Rushmore (Remastered) (1998)

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Released 3-Feb-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 89:00
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Wes Anderson
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Jason Schwartzman
Bill Murray
Olivia Williams
Seymour Cassel
Brian Cox
Mason Gamble
Sara Tanaka
Stephen McCole
Connie Nielsen
Luke Wilson
Dipak Pallana
Andrew Wilson
Marietta Marich
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $14.95 Music Mark Mothersbaugh


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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 English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Danish
Italian
French
Dutch
Norwegian
Finnish
Swedish
French Titling
Italian Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Rushmore is a film directed by Wes Anderson (of The Royal Tenenbaums fame), and like that offering it is a somewhat wacky, offbeat comedy that you are either going to love or hate.

    Jason Schwartzman stars as Max Fischer, a 10th grade student at the ultra-privileged Rushmore academy. Max is a somewhat unusual 15-year-old. Considered brilliant by those around him, Max is actually a complete underachiever and no-hoper when it comes to schoolwork. However, his passion for extra-curricular activities is the stuff of legend and has so far more than made up for his lack of academic success. Max is involved in just about every activity imaginable, and in fact he is often the founding member of many of the clubs, groups and societies that make up the school. He is editor of the school newspaper, and partakes (amongst other activities) in beekeeping, the karate club, the debate team, and the fencing club and is producer of the most amazing school plays you are ever likely to see. But despite all this success, Max is about to have a major crisis. The principal, Dr Guggenheim (Brian Cox), is fed up with Max's attitude to his studies and his general ability to cause chaos around the school. Guggenheim places Max on academic probation. One more slip-up and he's going to get expelled. It's around this time that Max is introduced to Herman Blume (Bill Murray), an incredibly wealthy steel tycoon and father of two other students at Rushmore. Blume cannot understand why, but he feels a somewhat kindred spirit in Max and in an unlikely pairing becomes a close friend.

    At the same time as Max's extracurricular activities are somewhat curtailed, he also meets the lovely first grade teacher Miss Cross (Olivia Williams) giving a lesson. Instantly smitten by the lovely young teacher, he attempts to woo her in a way only Max Fischer could devise. Hearing she loves anything to do with marine life, Max commandeers part of the Rushmore baseball diamond and, with the help of his new best friend Mr Blume (who provides the cash), sets about building the new Rushmore Aquarium. Needless to say, the principal is not impressed and makes good on his threat to have Max expelled, thereby banishing him to the local public school. Further complicating the teenager's angst is his discovery that his friend Mr Blume is taking a fancy to the one thing he hoped would be his saviour -  Miss Cross. What ensues is a game of one-upmanship as Max and Blume try to better each other in their affections for the lovely Miss Cross. It is really quite amusing to watch Max (a 15-year-old) acting and behaving like an adult, and Blume (a middle-aged man) acting like a teenager in their pursuit of one woman.

    Where the strength in this comedy lies is the unique and refreshing way the comedy has been handled. It is so understated that you have to remind yourself you are watching an American film. So often American comedy is just so whack-you-over-the-head obvious that it just isn't funny since you see the punch-lines coming several minutes before they are delivered. That isn't the case here. The film is understated and incredibly subtle, with such a minimalist approach to everything (lighting, camera angle, edits, and even dialogue) that you may want to watch it several times before fully recognising just what each scene is trying to convey.

    The whole thing is really quite intriguing, to such an extent that I think I might have to go and watch it again...

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented in its original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1. It is also 16x9 enhanced.

    This is a very sharp transfer with edge enhancement a non-event. Shadow detail is excellent and there is no low level noise.

    The colour palette is probably the highlight of the transfer. It is garish and bold when needed, but also subdued and grim at other times. The gaudy excesses of the well-to-do Rushmore school, especially when compared to the poorer public Grover Cleveland school, come across rather nicely. Skin tones are well defined all round and there are deep, solid, consistent blacks and no problems with bleeding.

    There are no apparent compression artefacts. There is a little aliasing here and there, but this is barely distracting. There are a few film artefacts present, but all are small enough to ignore.

    There are several subtitles present. The English variety are excellent, being well presented on screen in a timely manner and highly accurate.

    This disc is single sided and single layered so there is no layer change.

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

Audio

    Hey, hang on a second! - what's going on here. Where's the original soundtrack gone then? Originally released with a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, what we now get on this remastered disc is a plain old Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo effort. A bizarre situation indeed. Maybe someone forgot to push the correct button when putting the audio on this disc? Needless to say, this is somewhat disappointing, but the quality of the two channel effort is still quite pleasing with clear powerful dynamics and a wide front soundfield.

    Joining the English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack are similarly specified efforts in French and Italian. I naturally enough listened to the English version in its entirety.

    The dialogue is excellent with no audio sync problems.

    The score is by former Devo band member Mark Mothersbaugh and is easily the audio highlight of this disc, being quite off-beat and wacky. Songs such as The Wind and Here Comes My Baby from Cat Stevens and I Am Waiting by The Rolling Stones are amongst several off-beat and eclectic numbers in the soundtrack.

    There is no surround channel or dedicated subwoofer use.

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

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc.

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 Buena Vista disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 Buena Vista misses out on:     From the above it's an easy decision, but it's not quite so clear cut. If you are on a budget then pick up the bare-bones (but with a very nice video transfer) Region 4 Buena Vista disc, which at less than fifteen bucks is supreme value. If money is no object then read further since that decision is likely to be changed.

    For those of you wanting the very best version of this title, you could indulge in The Criterion Collection release of this film which includes a swag of extras, such as:     With an extras list like that there is really no contest, so I'll easily declare the Region 1 Criterion disc as the winner here, unless you want this disc for the absolute cheapest price.

Summary

    Rushmore is an extremely quirky tale that you are either going to love or hate. For me, the acting elevates this film above many other (duller) quirky tales, with Bill Murray playing the role of a depressed middle-aged millionaire with great zest, while Jason Schwartzman is immediately believable and somewhat endearing as the larrikin rogue Max.

    The video transfer is excellent.

    The audio is fairly disappointing, with three Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks in English, Italian, and French as the only choices. Considering the original release contained a full Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, this is a little bewildering.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Friday, March 12, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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Comments (Add)
5.1 Track was faulty -
Rushmore- Criterion, is the one to get!! -