Dirty Deeds: Collector's Edition (2002)

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Released 11-Feb-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-D Caesar (Dir/Writ),B Brown (Prod/Act),D Balderstone (Prod)
Audio Commentary-David Caesar (Director/Screenwriter) & Geoffrey Hall (DoP)
Music Highlights
Audio Commentary-Paul Healy (Composer)
Gallery-Photo
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer
Featurette-"Baz"; "Shaz"
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Get Dirty
Featurette-Extras
Web Links
Featurette-Music
Notes-Pizza
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 93:38 (Case: 98)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (72:02) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By David Caesar
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Bryan Brown
Toni Collette
John Goodman
Sam Neill
Sam Worthington
Kestie Morassi
William McInnes
Andrew S. Gilbert
Garry Waddell
Felix Williamson
Derek Amer
Laeini Baille
Rudi Baker
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Paul Healy
Tim Rogers
Angus Young


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)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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 English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Released with much local fanfare in mid 2002, Dirty Deeds must certainly rank as one of the biggest budget Australian financed films made for quite some time. Director David Caesar (he directed Mullet, Idiot Box, but I always remember him as a judge on Race Around The World in 1996) has gathered together quite a cast for this tale of gangsters and organised crime in the Sydney of the late 60s. Bryan Brown produces and stars, and with a supporting cast including Sam Neill, Toni Collette, John Goodman, and Sam Worthington there is a whole lot of heavy-weight acting credibility already evident in this film even before the opening frame.

    Bryan Brown is Barry Ryan, a Sydney underworld crime boss and poker machine king-pin. It's the late 1960s and Barry runs a profitable business skimming the profits of his illicit pokies. He rules the roost with an iron fist, never afraid to get physical and violent when the need arises and someone infringes on his turf. His nephew Darcy (Sam Worthington) is a fresh-faced kid just back from a conscripted tour of duty in Vietnam. He's a nice boy, and is looking for a job since his return from 'Nam. Since the only thing he's any good at is killing people and blowing s*** up, Barry decides to take him on. Darcy will also be good at keeping Barry's mistress Margaret (Kestie Morassi) entertained and out of the way of his marauding missus Sharon (Toni Collette), a woman who takes absolutely no crap from anybody.

    But the feisty Sharon is the least of Barry's problems. He's about to have an unwelcome visit from some fellow crime-heavies from the other side of the world. You might have heard of them - the Mafia. When the American mob hear of the decent pickings to be had from the pokies, they send over a couple of their own to "buy" their way into Barry's "business". Tony Testano (John Goodman) and his sidekick Sal (Felix Williamson) soon arrive and make their presence known in a discrete manner. They politely offer their services to Barry, who plays the dumb colonial, pretending he knows little about poker machines and profits. Things start to get a little dirtier when the Americans start throwing their weight around a little more and Barry decides the time has come to do something more permanent to end this problem, and invites the unsuspecting Yanks on a shooting trip to the outback.

    This is certainly one stylish looking film that is thrown at the viewer with heaps of ballsy attitude. There's a bit of violence, a few killings and kneecappings, plenty of four-letter words, and a soundtrack that smacks you in the face. Coupled with some unusual and unorthodox camera work with almost any angle imaginable likely to be seen and this is one film you won't forget in a hurry. But it's still delivered with that comedic larrikin "she'll be right mate" attitude so prominent in Australian films of the 1960s and 70s. That unfortunately is probably the biggest undoing of this film. I know the story was about the impending cultural imperialism being applied to Australia from the United States, but the over-use of some very ocker Australian slang almost consistently throughout makes the whole film quite laughable at times and must surely limit its appeal in the international market.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer on offer here is presented in the original theatrical ratio of 2.35:1 and is also 16x9 enhanced.

    This is one mighty fine looking transfer, aided immensely by the deeply saturated and vivid colours used by the filmmakers for that maximum 1960s look. A finely detailed and exquisitely sharp picture throughout is on offer, with few problems to report and no annoying edge enhancement. Shadow detail is handled well enough to avoid any problems and there is no low level noise.

    Colours are remarkably well rendered, capturing the vivid and gaudy looks so common in 60s Australia, with plenty of vibrant and burnt oranges and reds together with heaps of pastel interiors. When the location heads to the outback the bright intense sunlit plains and baked orange and red dirt landscapes really do shine.

    There are no compression artefacts and the only instance of aliasing is a very minor occurrence a couple of times throughout. A handful of the most minute film artefacts were all I spotted.

    There are English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles available. I found them mostly accurate with only a couple of sentences abridged.

    This disc is naturally enough a dual layered effort. The layer change occurs at 72:02, and is quite obvious as it is placed right in the middle of a conversation between Margaret and Sharon outside the outback pub.

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

Audio

    There are a grand total of five audio tracks available, all in English. A cracking Dolby Digital 5.1 main feature track is joined by a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded track and amazingly three audio commentary tracks. There's plenty of directional effects across all speakers to keep the listener well and truly on their toes and a bevy of dynamic and thumping songs to keep the feet tapping throughout. A soundtrack with plenty of attitude is probably the best way to describe it, which effectively mirrors the ballsy attitude the no-nonsense Barry adopts throughout the film. Having said that, I did on occasions find the music and songs used to be just a little too in-your-face and very, very loud. Sometimes this is acceptable as it keeps the viewer on their toes and ready for action. But sometimes it's to the detriment of the dialogue and becomes a distraction to what is occurring on the screen.

