The New Guy (2002)

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Released 7-Jan-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Music Video-Simple Plan - I'm Just A Kid
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Godzilla, Big Daddy
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 84:57 (Case: 86)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (47:45) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Ed Decter
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring DJ Qualls
Eliza Dushku
Zooey Deschanel
Jerod Mixon
Parry Shen
Lyle Lovett
Eddie Griffin
Sunny Mabrey
Ross Patterson
Matt Gogin
Horatio Sanz
Tony Hawk
Geoffrey Lewis
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music Ralph Sall


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Croatian
Czech
Greek
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Polish
Russian
Slovenian
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, outtakes and actor intros

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

Plot Synopsis

    It would be really easy to describe this film as complete garbage. But that's too easy. Let's try something harder — let's look for the good bits in amongst the gross-out and slapstick humour.

    Well, it has a moral. If you lie, fake your personality, history, and behaviour, you too can end up with Eliza Dushku as a girlfriend. Hmm, that didn't come out quite right.

    Um, OK, how about the fun game of spot-the-film-reference? This film makes reference to a lot of other films, frequently in really silly ways. This gives a film fan something to do during this film (which is better than concentrating on this film).

    It's amusing to see Eliza Dushku playing a cheerleader (some sense of dejá vu) in an outfit mostly red (stronger dejá vu) cheering for a team that hasn't won a game in ages (really strong dejá vu). Seeing her dancing around in swimsuits, while quite entertaining, isn't really a reference to another film (although the music is rather reminiscent of the music she danced to in the doorway, and the scene itself reminds me of the gratuitous bikini carwash). And as for her riding the mechanical bull, that's a gimme.

    The inspired football team is bad enough, but their arrival at the climactic football match is really really silly, complete with blue painted faces. At least we discover why the scriptwriter chose to call the football team the Highlanders...

    There are lots of other references, some of them even less subtle (yeah, it's possible — look at the practice outfit on the Funkmaster, or his arrival at the new high school). Add to that the fact that there are a number of people playing themselves in the movie (including a number of musicians, Tony Hawk, and David Hasselhof), and there is plenty of spotting to do.

    Do you like trivia? There's a reference to Eliza Dushku's character being part Albanian, and she uses a phrase in Albanian. This is interesting because Eliza Dushku really is part Albanian.

    I have to give credit to D J Qualls — he is the most convincing nerd ever committed to celluloid, easily outdoing other famous nerds.

    Let's be honest: this film's story is rather dreadful. About two thirds, maybe even three quarters, of it is rubbish. But there are moments that are really funny. I felt guilty laughing, but there are several spots where I simply couldn't help it. Not always where they intended us to laugh, though...

    Whatever you do, don't buy this movie expecting anything much. With sufficiently low expectations you may enjoy parts of this film.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced. That's the original aspect ratio.

    The image is reasonably sharp, softened by some film grain, but quite acceptable, at least for foregrounds. Shadow detail is pretty good. There is no low-level noise.

    Colour is quite vivid — there are plenty of fully-saturated colours on display, and they are rendered rather well. There are no noticeable colour-related artefacts.

    There are some tiny film artefacts, but you have to look hard to see them. There is plenty of minor aliasing, but nothing much in the way of moiré. There are no MPEG artefacts, but the picture does look more than a little over-compressed, particularly the backgrounds, leading to some background shimmer.

    There are lots of subtitle tracks. I watched both the English and English for the Hearing Impaired tracks. Both are easy to read and well-timed, and as accurate as most. The English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are placed under the speaker, which is nice.

    The disc is single-sided and dual-layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change lies at 47:45, and isn't noticeable on a fast player; on a slower player you can see it, but it's not too distracting because it comes at a silent moment..

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

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in English, Russian and Hungarian (an interesting choice). The English soundtrack is Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 kbps — there isn't a heap of need for a 5.1 soundtrack in this film.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand. There are no obvious audio sync problems, just a few moments that are marginal.

    Ralph Sall is credited with the score, but he doesn't get a lot to do because there are a heap of songs worked into the soundtrack. Most of the songs have been chosen for their lyrics, but they do make a reasonably coherent whole. What parts of the score he does contribute are often deliberately referencing other scores.

    The surrounds aren't really needed, but they get enough to do, despite this being a mostly frontal mix. The sub is the same — it's not needed in this film, but it does get some signal.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is static, but has music behind it. It's easy to operate.

Music Clip: I'm Just a Kid by Simple Plan (3:21)

    This is an amusing clip, with D J Qualls and Eliza Dushku featuring as well as Simple Plan.

Theatrical Trailer (2:04)

    This trailer makes the movie look better than it is.

Trailers

R4 vs R1

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

    This film is available in Region 1 in its original release (with pretty much identical features to the Region 4, but with a full-screen transfer as well as the wide-screen) and, released this month, a director's cut which restores 4 minutes of footage (apparently more gross-out humour, as if there wasn't already plenty). Reports have it that the original release offers a transfer that sounds no better than the Region 4. The new release offers a commentary from the director, writer, and D J Qualls and Eliza Dushku, but drops the full-screen transfer (it's wide-screen only). I think I have to make the award to the R1 director's cut on the basis of the commentary — I'd really like to hear that.

Summary

    A movie that has some laughs in amongst a poor story.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is good enough.

    The extras are fairly negligible.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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