In-Laws, The (2003)

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Released 7-Jan-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Audio Commentary-Andrew Fleming (Director)
Outtakes
Additional Footage-3 Scenes
Additional Footage-Multiple Takes With Albert Brooks
Featurette-The Parachute Sequence
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 93:25
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (73:22) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Andrew Fleming
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Michael Douglas
Michael Bodnar
Vladimir Radian
Robin Tunney
Albert Brooks
Boyd Banks
Susan Aceron
Lindsay Sloane
Maria Ricossa
Ryan Reynolds
Chang Tseng
Tamara Gorski
Matt Birman
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music Klaus Badelt
Paul McCartney
John Powell


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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 for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     If you have seen this film and have been eagerly awaiting its DVD release, my subjective opinion of it will be meaningless to you, and I suggest you zoom to the technical information by clicking here.

     This disc showed me why this film had a cinematic release of about 2 and a half days. It stank. It was dull, lifeless, utterly unfunny, and no amount of money thrown at it was going to make it any better. The cast were excellent and no expense was spared in its making, but the script was beyond redemption and the plot was worn out and tired before it got anywhere off the ground.

     The imminent nuptials of Melissa Peyser (Lindsay Sloane) and Mark Tobias (Ryan Reynolds) are being thrown into chaos by their respective fathers. Jerry Peyser (Albert Brooks) is a hypochondriacal foot doctor whose pedantic over-fussing is threatening the organisation of the big day. And Mark's dad, Steve Tobias (Michael Douglas) seems to be very strange for a mild mannered copier salesman. Which, of course he is not. Actually he's a deep cover CIA agent, and his plans to recapture the mysterious "Olga" have a huge impact on the big day, and Jerry Peyser's life in particular.

     From the opening scenes to the final credit, this film is burdened with every tired old visual trick in the book. Director Andrew Fleming has gone on a frenzy of self-indulgence which shows distinctly the line between homage and blatant theft of visual and audio references. The soundtrack alone must have cost a fortune, with liberal splatterings of Live and Let Die at the opening and even "samplings" of the theme from Good Will Hunting, not to mention tracks from Ella Fitzgerald, KC and the Sunshine Band and Burt Bacharach. But none of these save an utterly ordinary cinematic experience that, despite its breakneck pace, seems to inordinately drag to its 90 minute conclusion.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     This was a quite good transfer.

     The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

     There is no low level noise present, the contrast is generally very good and the transfer is bright, clean, clear and crisp. There was little grain evident and shadow detail is good.

     The colours are crisp, vivid and appear to be precisely as they were cinematically intended.

     There was a surprising amount of aliasing present, particularly at 8:33 and 66:32 and a certain amount of motion blurring. Occasionally, detail in the mid ground and background was compromised, but mostly the transfer had reasonable detail levels throughout. There was little evidence of other film to video artefacts.

     Subtitles were clean and accurate.

     This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed at 73:22. It seemed strange to allow a layer change mid-scene but it was not an exceptionally bad pause trigger.

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

Audio

     There are two audio tracks on this DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There is also an English Audio Commentary track, with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. I listened to both soundtracks.

     The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Audio sync was not an issue.

     The musical score was a very big part of this movie. Big note songs like Paul McCartney's Live and Let Die set a strong tone for this piece, and the original music is a swirling swelling cacophony of orchestral energy.

     The surround channels were very aggressively used for ambience, music and for lots of special effects. Directional effects and precise sound placement within the soundfield were the norm rather than the exception, putting you right in the midst of the action at all times, not just during the action sequences.

     The subwoofer was highly active during the action sequences, and placed an excellent bottom end on these sequences.

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

Extras

     A good selection of extras are present.

Menu

     The menu design is themed around the movie. It is 16x9 enhanced. The main menu features animation and Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio.

Audio Commentary - Andrew Fleming (Director)

     Some technical, some locational and some anecdotal discussions by the director. There are significant pauses in his commentary at times, but overall it is informative - sometimes a little *too* much information - I'm not entirely sure I wanted to know that he (Fleming) was still playing with his Lego at the age of 17!

Gag Reel (03:44)

     Not really gags as such - just bits of clips and a couple of fluffs from the performers.

Additional Scenes

     "Phone Call With Angela" (0:31)
     "Muffins" (0:35)
     "Angela's Surprise" (1:56)

Multiple Takes With Albert Brooks

     "The Car Ride" (4:00)
     "The Airplane Bathroom" (4:20)

Green Screen Parachute Scene (1:58)     

Cast & Crew Biographies

     Quite extensive biographies on:
Michael Douglas, Albert Brooks, Robin Tunney, Ryan Reynolds, Candice Bergen, David Suchet and Andrew Fleming.

R4 vs R1

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

     It appears that the presentations and extras are pretty much identical so the choice revolves around a PAL or an NTSC transfer, which makes R4 the winner for me.

Summary

     A film that tries far too hard and delivers far too little. A tired plot and lacklustre script that not even accomplished performers can resurrect. Its redeeming feature is a very good transfer.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSinger SGD-001, using S-Video output
DisplayTeac 76cm Widescreen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationTeac 5.1 integrated system
SpeakersTeac 5.1 integrated system

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