Danny Deckchair (2003)

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Released 8-Mar-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Featurette-Taking off
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 96:51
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (87:43) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jeff Balsmeyer
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Rhys Ifans
Miranda Otto
Justine Clarke
Rhys Muldoon
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music David Donaldson
Steve Roche
Janet Roddick


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English 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 for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     I'm an averred fan of Rhys Ifans - I was particularly charmed by his performance in The Shipping News, so I was prepared to overlook the negative press I'd read about Danny Deckchair, and give it a go for myself.

     And I'm pleased to report that Rhys did not disappoint. He characterises that likeable Sydneysider bloke very well. The film itself though, has as much substance as the helium that fills Danny's balloons.

     As an amiable, aimless drifter, Danny is plagued by an ambitious and carping girlfriend, Trudy (Justine Clarke) who is hinting less than subtly that their relationship's star is on the wane.

     As a barbeque lark, Danny and his mates attach a stack of helium filled giant balloons to a folding garden chair. Imagine everyone's surprise when he actually takes off! (This is actually an Australianisation of a true event that occurred in the US to one Larry Walters of Los Angeles in 1982. For the real story, click here.)

     For our Danny, this is a seminal event, as he lands in the quiet town of Clarence, in the backyard of parking enforcer, Glenda (Miranda Otto). Glenda has troubles of her own, but soon enough, Danny's affable manner works its charm on her.

     From here, the story takes a distinct and deep bow to Peter Sellars' Being There character, Chancey Gardener, as his innocent musings take profound effect on the locals, resulting in Danny being swirled into local politics and the orbit of Clarence's power brokers.

     This film doesn't quite hit its target. Otto, Ifans and the cast perform well, but the scripting is a little leaden and the plot too meandering and unfocused to make it truly satisfying. It comes across as a little thick and heavy handed, and lacks the charm required for us to willingly suspend our criticism of the plot holes.

     The photography is quite good, although the CGI aerial scenes look a little clumsy at times. It is a friendly little piece of film, but is no serious contender for the mantle of classic Aussie comedy. The Working Dog production company can rest easy.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 16x9 enhanced which appears true to its original presentation.

     There is no low level noise present in this transfer and the shadow detail is generally good. However, it misses out on full crispness, and minor compression problems steal some of its dimension.

     The colours are well rendered and are very rich and pleasing. There is no significant halation to impair the vision.

     With the exception of minor film to video artefacts, the print is clean of major problems.

     The subtitles are clean, clear, timely and easy to read.

     This disc is an RSDL disc but I did not detect a layer change, so it must have been well obscured between chapters.

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

Audio

     There is one audio track available - an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

     The dialogue was always clear, easy to understand and well modulated in the speakers. There were times where the audio sync seemed just ever so slightly out - but overall, it was not distracting.

     The musical score by David Donaldson, Steve Roche and Janet Roddick was not overly remarkable. It did its duty but was not particularly memorable.

     The surround channels were very busily used for ambience, music and special effects. This had the effect of keeping one feeling right in the midst of the action.

     The subwoofer was highly active during various sequences, and placed an excellent base on the film.

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

Extras

Menu

     The menu design is animated and includes an introductory clip from the film and theme music from the soundtrack.

Featurette

     18:36 lovefest from all the people who worked on the film.

R4 vs R1

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

     This appears to be the only release available, so R4 is the winner.

Summary

     Light, bright and potentially harmless - good for an idle afternoon.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDSinger SGD-001, using S-Video output
DisplayTeac 76cm Widescreen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationTeac 5.1 integrated system
SpeakersTeac 5.1 integrated system

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