The Rage in Placid Lake (Rental) (2003)

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Rental Version Only
Available for Rent

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Erskineville Kings,Japanese Story,I'm With Lucy, Happy Texas
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 86:24
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tony McNamara

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Ben Lee
Rose Byrne
Miranda Richardson
Garry McDonald
Christopher Stollery
Nicholas Hammond
Francis McMahon
Saskia Smit
Toby Schmitz
Nathaniel Dean
Stephen James King
Socratis Otto
Jordan Brooking
Case ?
RPI Rental Music Ben Lee
Cezary Skubiszewski

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 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

    If your hippie parents named you Placid and your surname was Lake would you wind up well-adjusted?

    Placid Lake (Ben Lee) is a very unconventional child. After showing up to school in a dress one day, whereupon he is beaten to a pulp by the school bullies, he has endured a childhood of torment, left to fend for himself by his parents who think the ordeal will be character-building and befriended only by the similarly awkward and unconventional Gemma (Rose Byrne). At graduation, Placid devises a way to get retribution and makes a film about the school, airing everybody’s dirty laundry. For his efforts, he winds up having every bone in his body broken and is forced to rethink his strategy. In doing so, he decides to go straight, get a proper job, and become a success in the corporate world of insurance – much to the shock of his friends and family.

    Written and directed by Tony McNamara, one of the writers of the Secret Life Of Us TV series, The Rage In Placid Lake is an oft-times amusing, often quirky, coming-of-age tale about a boy growing up and discovering where, if anywhere, he fits into the world. For the most part, this is a laugh riot, with Placid’s co-workers – obsessed filing clerk Anton (Francis McMahon), emotionally autistic sex addict Jane (Saskia Smit), and hypocritical borderline psychotic boss Joel (Christopher Stollery) – stealing most of the best lines. However, it does at times appear to be walking in circles, and lacks the real climax of other black comedies that walk similar territory, such as Fight Club or even Clerks.

    On the whole, acting was very good, although I am not sure if Lee has effectively made the transition from musician to movie-star yet. Although the flat spots in the movie might just be a combination of flat directing and writing at those instances, I felt that Lee has yet to fully capture the screen, and he was persistently overshadowed by Byrne, despite the fact that her role was far more limited.

    If you want a few genuine chuckles on a Sunday night at home, The Rage In Placid Lake is likely to hit the spot. Do not expect the calibre of comedy that you might from a Chuck Palahniuk novel or the better work of Kevin Smith, but there are moments here that are reaching that level, and with work McNamara may yet be churning out brilliant comedies.

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Transfer Quality


    Presented in 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is the original aspect ratio of the material.

    This is on the whole an exceptional transfer, with highly saturated colours, well balanced flesh tones, and excellent shadow detail. The image is highly detailed with its only fault perhaps being a tinge of softness here and there, but nothing sufficient enough to ruin the transfer.

    There are no MPEG artefacts, and no film-to-video transfer artefacts that I could detect.

    Dirt is very minimal, and you will notice only the odd dot here and there if you go searching.

    This is a single-layered disc and thus has no dual-layer pause.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    Audio is available in English 5.1 Dolby Digital and English 2.0 Dolby Stereo.

    Although predominantly a dialogue-driven show, the range and clarity here is very good. I had no difficulty understanding the dialogue, and given that much of this is voice-over I was pleasantly pleased with the lack of ADR hiss which often results from such recording.

    The score by Cezary Skubiszewski is quite funky and works out the treble and bass of the sound field reasonably well.

    That said, there was not an awful lot of surround use. I was only aware of it in a few places, particularly when Placid jumps in his pool. But for the most part this is a front-driven track.

    The subwoofer got minimal use to add depth to the music or to the noise of Placid’s ridiculous motor bike.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    All menus are presented in 1.33:1, 16x9 enhanced. The main menu has a motion intro giving away far too much from the film and a 2.0 Dolby Stereo audio track featuring the main theme. The other menus are static and silent, except for the special features menu which also has a 2.0 Dolby Stereo audio track.


    Presented in 1.33:1 Full Screen with no audio there are biographies for:

Photo Gallery

    Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, no audio, there are 20 still frames, mostly just screen captures from the film.

Theatrical Trailer (2:23)

    Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Stereo, the picture is marred a little by MPEG artefacts and the preview gives away far too much about the film.

Other Palace Films Tailers

    There are four other trailers here for upcoming Palace Films releases:

R4 vs R1

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

    As yet, there is no R1 release, and as far as I can tell no R2 release either.


    The Rage In Placid Lake is an amusing little show that is short enough that it does not outwear its welcome, but yet not quite achieving cohesive comedy level.

    Video is excellent.

    The sound is very good, although largely front driven, and the 5.1 Dolby Digital mix seems somewhat wasted.

    The extras are entirely promotional.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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