It Runs in the Family (2003)
Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Fred Schepisi (Director)
Featurette-Making Of-Family Makes You Nuts
Featurette-All That Grit: Kirk Douglas And The Movies
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (78:38)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Fred Schepisi|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Charles F. Sweeney Jr.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian Audio Commentary
Norwegian Audio Commentary
Danish Audio Commentary
Swedish Audio Commentary
Finnish Audio Commentary
Hebrew Audio Commentary
Russian Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Despite their vehement protests to the contrary in the DVD extras featurettes, It Runs In The Family is very much a vanity piece. Starring 3 generations of the Douglas family - Kirk, in his courageous return to the screen after a major stroke, Mike and his son Cameron are joined on screen by Mike's mother, Diana and a token Culkin, in this case, Rory in a family dramedy set in New York.
Alex Gromberg (Michael Douglas) is a successful lawyer who is working in the law firm founded by his father, Mitchell (Kirk Douglas). Although he's been there for years, he's never accepted a partnership. His liberal ideals have seen him run for public office unsuccessfully in the past, and he keeps his political flame alive by volunteering to wash dishes in a local soup kitchen. His beautiful therapist wife Rebecca (Bernadette Peters) and youngest son, Eli (Rory Culkin) share his trendy Tribeca warehouse loft which is about to be invaded for Passover Seder by his irascible father Mitchell (Kirk Douglas), his sharp and witty mother, Evelyn (Diana Douglas), Mitchell's demented brother Stephen (Mark Hammer) and his eldest son Asher (Cameron Douglas).
As the tension mounts at the dinner table, we see that all is not well in paradise. Asher is failing badly at school, Alex is being sorely sexually tempted at the soup kitchen, Eli is pathologically quiet, and the relationship between Alex and his father is richly strained.
For the next 100 or so minutes we are confronted with the trials of each member of the family as they try to sort out who they really are in the big scheme of life. This effort is helmed by Australian director Fred Schepisi who has had massive hits in the past with such movies as The Devil's Playground, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Evil Angels, Six Degrees of Separation and Last Orders, so he knows a thing or two about human drama.
Sadly, all that experience has gone to waste in this production. The characters remain shallow, unsympathetic and uninteresting. We are largely left uncaring about what happens to them, with only very few exceptions.
Damp, dull and drab, this offering is largely best left to Douglas fans.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer itself is of excellent quality with crisp, bright and well defined scenes glowing from the screen. There is excellent shadow detail and highlights are clean and sharp. There is no low level noise present throughout the production.
The colour palette is rich and glowing with a wonderful warmth. The scenes at the Gromberg country home are particularly lush and rich.
MPEG artefacts were extremely rare throughout the transfer. Aliasing was extremely mild and grain levels were very fine. There was minor evidence of dust specks at times, but not to any distracting degree.
Subtitles were clean, clear and easy to read.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed at 78:38. It is very subtle and presents no distraction at all.
There are four audio tracks on this DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There is also an Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a Turkish Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.
Dialogue was consistently clean and clear throughout with no audio sync problems at all.
The musical score by Paul Grabowsky, who Steve Vizard used to glowingly refer to as The Count, is a sparse but moving piece. Schepisi knows when and when not to use music, and largely the musical bones of the piece were fleshed by ambient music, rather than relying very heavily on scored sections.
There is an excellent surround sound presence in this film, providing a rich ambient atmosphere to the piece. With the exception of a couple of dance music scenes, the subwoofer was mostly dormant.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu design is static with theme music from the film in the background.
An interesting commentary with Schepisi being very forthcoming about the challenges faced throughout production and the subtleties of the script. It didn't sufficiently flesh out the film to greatly increase my enjoyment of it however.
Pretty much a standard lovefest of interviews and excerpts. (28:58)
A rather nice little tribute to the big guy. (7:30)
3 scenes that do go some way to explaining the plot lines a little better.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:
Both versions are equally good, and there is no compelling reason to prefer one over the other.
Lightweight dramedy that's only noteworthy features are that it incorporates 3 generations of Douglases and is the first time Michael and Kirk Douglas have appeared in a film together. Beyond that, it's a forgettable number entirely.
|DVD||Singer SGD-001, using S-Video output|
|Display||Teac 76cm Widescreen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Teac 5.1 integrated system|
|Speakers||Teac 5.1 integrated system|