Uptown Girls (2003)

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Released 14-Sep-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-The Lowdown On Uptown
Featurette-Rockin' Style
Deleted Scenes-13
Gallery-Video Stills
Music Video-Chantal Kreviazuk - Time
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 88:38
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (68:06) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Boaz Yakin
Studio
Distributor

MGM
Starring Brittany Murphy
Dakota Fanning
Marley Shelton
Donald Faison
Jesse Spencer
Austin Pendleton
Heather Locklear
Will Toale
Marceline Hugot
Pell James
Quddus
Russell Steinberg
Susanna Frazer
Case ?
RPI ? Music Lesley Barber
Joel McNeely


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

    Uptown Girls stars increasingly wacky Brittany Murphy as Molly Gunn. Young Molly is 22, but as the daughter of a deceased mega rock 'n' roll star, she has had it all and has basically never had to grow up. Molly has never had to work a day in her life, since both her parents died in a plane crash when she was just eight years old leaving her access to a vast fortune of recording royalties. She has lived the ultimate charmed life, a party-style existence with millions of dollars in the bank (and plenty of ready cash stashed in her freezer!), a collection of rare guitars in the lounge room and no need to worry about where the next pay cheque is coming from.

    Unfortunately, like all good stories, her life is about to change rather abruptly. Her father's manager does a runner, taking all the money with him. Now penniless and unable to pay the power or phone bills, Molly must do the one thing she is completely unprepared for in the world - find a job.

    Having earlier been introduced to a highly precocious, anally-retentive control freak in the form of Ray Schleine (the adorable Dakota Fanning) we just know she is going to form part of Molly's employment plans. Ray is just nine years old, but is mature beyond her years and is more high-strung and neurotic than most women passing through a mid-life crisis will ever be. Ray is so paranoid about germs she carries her own soap into a public lavatory, pops vitamins daily by the handful and generally doesn't know how to behave like a normal nine-year-old girl or have fun. She also wears out nannies rather quickly, having just disposed of her third one in a month. Her mother Roma (Heather Locklear) is a high-powered and ambitious record executive who has little time for playing families and raising children and just needs a nanny. When she hears of Molly's background she thinks she might just be the one to look after her daughter for longer than a week. Molly is in for a shock, but is determined to stick out the job and earn some money to at least get the power turned back on in her apartment. This is growing even more important since Molly has met an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous young man and musician in Neal (Aussie Jesse Spencer) and wants to impress him badly.

    So what plays out over the next hour is some gentle and warm-hearted laughs as the two uptown girls discover each other and also learn plenty about themselves, including when to grow up and when to stay as an innocent child. There is nothing original in the plot, the schmaltz and saccharine overdose can at times be a little much to handle, but the pig is cute and the ending is warm and fuzzy and will surely bring a lump to all but the hardest of hearts.
 

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a lovely looking transfer with no faults worth mentioning. It is bright, colourful, sharp and clean.

    Presented in the aspect ratio of 1.85:1, it is also 16x9 enhanced.

    As mentioned, this transfer is very sharp and detailed throughout, with no evidence of any edge enhancement. Shadow detail is handled very well and grain is virtually non-existent. There is no low level noise. What more can you ask for?

    Colours are splendid with deep and brightly saturated tones when required. Skin tones are spot-on and black levels are perfect. There are no problems with bleeding or oversaturation.

    I saw no MPEG artefacts. Being a new film, I hoped there would be few, if any film artefacts. I was not disappointed as this is a very clean and near-pristine transfer in that regard with only a handful of small white specks scattered here and there.

    There is only one set of subtitles available, these being English for the Hearing Impaired. They are accurate enough for the task.

    This is a dual layered disc with RSDL formatting. The layer change is at 68:06. It is really quite perfectly placed and virtually invisible.



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

Audio

    There is only one audio soundtrack on this disc. It's a Dolby Digital 5.1 track in English encoded at the higher bitrate of 448 Kb/s.

    The soundtrack is pretty much anchored to the centre channel for the duration of the film, except for when the songs pop up and then it fills out marvellously to all the front speakers. Some of the songs are really well produced and sound full, dynamic, and really, really good here.

    The dialogue is easily understood, clear and in sync at all times.

    The score is fairly whimsical, while the songs, including the incredibly stupidly titled original composition Sheets of Egyptian Cotton are incredibly well produced and sound a treat.

    There is not a significant amount of surround channel activity which is hardly surprising given the sort of film this is. They are mostly utilised for the various noises that emanate from the busy Manhattan streets and at the noisy bars and parties.

    The subwoofer is also fairly quiet, but it is really not missed.



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

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

Main Menu Audio & Animation

Featurette-Behind The Scenes

    The Lowdown on Uptown is a fairly standard promotional featurette that features a little bit of true behind the scenes footage, a few interviews, and some highlights from the film. It runs for 13:17 and is nicely presented in 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. It also features English subtitles.

Featurette - Rockin' Style

    A fairly brief but nonetheless interesting look at the costume design used in the film. Runs for 8:14 and is technically specified the same as the other behind the scenes featurette.

Deleted Scenes

    13 deleted scenes which run for between 0:21 and 3:37 with most merely padding and obviously removed because they took the focus from the main character interaction between Molly and Ray. A commentary track over the scenes would have been welcome.

Gallery

    A couple of dozen photographs showing behind the scenes and other shots from the film. They are presented as a slideshow that runs automatically for 1:08 and is complete with nice soothing background music.

Music Video  -Chantal Kreviazuk - Time

    A nice song that pops up during the film and over the end credits. The video contains images from the film and also features Chantal Kreviazuk singing and playing piano. Runs for 3:53.

Theatrical Trailer

    A 2:10 trailer that highlights some of the laughs and antics of the film. Doesn't spoil the warm and fuzzy ending. Presented in the same aspect ratio as the film (1.85:1) and is also 16x9 enhanced.

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 disc misses out on;

    Region 1 disc misses out on;

    Unless the Region 1's additional languages are needed there is no compelling reason to favour either disc.
 

Summary

    Uptown Girls is light-weight, not all that original, and prone to moments of excessive saccharine overdose. But it's warm and charming and will surely please those looking for a relaxing night in without taxing the brain too much. Dakota Fanning is charming and gorgeous, while Brittany Murphy again proves she can handle the ditzy blond comedic roles with ease.

    Superb video and nice solid audio are the highlights of the disc, while the extras are fairly light.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Saturday, April 17, 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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