Mad Love (1995)

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Released 30-Sep-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 92:20
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Antonia Bird
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Chris O'Donnell
Drew Barrymore
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Andy Roberts


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/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
English for the Hearing Impaired
Danish
Spanish
Italian
Norwegian
Finnish
Swedish
Spanish Titling
Italian Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Mad Love is an unfortunate title for this tale of forbidden teenage love and angst starring Drew Barrymore and Chris O'Donnell. Set in Seattle, O'Donnell is Matt, a fairly typical clean-cut, high school student who enjoys good grades and is a fantastic role model to his two younger twin siblings. The three kids live with their father in a nice, neat, well-to-do suburb. Since their mother left them some years back, much of the day-to-day responsibility of raising the kids falls to Matt, since their dad is very busy working at the Boeing factory. It's a challenge he relishes and performs with good humour and diligence.

    Matt's life gets an unexpected shake up when he meets Casey (Barrymore) a new girl in school, recently moved from Chicago. She drives around in her funky yellow Volkswagen beetle and seems to follow few of the rules that society expects. A reckless free spirit and sure sign of danger for someone as conscientious as Matt, and the warning signs should have been ringing early. Of course he is instantly smitten and finally plucks up the courage to ask her out. This is where the story takes a slightly different tack to the usual "forbidden love against the odds" style of tale.

    The two strike up an unlikely relationship, one that Casey's parents are wary of and Matt's father is concerned about since his son has been missing a bit of school in order to be with his new love. But Matt is adamant this relationship is something he is focused on, despite Casey behaving a little oddly at times. But after a serious fight with her parents, Casey is admitted to hospital with what is claimed as a re-occurrence of a mental problem. Matt is immediately alarmed and outraged when he is told by Casey's parents he should cease seeing their daughter, for both of their benefit. He hatches a plan to break his true love out of hospital and together they hit the road, on the run from their parents and eager to make their love work. But the admittance of Casey to the hospital has raised doubts about her soundness of mind and Matt begins to take very close notice of just what she is doing as they travel together.

    So Mad Love is basically a story of forbidden love, but it's also supposed to be a tale of the effects of mental illness on those surrounding someone afflicted by its reaches. Unfortunately what we are left with here is a story that gets by with just barely scratching the surface of this complicated problem and moreover the tale features two lead characters with virtually no on-screen chemistry to speak of. Drew Barrymore is lovely as always, playing perfectly the pretty, bright young girl with just the hint of badness underneath, while Chris O'Donnell is about as squeaky-clean as they come here, but the on screen action between the two just fails to deliver any spark at all.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is also 16x9 enhanced.

    The video transfer exhibits a more than acceptable level of sharpness with no hint of edge enhancement. Shadow detail is also excellent. There is minimal scattered grain, but it is not disruptive. There is no low level noise.

    Colours are adequate without being anything flash or vibrant. There are no problems with the colours in terms of bleeding or the like.

    No MPEG artefacts were noticed. There are a small number of film artefacts present, but they are not at all disruptive to the viewer.

    There are several subtitles available and sampling the English variety I found them excellent in terms of accuracy and placement on the screen

    This is a single-layered disc only so there is no layer change with which to contend.

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

Audio

    There are three soundtracks on this disc. All are Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, with English, Italian, and Spanish the chosen languages. They are all encoded at the lower bitrate of 384 kb/s.

    This is a fairly average soundtrack, that while containing ample front channel separation, sees little in the way of rear channel use, and basically no crash and bang action to get the subwoofer working. Lots of dialogue is the order of the day, which is of course all anchored in the centre channel.

    Said dialogue is clear at all times and I witnessed no audio sync problems.

    The score is by Andy Roberts and is fairly typical of the young love tale style of score.

    As mentioned, there is basically no surround activity.



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

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc.

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;

    The Region 1 disc misses out on;

    A fairly easy win to the Region 4 disc based on the appearance of a 16x9 enhanced transfer.

Summary

    Mad Love is a fairly bland teen-love against the odds style of tale. Fans of Drew Barrymore or Chris O'Donnell will appreciate the efforts given by the two leads, but the lack of on-screen chemistry and the shallow depth of the story is a major disappointment.

    The video quality is excellent, if a little nondescript.

    The audio is functional, but with this being a mostly dialogue dominated film, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack has little to do.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Wednesday, April 21, 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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