) artefacts in in the recent video footage, but the older inserts are riddled with scratches, flecks and specks.
There are fairly well-timed English and English for the Hard of Hearing subtitle tracks present. The latter follows the inane dialogue pretty closely, with only the odd dropped word and provides appropriate audio cues to indicate Green's screeches and howls. The former seems similar bar the occasional audio cues.
Given the mercifully brief running time, this feature unsurprisingly arrives on a single sided, single layer (DVD 5) disc.
The overall audio quality of this disc is adequate, in that you can hear the spoken or sung inanities fairly well.
The solitary audio track is presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at a 192 kbps. It has no major flaws...other than the content.
Dialogue was almost always clear, although occasionally muffled and frequently nonsensical. Audio sync was just fine.
The score is irrelevant, but additional music is credited to Guy Erez. There are some occasional stereotypical Japanese musical bites thrown into the mix, but they add little to the feature.
The soundstage is fully frontal in nature. The front speakers frequently make an annoying whine - but that is just Green's inane singing and hammy verbal diarrhoea. Dolby Pro Logic II adds nothing to the audio - or the "humour" - with minimal surround activity, limited to some minor musical leakage from what I could detect.
The subwoofer is unused throughout.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are, unfortunately, a few minor extras on this coaster.
The menu is a garish but functional affair, accompanied by the theme music. It allows the selection of playing the feature, selecting various subtitles, choosing one of fifteen chapter stops, or enduring the following special features:
Running as a silent slideshow for 2:56, this is a very poor quality selection of pixelated freeze-frames from the feature.
Three silent text-based screens of information about Mr Green, which try to provide some credibility to his inane ramblings.
Four short excerpts from the MTV series The Tom Green Show, which have limited relevance to the feature. They are presented at 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps:
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 DVD appears to be the same as the tragic Region 4 release. Buy neither.
Subway Monkey Hour is not my favourite piece of entertainment. Did you suspect as much? I have a sense of humour - no, really, I do! That is why I think that this is digital excrement to be avoided at all costs. If you watch or buy this rubbish, you are sending a message that this is an acceptable comedy product. In my opinion it is not. The person who will be laughing most at this DVD is Tom Green - all the way to the bank! Avoid if you value the very fabric of society.
The video quality is adequate.
The audio quality is acceptable.
The extras are inane and still fail to make this DVD a feature-length proposition.
|DVD||Harmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES|
|Speakers||JensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer|