Seems Like Old Times (1980)

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Released 13-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Cops & Robbersons
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1980
Running Time 97:51
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jay Sandrich
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Goldie Hawn
Chevy Chase
Charles Grodin
Robert Guillaume
Harold Gould
George Grizzard
Yvonne Wilder
T.K. Carter
Judd Omen
Marc Alaimo
Bill Zuckert
Jerry Houser
David Haskell
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Marvin Hamlisch


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, end credits over background still

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

Plot Synopsis

    I like Neil Simon comedies (remember The Goodbye Girl?) and I enjoyed Foul Play, starring Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn.

    Therefore it's surprising that I didn't really enjoy Seems Like Old Times, which reunites the pair in a screenplay from Neil Simon. Perhaps it's because there is a bit of emphasis on slapstick rather than witty lines, and I never did like slapstick as a comedic art form. To be sure, there are plenty of witty lines, but they seem rather tacked on instead of integral to the plot. Also, everything seems rather staged, with characters popping in and out of scenes, and I felt I was watching a stage play rather than a film. I couldn't "get into" any of the characters, or understand their motivations, and some of their actions just seemed bizarre.

    But anyhow, the story goes something like this ...

    Nick Gardenia (Chevy Chase) is a writer living on a lonely house off the Pacific Coast Highway right on the edge of the ocean. One day, two bank robbers, Dex (Judd Omen) and BG (Marc Alaimo), "kidnap" Nick to use him as an unwilling "accomplice" in a bank heist. His face gets captured on the security camera, and next thing you know the police are after him.

    The District Attorney, Ira Parks (Charles Grodin), happens to be none other than the husband of Nick's ex-wife Glenda (Goldie Hawn), who is a defense attorney with a habit of collecting stray dogs and retaining her hapless clients as hired help.

    Nick decides to hide out in Parks' garage whilst they are holding a party that includes quite a few guests from the Law and Enforcement profession. Glenda tries to keep her knowledge of Nick from her husband Ira whilst Nick comes up with increasingly harebrained attempts to clear his name.

    There is also a secondary plot about whether Glenda and Nick still have feelings for each other. Nick does, Glenda insists the past is the past, but the audience is not convinced, and neither is Ira.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced (with small black borders around the frame - these should be invisible on an overscanned display). The intended aspect ratio is 1.85:1, based on a 35mm film source.

    The quality of the film source is acceptable, though the print has obviously seen better days. Film marks appear here and there, and grain is quite obvious.

    The overall look of the transfer is a bit soft, and there are a few instances of minor pixelization, but detail levels are generally acceptable.

    Colours are a bit faded, especially in outdoor scenes, although colour saturation is acceptable for indoor scenes. I suspect the outdoor scenes were over-exposed.

    I also noticed some instances of low level Gibbs effect. Fortunately, edge enhancement seemed to be absent.

    There are quite a few subtitle tracks: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, and Turkish. The English subtitles seemed to be okay but fairly basic, with some instances of dialogue simplification.

    This is a single sided single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There are 5 audio tracks on this disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

    The audio quality is acceptable but mediocre, and I suspect monophonic. I did not notice any stereo activity, let alone surround.

    Dialogue appears to be reasonably clear and easy to understand, and there were no issues with audio synchronization.

    The original music score is by Marvin Hamlisch and mainly consists of light jazzy instrumentals.

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

Extras

    Extras are limited to two trailers.

Menu

    The menus are 16x9 enhanced but static.

Theatrical Trailer (2:07)

    This is presented in full frame/open matte and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).

Trailer- Cops & Robbersons (1:45)

    This is presented in 1.78:1 (16x9 enhanced, with slight black borders around the frame) and Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) audio.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:

    Region 4 wins ever so slightly due to foreign language content.

Summary

    Seems Like Old Times is meant to recapture the magic of Foul Play using the screenwriting talent of Neil Simon, but somehow or other it didn't quite work for me.

    The video transfer quality is acceptable.

    The audio transfer quality is also acceptable.

    Extras are limited to two trailers.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDCustom HTPC (Asus A7N266-VM, Athlon XP 2400+, 512MB, LiteOn LTD-165S, WinXP, WinDVD5 Platinum), using RGB output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum/AVIA. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and surrounds: B&W CDM7NT, front centre: B&W CDMCNT, surround backs: B&W DM601S2, subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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