Here on Earth (2000)
Music Video-'Where You Are" - Jessica Simpson (4.25)
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (63:10)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Mark Piznarski|
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
When a drag race goes horribly wrong, rich college student Kelly (Chris Klein) is sentenced to pay off his debt to society by helping rebuild the diner which he destroyed. Sentenced along with him is Jasper (Josh Hartnett), a farmer's son who has a long-standing rivalry with the rich students from the college just out of town. When Kelly arrives in the small town to begin his sentence he meets Samantha (Leelee Sobieski), the girlfriend of Jasper. And so the love triangle begins...
Is it just me or does Hollywood seem to dish out the love triangle story with monotonous regularity? At least this time round it doesn’t try to be anything else, unlike a certain overly long Michael Bay movie (which coincidently also stars Josh Hartnett). While I'm not totally against the old love triangle story, this an example of one that has been executed rather poorly. Perhaps due to bad casting or a bad script or both, the film has a major flaw which takes little time to present itself and once it does it becomes a rather tedious trip to the finish line.
In order for the movie to work, the audience is required to have some level of sympathy for the three lead characters. Unfortunately, Chris Klein's character is so unlikable from the very beginning that never at any point do you have any sympathy for him, and as a result the story simply never gels. While the script is questionable, I can't help but feel that Chris Klein was definitely miscast in this role. Despite the script, Leelee Sobieski and Josh Hartnett both put in very admirable performances, but perhaps due to his lack of experience Klein struggles in creating a believable character. Personally, I think that's the difference between a good actor and a not-so-good actor - their ability to create a believable character from a poor script.
Leelee Sobieski is the highlight of this film (and that's not just my hormones speaking, although let's be honest she is pretty spunky). If you're a fan of Leelee as I am or a Josh Hartnett fan (which just about every teenage girl is I've been assured) Here On Earth may well be worth a once over. However, the fact that I recently saw it on sale at my local Coles Supermarket for $15.08 should speak for itself.
Here On Earth features a very smooth video transfer that clearly abides by the theorem that the quality of the transfer is inversely proportional to the quality of the movie.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. The IMDB indicates that the original aspect ratio is in fact 2.35:1 but I can see no indication of any cropping at the sides. Widescreen Review indicates that the original aspect ratio is 1.85:1, so perhaps the IMDB entry is not correct.
The transfer is nicely detailed, however, it does have a slightly diffused look to it which I kind of like. I think this was intentional. It's nothing like Vaseline on the lens, but it gives the image that nice smooth look, hence my earlier comment. Shadow detail is good. There is some very fine film grain present.
Colours are very warm and rich throughout the film. The filmmakers have intentionally gone for a warm balance - it’s that sought of movie I guess. The cinematographer’s filter collection seems to have been utilized a fair bit here. Skin tones are accurate despite the obvious warm balance.
There are no problems with MPEG artefacts in the transfer, with the transfer having been given a healthy bit-rate which averages around 7Mbs and seldom drops below 5Mbs. Aliasing is not a problem thanks to the slight diffusion previously mentioned. Film artefacts are present but they are infrequent and mostly very small.
There are a number of subtitle tracks present. I sampled the English track and found it to reasonably accurate although there are a few occasions where sentences have been edited and simplified.
This is an RSDL disc with the layer change occurring at 63:10, a few seconds after a fade to black. It's not disruptive at all but one might wonder why it wasn't placed in the fade to black. Indeed, one might also wonder why it’s there at all. The total file size is 4.18Gb, which means the entire contents of the RSDL disc will actually fit onto a single layer. Why on earth is this disc RSDL? I would dearly love to know!
There is a single audio track available - English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kbs). By its nature, Here On Earth doesn't cry out for a huge soundtrack, and as such the audio here is nothing spectacular but is subtle and well designed.
Dialogue is loud and clear with no sync issues at all.
The music is quite predictably Top 40 stuff again catering to its target audience (teenagers & Dawson's Creek fans). The music includes tracks from Tori Amos and Sixpence None The Richer.
Surrounds are used periodically for ambience and some effects. While this is not an EX encoded soundtrack I had the EX processing enabled on my receiver. During the car race there is a low angle shot of the cars driving towards and then over the camera during which you can hear the cars go from front centre to rear centre - pretty cool. Beyond this scene it's pretty much an atmospheric affair for the surrounds - for example, birds and trees rustling can be heard during the few scenes in the forest.
The subwoofer kicks in occasionally to support the music and for the occasional effect like the gas tank explosion at the diner.
|Surround Channel Use|
Presented in 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.
Presented in 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. The usual fluffy cross promotional music video with clips from the movie.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version misses out on:
There's no reason to favour one or the other here.
Here On Earth is a very flawed character drama that is perhaps worth a once over. Having said that I've been assured by my teenage sister that "Josh Hartnett is hot" and nothing I say here could possibly prevent her from watching this. I think it would be safe to say she's probably in the target audience.
The video transfer is excellent and represents a very good benchmark for image quality on DVD.
The audio, while unspectacular, is nicely detailed and well designed.
The extras are very poor. Was a commentary from Leelee too much to ask for?
|DVD||Pioneer DV-655A, SACD & DVD-A, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe CT-1170 (66cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX-D1011, THX Select, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete, DTS 96/24 & DD 5.1 EX. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Pioneer VSX-D1011, THX Select, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete, DTS 96/24 & DD 5.1 EX|
|Speakers||Front & Centre: Monitor Audio Bronze 2, Surrounds: Sony SS-SRX7S, Surround Back: Paramount Pictures Bookshelf Speakers|