Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves (Remastered) (1996)
|Year Of Production||1996|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Dean Cundey|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
††† And so we get to what is, for now at least, the third sequel to the reasonably entertaining Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (with wife and two kids). Not the greatest film ever made but at least it was a reasonable original and raised a couple of laughs. A nice little time filler of a movie. It obviously did quite well in terms of money as the folks at Disney, well renowned for making a buck, made a first sequel in the form of Honey, I Blew Up The Kid (with wife and three kids). This proved that the originality factor of the original film was not huge and certainly did not transcend a repeat. So after the relative disaster of the first sequel, there came the third sequel in the form of the utterly lamentable Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.
††† Wait a minute - third sequel? Well, yes, this is the third sequel. The second sequel was made in 1995, and the best of the series it was too - albeit a bit more expensive to see. The folks at Disney expanded the "family" with Honey, I Shrunk The Audience (with wife and ?two kids). You may not have heard of this one, which would not surprise as it is a 3D film at Walt Disney World (it may be at their other theme parks too, but I can only attest to the Orlando location).
††† Staggeringly, this lamentable effort was the first to appear on DVD and has now been remastered for inclusion in the box set. How lamentable? Well, it is a straight to video release: what more needs to be said? If you thought that Honey, I Blew Up The Kid was an appalling sequel, this is worse by a factor of maybe 100. A comedy? I can guarantee you that the 72 minutes did not contain a single solitary nanosecond of anything remotely funny that could even hint at putting something like a smile on my face.
††† The broad story here? Since the first film shrunk the kids, the second blew up the kid and the third shrunk the audience, what else is there left to do? Well, this one pretty much recycles the broad story of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, with the requisite change being that the obviously stupid Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) manages to stand in front of the business end of his soon to be displayed in the Smithsonian Institute shrinking device and manages this time to shrink himself, his brother Gordon (Stuart Pankin), his wife (Eve Gordon) and his sister-in-law Patty (Robin Bartlett). What follows are seventy dull minutes of "adventures" as they rely upon the kids to find them and blow them back up. And you really were not expecting much else were you?
††† The story is not much to worry about, the performances (sorry, but I really have difficulty describing them as acting) are borderline rubbish and the whole thing smacks of a film done by numbers from a bunch of hacks that we are thankfully unlikely to hear from again. What makes this even worse is the fact that the direct to video type budget is woefully exposed under the digital eye and the effects really look anything but believable. And it is a very sad indictment of the whole Disney organisation that this sort of banal rubbish is what they turn out better (or is that worse?) than anyone else in the business.
††† The original release was completely avoidable for the simple reason that it was sold separately. Unfortunately, that is not possible this time round as it comes as part of the box set. However, just because it is in the box set does not mean that you have to watch it. There is nothing the slightest bit amusing about this and I doubt even the youngsters would find anything here to keep them amused. By the time this incarnation came out, the novelty had well and truly worn off and the whole deal had become really passť.
††† Being made for video, the original aspect ratio of the film is 1.33:1 as we have here, which is of course not 16x9 enhanced.
††† This time round the transfer seems to be much better than I remember it, so perhaps I was overly harsh in the review of the original release. Still, at best the transfer is only reasonably sharp and reasonably well detailed. However, there are some underlying problems in this regard and you certainly will find places here that you really would not like to freeze frame on. Shadow detail is average and clarity is probably slightly better than average, but nothing to rave over. Light grain is present but given the direct-to-video nature of the film this is perhaps no worse than we would have expected. There did not seem to be any low level noise problems with the transfer.
††† The colours here certainly don't really zing at all, and whilst a little bit more vibrant than previously thought the absence of bright primary colours is obvious. Saturation could have been better and certainly a less conservative range of colours might have brightened the film considerably. The opening main title credit is slightly oversaturated and slightly bleeds, but that is the extent of those problems in the transfer.
††† There are plenty of issues with the transfer here that may or may not be MPEG artefacts. I am guessing that the problem is source material related but compounded by the compression process. Certainly if you watch this on a computer, you will be disappointed with the very interlaced look of the image with obvious "ghosting" occurring wherever there is rapid camera movement - compounding when there is also action movement in the film. On a television the issue is not as noticeable but is still visible, most notably around 26:12 and 26:14 in the transfer. This is during the escape by fishing line from Adam's bedroom and the lack of resolution in the picture looks all the world like chronic interlacing issues. There was some aliasing in the transfer (such as in the car at 15:09) but nothing that was really significant, and there did not appear to be any other film-to-video artefacts. There did not seem to be any real problems with film artefacts.
††† This is a single sided, single layered DVD so there is no layer change.
††† Just for a bit more inconsistency in the presentation of the box set in which you will find this title, the Finnish subtitle option omitted on the second film reappears along with a couple more choices not found on the other two discs in the box set. The English and English for the Hearing Impaired efforts are very good and no major omissions were noted.
††† In common with the other discs in the box set, there is just the one soundtrack on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The original release of the film on DVD featured a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and to be blunt I don't see that anything was really gained - other than consistency - by remastering the sound for six channels.
††† Dialogue is clear and easy to understand throughout, and there did not appear to be any audio sync problems with the transfer.
††† The musical score comes from Michael Tavera and a completely ignorable effort it is. There is little here that would be worthwhile worrying about.
††† The original release's two channel soundtrack was a completely unmemorable effort that was at least reasonably open sounding with no congestion or distortion. That is the same description that can be applied to this six channel effort. The surround encoding is not that wonderful, although to be fair there is nothing much beyond the dialogue for much of the film. There is little in the way of bass action here and what there is is quite well handled.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††Are we really caring at this point?
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
††† From the available reliable reviews of the DVD, it appears that the Region 1 release of the film is virtually identical to the Region 4.
††† Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves is a piece of utter rubbish that should never have made it onto DVD the first time around, let alone being remastered for re-release in the box set. I doubt that anyone of any age would find anything even remotely funny or entertaining in this 72 minute piece of purgatory. It features better than average transfers in all respects, although the video transfer does feature some rather grotesque problems at times. To be avoided at all costs.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|