Mojave Moon (1996)

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Released 4-Dec-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 91:33
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Kevin Dowling
Studio
Distributor
New Moon Productions
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Danny Aiello
Anne Archer
Michael Biehn
Angelina Jolie
Alfred Molina
Jack Noseworthy
Zack Norman
Peter MacNicol
John Getz
Mary Joy
Lee Arenberg
Gary Lee Davis
Corin Nemec
Case Amaray-Opaque-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Johnny Caruso
Craig Stuart Garfinkle
Denys Gawronski


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown 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

    A fairly classic wacko American road-trip movie, Mojave Moon has enough surprises to keep you guessing and a good streak of black humour for an occasional laugh. Car salesman Al, played by Danny Aiello, moves to LA after his divorce. Always having an eye for the younger, pretty girls, not surprisingly he gets no further than looks of disdain. Sat in the diner with his mates Sal and Terry, Al thinks all his Christmases have come at once when the precocious 'Elie' breezes into the diner and beckons him over. Al doesn't put up too much resistance when she invites herself over to his apartment. It turns out that she's white trailer trash and she just has to get back to the park that night. It doesn't take much to persuade Al to drive her from LA to the trailer park in the Mojave Desert. Elie dumps Al in the trailer with mum, the cute and silky-voiced Julie (played by Anne Archer), as sweet as strawberry ice cream and apple pie. The only flies in the ointment are Julie's boyfriend, the psychopathic Boyd, played convincingly by Michael Biehn who lights up the smokes with his handy blowtorch!. Anyway, Julie and Elie both decide that Al's their man and not surprisingly Boyd's none too happy 'bout that! There's the odd dead body, hold-ups, pistol fights and the usual desert nocturnal entertainment.

    Mojave Moon has got similarities with a whole load of different films; After Hours, Pulp Fiction, and Holy Smoke to name a few. Director Kevin Dowling is better known for TV series such as Gilmore Girls and Judging Amy and the film sits as good, TV evening entertainment. It's not a compelling plot, but its classy actors all seem to have fun and deliver the goods - Angelina Jolie is a little type cast as the bad girl with a penchant for the older man and we get a fair exposure of her, including a few bare-breasted shower peeks - the Billy Bob tattoo was yet to be created at the time of filming! I enjoyed the movie and might even watch it again - the whole movie, that is, not just the wet bits!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is reasonable for this low budget transfer.

    The aspect ratio of this transfer 1.33:1, non 16x9 enhanced, which suggests it's a direct port from the video master.

    Sharpness varies between the night time shots which are a little soft and the day time footage which is reasonably sharp - for a single layered disc transfer it's quite reasonable. Low level detail is good, which is needed for many of the shots are at night and there was no low level noise of note.

    Colours were adequately saturated with no chroma noise or bleed noted.

    The opening credits show Gibb effect and there is quite marked pixelization in the opening scenes which settles to an acceptable level for the rest of the movie. Aliasing pops up now and again in the usual places such as the radiator grille at 14:53. There's a few film flecks, white and black but not enough to be intrusive and mostly the film stock was pretty clean.

    There were no subtitles and as the disc was single layered there was no layer transition point.

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

Audio

    The transfer was adequate for the job. There was enough soundscape action (all the 5 leads had stunt doubles) to keep you awake and interested.

    There is just the one Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track present on this DVD, again probably a port from the video master.

    The dialogue was clear at all times and even with the American accents we didn't need subtitles. There were no discernible problems with audio sync.

    Music was credited to Johnny Carson, again mostly associated with TV productions, but it is a lively and enjoyable music score with a few soundtrack items from bands such as Watsonville Patio - no I hadn't heard of them either!

    There was no surround nor subwoofer activity.

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

Extras

Menu

    A static affair giving us an opportunity to select our one extra, namely the trailer (!).

Trailer

    3 minutes of trailer in non 16x9 enhanced 1.78:1. They turned down the bitrate to get this on, as the quality is way down from the feature but at least it's there.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

    There is no R1 release of this movie as yet - there is an R2 version in German which claims a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack but is still in 1.33:1 video format.

Summary

    Well, I enjoyed this movie - sure there's more than enough screen footage to perve at AJ - but I enjoyed the demure candy of Ms Archer! It's an entertaining enough plot with some nice shots of the full moon and the Mohave Desert. Certainly good enough for a rental.

    The video was slightly better than average for this budget class of transfer but way below blockbuster standard.

    The audio was adequate for the occasion and would probably be ideal for your processor's DSP modes.

    There is just the one extra, namely the trailer, essential as a teaser for this kind of movie.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Lancaster (read my bio)
Thursday, January 01, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMR-E20, using RGB output
DisplayPioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderYamaha RX-V995. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V995
SpeakersB&W 602 front/rear. B&W LRC6 Centre / Solid (AKA B&W) 500 SW

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