Married/Unmarried (2001)

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Sell-Through Release Status Unknown
Available for Rent

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction-Trailers- The Real Thing, Baby Juice Express
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 98:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Noli
Studio
Distributor
Arclight Films
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Paolo Seganti
Ben Daniels
Gina Bellman
Kristen McMenamy
Case ?
RPI Rental Music Mark Ryder


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 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

    married / unmarried is a film which deals with the inter-relationships of four spoiled, self-indulgent yuppies. It is very wordy, arty and feels very much like a stage play - unsurprising as it is taken from the stage play by the debuting writer/director Noli.

    The story centres on the sex lives of four friends. Amanda (Gina Bellman) and Paul (Paolo Seganti) are married to each other - and an uneasy marriage it appears to be. Amanda seems to obsessed with Paul, going so far as to make him remove the television from the bedroom after Paul sees an old girlfriend on a television commercial. They have close mutual friends in Danny (Ben Daniels) and Kim (Kristen McMenamy), who are unmarried but seeing each other regularly. All is not well in Danny and Kim's relationship as he is a sadistic misogynist, treating all women with contempt - and frequently degrading Kim with his fetishist behaviour. As the film progresses, a tangled web of deceit, unfaithfulness and mistrust slowly begins to be revealed.

    This is a wordy movie. Blokes talk about pornography and sex. Women talk about sex and love. There is some full frontal nudity, but more shocking is the extremely (sexually) explicit dialogue. This is not a film for those who are easily offended by sexual references and swearing. The performances of the four main actors are very strong, and they are brave to have tackled the generally unpleasant and difficult work. In particular, Daniels as the twisted sadist and McMenamy as his victimised girlfriend put in some exemplary work.

    married / unmarried is not a pleasant film to watch. It is unlikely to have broad appeal, and may well be too confronting for most people to enjoy. Certainly I found it to be overly contrived, seemingly trying just a little too hard to shock. In the main it simply left me aching to hit the forward scan button. Possibly worth a rental for those looking for an arty, edgy but unpleasant look at dysfunctional relationships. The acting performances are very strong but this is not a film I enjoyed very much - nor can I honestly recommend it.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The overall video transfer of this disc is acceptable without being particularly good.

    The film is presented in a widescreen ratio of 1.78:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced. I am unaware of the original aspect ratio.

    The overall transfer is somewhat variable in terms of sharpness. On occasion it can be pleasingly sharp but often softens to the point of verging on out of focus (for example at 8:20 or 55:00). There is minor pixelization in some of the backgrounds, but overall grain levels are fine.

    Black levels are fairly deep and solid with no significant low level noise noticed. Shadow detail is fine, with adequate detail evident. Colours are well rendered and fully saturated throughout, with no evidence of colour bleeding. Skin tones look natural at all times.

    The transfer has no major MPEG artefacts, however film-to-video artefacts are present in the shape of edge enhancement which can become quite strong on occasion. Mild instances can be seen at 5:42 or 15:20 with stronger examples at 62:00 or 74:38. Aliasing was not detected on my system.

    The transfer does suffer from fleeting film artefacts - both positive and negative - with the occasional larger scratch for example at 29:06. These are not overly distracting however.

    There are no subtitles available.

    This is a single layered, single-sided (DVD 5) format disc, so there is no layer change present.

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

Audio

    The overall audio quality of this disc is really rather good.

    The sole English audio track is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 224 kbps. It suffers no noticeable defects in the way of clicks, hiss or dropouts.

    Dialogue was always clear, which is essential for such a wordy piece, and audio sync is fine throughout.

    Original music is credited to Mark Ryder and it does a great job in supporting the on-screen action. The score is quite varied, with rousing strings, a plaintive piano melody and a modern urban laid-back groove coming to the fore depending on the section of the film it is supporting at the time. This is given quite a powerful presence in many scenes and it certainly adds to the movie very well.

    The soundstage is often fairly frontal, as might be expected from such a heavily dialogue driven piece. With Pro Logic II enabled however, the surrounds get quite a deal of use in carrying the musical score. The score, whilst being striking and powerful, never overpowers the all-important dialogue.

    There is little in the way of specific low frequency activity from the subwoofer, but on my set-up it did get to carry quite a lot of bass from the musical score. The score is quite bass heavy, and having a subwoofer helps to round out the soundstage quite nicely.

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

Extras

    There are no significant extras on this disc.

Menu

    The menu is an animated picture of some of the stars, presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a loop of the main soundtrack. It provides the opportunity to play the movie, select one of a paltry ten chapter stops or playing the following trailer:

Trailer

    Running for 2:08 and presented letterboxed at 1.78:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 kbps.

R4 vs R1

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

    I can find no details of a Region 1 release of this DVD.

Summary

    married / unmarried is a mildly shocking movie dealing with damaged sexual relationships in a fairly confronting way. The strong language and overtones of sexual violence which run through the film will leave many people cold. Strong performances by the lead actors cannot save this from feeling overly contrived, arty and very much like a stage play. Possibly worth a rental for those who like their films edgy and slightly uncomfortable.

    The video quality is reasonable.

    The audio quality is quite good with Pro Logic II enabled.

    There are no worthwhile extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Sunday, November 16, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDHarmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

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