    Aside from the couple of times where the music dominates what is being said, there are really no dialogue problems. It is always clear and prominent through the centre channel. There are no audio sync issues.
   
    The music is pivotal to this film as indicated by the inclusion of a couple of featurettes dedicated to it. Obviously the title track Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap)plays a significant role, and while the original AC/DC version was still a few years away from being recorded in 1969, the version here re-recorded by You Am I and with Tex Perkins on lead vocals sounds pretty authentic for the era. You'll also hear tracks such as And I Heard the Fire Sing by Grinspoon and the classic Spectrum offering I'll Be Gone recorded here by Palladium.

    There's plenty of rear channel action occurring throughout much of the film and likewise the subwoofer use, especially during the thumping songs, is pretty consistent throughout.

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

Extras

    There is certainly not much to complain about in terms of extra content here, with an absolute ton of bonus material including a staggering three commentaries.

Main Menu Introduction

Menu Animation & Audio

    The extra menu and animation deserve special mention since they have been very well conceived and executed, based on a slot machine with lots of whirring and rolling images. Nicely done.

Audio Commentary - David Caesar (Director and writer), Bryan Brown (Producer and actor), Deborah Balderstone (Producer)

    A fairly stock-standard style of commentary that offers plenty of stories about casting decisions and locations. Having both the producer and the director together with Bryan Brown in his dual role as actor/producer provides for plenty of insight into many aspects of the film, its problems, its strengths, and just what was trying to be achieved.

Audio Commentary - David Caesar (Director and writer), Geoffrey Hall (Director of Photography)

    This is a more technical commentary that focuses on camera work, angles, film stock, lighting and the like. Informative but does become a little monotonous.

Audio Commentary - Paul Healy (Composer)

    Composer Paul Healy jumps in whenever a decent slab of his score or any of the sourced or recorded songs pop up. As a result there is an awful lot of silence in this track which is thankfully able to be bypassed by selecting the next option (see below).

Music Highlights

    Rather than watching the whole film and having to wait intermittently for the commentary from composer Paul Healy, this option allows you to select each of the 12 musical cue sections that he comments on directly.

Gallery-Photo

    36 colour photos of the cast in various poses.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Listed as filmographies, these are actually biographies for the 10 principal cast and two of the crew. Reasonable detailed, though complete filmographies would have been a decent addition.

Theatrical Trailer

    With a whole lot more money to play with, this is a pretty slick looking trailer that runs for 2:17. Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette - "Baz"

    Running for 3:58, this is a brief interview conducted by Richard Wilkins with Bryan Brown on the morning of the world premiere of the film.

Featurette - "Shaz"

    An excerpt of an interview with Toni Collette from the Nine Network's 60 Minutes program. Runs for 3:38 and focuses only on the work Collette does on Dirty Deeds.

Featurette - Get Dirty Behind The Scenes

    This runs for a healthy 25:19 and in addition to a handful of true behind-the-scenes shots contains interviews with director David Caesar, producer and star Bryan Brown, and other cast members Toni Collette, Sam Neill, John Goodman, Felix Williamson, and Sam Worthington.

Featurette - "Extras"

    This is merely a bunch of true behind-the-scenes footage all spliced together to form a 7:37 featurette. There are no voiceovers or interviews or the like - it is merely behind the camera footage from a bunch of different scenes.

Web Links

    You can visit www.dirtydeedsthemovie.com for a little more info if you are so inclined.

Featurette - Music

    You Am I's Tim Rogers and film director David Caesar discuss the use of the various songs in the film. They also talk about the reworking of old classics such as AC/DC's Dirty Deeds and Spectrum's I'll Be Gone. Runs for 9:22.

Notes - Pizza Recipe

    Several pages of static text dedicated to the recipe for the Pizza that is made during 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 title is available in Region 1, but being a local film our version is far superior. The Region 1 disc has only the film and the theatrical trailer, while ours is packed with extras. A clear win to Region 4.

Summary

    Dirty Deeds is certainly a classy looking film, what with some unorthodox camera angles, snappy editing, and vividly saturated colour throughout complemented by a heavyweight cast. Unfortunately, the climax of the story is a bit of a let down after what seemed like a promising build up and despite the whole thing oozing confidence and brash charm I just didn't feel completely satisfied at the end. It's a bit like a pokie gambler who has stuffed all their pennies into a machine and nothing has come out the end despite the fact that they have been sitting there for two hours on the brink of winning something.

    The video transfer afforded this release is excellent. Bright and vivid with crystal clear sharpness throughout.

    The audio soundtrack is a corker with the music and songs thumping throughout and offering a real vibe and electric atmosphere to the film.

    The extras package is one of the most comprehensive I have seen for a local release.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Thursday, April 01, 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)
Two Hands is a better Australian "gangster" film. - TurkeyTom REPLY POSTED