Look Who's Talking (1989)

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Released 11-Jan-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 91:58
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Amy Heckerling
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring John Travolta
Kirstie Alley
Olympia Dukakis
George Segal
Abe Vigoda
Bruce Willis
Case Brackley-Trans-No Lip
RPI $34.95 Music David Kitay


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/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
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes, very briefly
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    "Oh no, not another movie with a talking baby!!" Well, this was my first thought when I sat down to watch this movie. It had been some time since I had seen it last, and I was quite unprepared to enjoy it as much as I did! Well, this should not be too much of a surprise given that this was really the first movie to have talking babies, and is far and away the best. This movie works because it is not forced; the focus of the movie is not really the baby, but Kirstie Alley and her attempts to secure a stable, educated and wealthy father for her new child. She ends up with someone who has none of these qualities, but who loves her and her child. I wonder if John Travolta really knew what lay ahead for him in the five or so years after making Look Who's Talking? Probably not, but this movie must have helped him on his way in a small way.

    Bruce Willis is perfectly cast as the adult, only slightly cynical voice of Mikey, the baby. He really is restrained in this movie by comparison with his normal smart-alec, wise-cracking roles, and he carries the movie along nicely.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is a little old and tired in places, but on the whole is quite good.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it is 16x9 enhanced. This differs only slightly from the theatrical aspect ratio, and as expected I noticed no problems as a result of this.

    The movie is now ten years old, and the image is definitely on the soft side. Comparing it with contemporary transfers shows it to have a little less detail, though it does have a very film-like appearance as a result of anamorphic enhancement. Shadow detail was surprisingly good, and there was a lack of low-level noise. Film grain was very slight but was apparent, giving the movie a slightly dated look.

    Colours were quite nicely rendered, being well balanced if only ever-so-slightly undersaturated as evidenced by pale skin tones. There was a slight improvement from the beginning of the picture to about 20 minutes in, where the colour saturation improved somewhat.

    There were no significant MPEG artefacts. There were no film-to-video artefacts to speak of - very little in the way of aliasing. Film artefacts on the other hand were rife for the first ten or so minutes, which usually happens with poorly preserved film reels, but settled down afterwards. These artefacts consisted of scratches to the print, marks, dust etc.

Audio

    There are five soundtracks on this disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, German Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. I listened to the default English soundtrack.

    Dialogue was at all times very clear and easy to understand; the soundtrack was excellent in this regard.

    There were no problems with audio sync during the movie.

    The audio score was unremarkable, and was really only fill in between some classic pop songs of the (late) eighties and earlier, which were great! There is some good music on this disc, and it is always nice to revisit some forgotten songs and think "wow, is that song really that old!" The music is fairly well recorded, with the only main complaint being a distinct lack of stereo separation. Whilst foley and ambience effects are well placed, the music has a very centred feel, which of course is not helped by it not being 5.1; 2.0 surround does tend to reduce stereo separation.

    Surround presence is quite effective at times, especially when outdoors. Whilst it is not by any means aggressive, it does fill the room nicely when called upon and creates a real sense of presence to certain scenes.

    The subwoofer was used sparingly with the music, but that was about all.

Extras

Menu

    The static menu design is themed, although with no audio or animation enhancement. It is very clear and easy to navigate.

Filmographies - Cast & Crew

R4 vs R1

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

    The R1 version misses out on:     The R4 version misses out on:     Hmmm. Unless you really like theatrical trailers or have a need to chop the sides of the image off, the R4 would be the version of choice given the inherent superiority of the PAL video system.

Summary

    An enjoyable, light-hearted movie.

    The video quality is acceptable, though not great.

    The audio is ordinary.

    No extras really.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Cordingley (bio)
Thursday, December 30, 1999
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic A-350A, using S-Video output
DisplayPioneer SD-T43W1 16:9 RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony STR DE-525 5x100 watts Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver; 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ
SpeakersSony SS-CN35 100-watt (centre) , Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders x 4 ( main & surrounds), Optimus 100-watt passive subwoofer

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