My Father the Hero (1994)

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Released 18-Nov-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 86:11
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Steve Miner
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Gerard Depardieu
Katherine Heigl
Dalton James
Lauren Hutton
Faith Prince
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music David Newman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish 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
Spanish
Dutch
Norwegian
Danish
Swedish
Finnish
Portuguese
French Titling
Spanish Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Hollywood film industry often has a habit of remaking classic foreign films. In particular, several French gems have made the transition, some with more success than others. In the past we've had The Assassin (La Femme Nikita), Three Men and a Baby (Trois Hommes et un Couffin), and The Birdcage (La Cage aux Folles). Well, My Father The Hero is another in this long line of translated films. What's a little different about this one is that it was made just three years after the original 1991 film Mon père, ce héros, and in an even more bizarre twist stars the same leading man as the original, leading French actor Gerard Depardieu.

    Depardieu is Andre, a Frenchman (odd that), who arrives in New York eager to take his 14-year-old American born daughter on the holiday of a lifetime to the Caribbean. Andre hasn't seen Niki (Katherine Heigl) for a couple of years and she has obviously changed in that time and is started to blossom into a young woman.

    The beautiful Niki is not really keen on a holiday with a man she barely knows and whom she feels abandoned her as she was growing up. On arrival in the Bahamas, things improve dramatically when she is instantly smitten by a handsome young American tourist in Ben (Dalton James). But Niki is hampered in her romantic pursuits by her over-protective father who watches his lovely daughter's every move. Niki is also a bit embarrassed to admit she is only 14 and holidaying with her father, so she concocts a story that sees her telling everybody that Andre is in fact her lover and he saved her from a life of drugs and living on the street. Of course this story spreads further than Niki would have hoped and pretty soon the whole island is aware that Andre is parading around with a young teenage girl on his arm (well, he is French is one explanation offered!). Ben is aghast with the thought of this dirty old man cavorting around with a girl of such a young age and hatches a plan to save Niki. Meanwhile, the other guests on the island begin to treat Andre with disdain and label him a dirty old pervert - all to his complete incomprehension.

    This is a fairly harmless story that, whilst not setting any new heights for artistic merit, will surely strike a chord with some audiences. Gerard Depardieu plays a great Frenchman (like that's obvious) but he can be a little difficult to comprehend at times. The real star is Katherine Heigl, who even here at just 16 shines in every scene she is in.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    I really wasn't expecting great things from this transfer, given the budget nature of the release, so I was a little surprised by the overall quality on offer. Not superb, and not without fault, but it is certainly more than adequate.

    The original aspect ratio of 1.85 is presented here, complete with 16x9 enhancement.

    The image is not what I would call super or stand-out sharp, with some scenes being quite soft, and minor edge enhancement popping up in many scenes. There are no problems with shadow detail, though grain is somewhat problematic, especially early on. There is no low level noise.

    Colours are fairly muted, though without any major problems. Skin tones are defined well and blacks are solid.

    There are no MPEG artefacts. In the first couple of minutes the print is quite grubby, with plenty of really obvious and quite large film artefacts present, the most notable of these being a massive emulsion stain or blotch at 1:48. The artefacts thankfully do clear up after the initial scenes and from this point on are only evident in far smaller numbers and size.

    There are numerous subtitle options present. I watched with the English stream activated and found them almost spot-on accurate.

    This is a single layered disc, so there is no layer change.

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

Audio

    There are three Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio tracks present on this DVD in English, French, and Spanish. I listened to the English track.

    There's certainly nothing spectacular about this soundtrack, but it delivers the job required of it. The dialogue is clear at all times and there are no audio sync problems. The soundstage is wide and with some distinct left and right action it is most obviously a stereo track.

    The original score is by David Newman. It's a fairly understated theme that pops up throughout the film, but is especially dominant in the first act. There are also several Caribbean style reggae songs played by a local band.

    There is no surround use. The subwoofer was likewise silent.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    This doesn't really count as an extra these days, especially when the menu is static and very plain.

R4 vs R1

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

    From the information available, the Region 1 version of this DVD lacks the Spanish soundtrack, but is identical to the Region 4 disc in all other respects.

Summary

    My Father The Hero is a remake of a French film made just three years prior and even stars the same leading man. While not pretending to be anything but harmless family entertainment, the story is engaging enough to strike a chord with most audiences.

    The video quality is average. It is certainly nothing spectacularly eye-popping, but to be fair there are only a handful of faults evident.

    The audio soundtrack is functional but certainly won't be used for demo purposes.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Sunday, December 07, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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