Repli-Kate (2002)

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Released 16-Apr-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Audio Commentary-Director, Writers and Producers
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-13:58
Deleted Scenes-10
Alternative Version-Alternate opening - 2
Alternate Ending
Theatrical Trailer-2:18
Trailer-2 Fast 2 Furious, Grownups
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 91:31
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (72:12) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Frank Longo
Studio
Distributor
Helkon Media AG
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Ali Landry
James Roday
Desmond Askew
Eugene Levy
Todd Robert Anderson
Ryan Alosio
Kurt Fuller
Aimee Allen
Amandah Reyne
Melissa Greenspan
Justin Shilton
Ned Brower
Kent Davis
Case ?
RPI ? Music Teddy Castellucci


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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 None Smoking Yes, minimal
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Repli-Kate is one of those sad "missed opportunity" films. The basic premise, although flawed, has some merit. The subject of cloning is somewhat topical, and probably helped get the film financed (albeit not well-financed — the commentary mentions money repeatedly). Today a clone is born (of a surrogate mother), and grows at a normal rate. The pseudo-science of this film suggests that they can produce an adult clone in a matter of seconds (hmm). It's made even more questionable in that it takes the same number of seconds to produce an adult hamster (maybe months old) or an adult human (between 20 and 30 years old). Ah, well, that's the premise on which the film is based.

    They do get one thing right: an instant adult clone won't have the memories of the original, for memory is a question of experience, and is not encoded genetically. That was a relief, at least. Far too many other stories involve cloning a human and getting a result that's complete with the memories of the original. Strangely, this clone doesn't have the memories, but it has hair exactly the same length (!), and styling (!!!), as the original (not to mention the plucked eyebrows).

    They get another big thing wrong: they claim that this clone learns at an amazingly accelerated rate (clearly they said this so they don't have to take years to teach it language, manners, and so forth), yet it seems to make elementary errors repeatedly. Maybe the learning ability is selective? Or maybe the scriptwriter got some good advice, but didn't understand the consequences? One example of bad advice the writer received was the idea that hydrogen sulphate is explosive — hydrogen sulphate is H2SO4, more commonly known as sulphuric acid — dangerous, sure, but hardly explosive. And you gotta be impressed by a research lab with a high-security swipe reader on the front door, and an open window on the ground floor...

    The original interesting premise has been taken in a disappointing direction, however. They took what could have been quite an interesting, and entertaining, look at nature vs nurture, and turned it into a mish-mash of romantic comedy plus vulgarity plus farce. Farcical elements, such as the near-miss encounters between the original Kate and her replica (and attempts to stop same), are mixed with vulgarity, such as the replica Kate's obsession with sex. I wish they could have decided what kind of film they were making, and made it — it might have been quite a decent film. It doesn't help that they were originally aiming for a US PG-13 rating (so they kept the nudity to a minimal level, preferring to show girls in underwear), but failed to get it, so then they let loose with the vulgar language and single-entendres.

    All-in-all, this film seems to suffer from indecisiveness. It could have been an entertaining romantic comedy. It could have been a bawdy romp. It could have been a PG-13 sanitised smutty film (like Weird Science, which is mentioned as an inspiration). Unfortunately, it is none of these — it's an ill-fitted mixture that doesn't quite work. Still, I have to give them points for suggesting that an Italian genetics company might be called Gen-italia.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This film was screened theatrically in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is quite close. It is 16x9 enhanced, which helps.

    The image is fairly sharp and clear at all but a couple of (deliberate) moments. Shadow detail is adequate, although most of the film is shot in ample light. Film grain is not a problem. There's no low-level noise.

    Colour is fine — there is plenty of rich colour, and it's well-rendered. There are no colour-related artefacts.

    There are quite a few tiny film artefacts, mostly spots, specks, and flecks, all of them too small to be bothersome.

    There is a bit of aliasing, but it's never troubling. There's nothing significant in the way of moiré. There are no noticeable MPEG artefacts, but backgrounds look a bit over-compressed — it makes them look grainy, but it's clearly compression related because foregrounds don't show the effect.

    There are no subtitles, which is irritating.

    The disc is single-sided and dual layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change is at 72:12 — it's visible on a fast player, but not a big interruption to the flow of the film; however, on a slow player the pause is really noticeable (taking seconds), and it's quite a disruption.

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

Audio

    The soundtrack is only provided in English, but it is provided in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby Digital 2.0. I only listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1, which is a 448kbps track.

    The dialogue is clear enough most of the time, and readily comprehended. There are no audio sync errors in the movie, but there are a few in the extras.

    The score comes from Teddy Castellucci. I liked it — the music supports what's happening on-screen, but without an obsession to fill every moment with music.

    The surrounds are barely used, but do provide a few directional sound effects. The subwoofer is hardly used, either. This is fundamentally a frontal sound presentation.

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

Extras

Advertising

    Before we get to the menu, there's an obnoxious ad about video / DVD piracy, including the interesting claim that piracy funds terrorism (watch out for those bin Laden brand DVDs!). This is followed by trailers for 2 Fast 2 Furious, and grownups. Fortunately, the Chapter Skip button is not locked out, so you can skip through to the menu.

Menu

    The menus are static and silent once the initial transition passes.

Featurette: Behind the Scenes (13:58)

    This is a standard making-of, with interviews with actors and crew. It's a good reflection of the film, being about as disorganised.

Deleted Scenes

Alternate Scenes: Laboratory Floor

Theatrical Trailer (2:18)

    A fairly normal trailer with the usual complement of spoilers.

Audio Commentary: director, writer, and producers

    This commentary has contributions from director Frank Longo, writer Stuart Gibbs, producer Craig Parry, and co-producer Sheila Hanahan. They spend quite a bit of time talking about the number of re-shoots they had to do, the issues of working with a small budget, their own cameos in the film (and those of the rest of the crew), and the ways the film altered during production. They point out the occasional mistake (a rose off a rhododendron bush, for example). This isn't a highly technical commentary, but it's not the worst one I've heard.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of this film was first released by Spartan Entertainment in 2002, then again by Fox in 2003. The initial release has pretty much the same extras as this Region 4 disc. The big difference between the two is that the Region 1 disc is apparently single layer, rather than the dual-layer disc we get. I can't find any information about the R1 Fox disc, save that it is part of a discount range, which doesn't bode well for a high-quality disc.

    I can't tell you which of these discs is the best, but it sounds as though the Region 4 disc has at least as much in the way of features as the Region 1.

Summary

    A disappointment of a movie, on a reasonably good disc.

    The video quality is fairly good, but the layer change isn't.

    The audio quality is quite good, but quite frontal.

    The extras are fairly comprehensive.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Wednesday, February 04, 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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