Hello Again (1987)

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Released 18-Nov-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1987
Running Time 92:15
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Frank Perry
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Shelley Long
Judith Ivey
Gabriel Byrne
Corbin Bernsen
Sela Ward
Austin Pendleton
Carrie Nye
Robert Lewis
Madeleine Potter
Thor Fields
John Cunningham
I.M. Hobson
Mary Fogarty
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music William Goldstein


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
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
French
Dutch
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
French Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, photos under the credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Hello Again is a sweet little comedy with a twist. It's possibly the funniest film that Shelley Long has made.

    Lucy Chadman (Shelley Long) is happily married to a successful plastic surgeon, Jason (Corbin Bernsen). She has a son, Danny (Thor Fields), who is a talented cook who wants to be a chef. She has a zany sister, Zelda (Judith Ivey), who runs an occult bookshop. And she has a best friend, Kim (Sela Ward), a predatory husband-hunter who has had three husbands, and is looking for a fourth.

    As the film opens we see Lucy demonstrate that she can be a huge klutz when she's nervous — she trips, she spills, she sits in her food. It's funny, but a little sad, too.

    Then Lucy dies. And her sister brings her back a year later (the spell requires that it be exactly a year later). Lucy doesn't believe it, understandably, but she becomes convinced as she discovers all the things that have changed over the course of the year that has passed sans Lucy. Jason, in particular, is very uncomfortable with the situation (you'll see why). The emergency room doctor, Dr Scanlon (Gabriel Byrne), who saw her die, is initially quite dubious, but comes to believe her.

    There are a lot of comic throwaway lines, things like Lucy's comment on the dress she's wearing when revived: "I wouldn't be caught dead in this dress", or "I never thought I'd live to see the day. Actually, I didn't.".

    There's some romance, some pathos, and more comedy. The climax is a bit weak, but it's OK. This could never be described as high art, but it's thoroughly entertaining, and even has a bit of a moral. Recommended for when you want something light and entertaining.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced. That's the original aspect ratio.

    The image is more than a little soft, and beset with grain that varies from light to medium heavy. Shadow detail is only fair, with shadows dropping off into black quite quickly. There is no low-level noise, though.

    Colour is not bad, with mostly natural looking skin tones (there are occasional excursions into orange, but they are infrequent), and a decent palette of colours. There are light touches of colour bleed, but it's only slight.

    There are several small film artefacts, but they're mostly small enough to be untroubling. There are water spots at 75:13 and 75:14.

    There is quite a bit of aliasing, but it is mild, and ameliorated by the softness of the image. There some minor moiré, too, such as at 46:21 on the jacket, and 61:50 on the waistcoat. There's quite a bit of light background shimmer. There is a lot of haloing around foreground characters — it's like rampant edge enhancement (I'm not sure if that's the cause, though).

    There are subtitles in English, and six other languages, plus English for the Hearing Impaired. I watched the English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles — they are quite accurate, easy to read, and well-timed to the dialogue.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered. There is no layer change, which is good.

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

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in English and French. I only listened to the English. It's a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, but I have absolutely no idea why. The centre channel is used, definitely; the front left and right get some sound, but this is essentially a mono soundtrack. The credits say the original was Dolby Stereo, which means surround-encoded 2.0, but it doesn't sound like it.

    The dialogue is clear enough, but a bit quiet (I had to turn it up 3–5dB to make it easy to understand). There are no obvious slips in audio sync, although a couple of lines look very slightly off (like imperfect ADR)

    There's some crackle in the sound at 43:02, and some minor distortion at 68:52.

    William Goldstein's score is fine, although it keeps reminding me of the music from Arthur (I checked, and he didn't write that score).

    The surrounds and subwoofer get nothing to do.

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

Extras

    There are no extras.

Menu

    The menu is static, with music. It's simple to use, partly because there's very little on offer.

R4 vs R1

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

    This film won't be released on DVD in Region 1 until December 2003. I haven't found definitive information about the features of this DVD, but it's part of a budget range, so I wouldn't hold out much hope for a stack of extras. It looks like it may be a full-screen version. If the Region 1 is full-screen, then the Region 4 disc would be the better choice (it is in the original aspect ratio, even if it has a so-so transfer).

Summary

    A comedy that entertaining, interesting, and has a bit of a twist, on a somewhat-less-than-perfect bare-bones DVD.

    The video quality is not especially good.

    The audio quality is adequate, but not especially good.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Thursday, November 27, 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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