Little City (1997)

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Released 18-Feb-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 86:25 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Roberto Benabib
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jon Bon Jovi
Penelope Ann Miller
Josh Charles
Annabella Sciorra
Jobeth Williams
Joanna Going
Joe Bellan
Peter Gardiner
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music MADER


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 Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

     Oh what a tangled web we weave! And when we live in a small town, those webs have a habit of getting us into sticky situations.

      Such is certainly the case for Kevin (Jon Bon Jovi), a San Franciscan barman who's now in group therapy for alcoholism. His libidinous interest is sparked with the arrival into town of Rebecca (Penelope Ann Miller) whom he immediately gets a job for in the hotel where he works. But Rebecca's advent has sparked more than one ardent flame - she has not gone unnoticed by local art teacher and free-loving lesbian Anne (JoBeth Williams). However, Anne's style is somewhat cramped by the possessiveness of her former lover, Kate (Joanna Going), who left her artistic taxi driving boyfriend Adam (Josh Charles) for her. And he is so devastated by losing Kate that he looks for consolation with new girlfriend Nina (Annabella Sciorra), who is having an affair with Kevin. (Are you keeping up?)

      In a way that can almost only happen in the movies, these people's lives become jumbled and entangled as they wade through their individual levels of angst towards an all-too-convenient denouement.

      From a writing perspective, Little City is a fairly pedestrian effort, with few surprises along the way, but the performances are generally quite robust and enthusiastic and it's a harmless way to spend ninety or so minutes. It's a humble little effort that was never going to set the world on fire, but it has some pleasing moments and Josh Charles and Annabella Sciorra acquit themselves quite well.

      The dialogue leaves a little to be desired and the plot does not stand any great scrutiny, but it's essentially a good natured gloomy afternoon filler.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 16x9 enhanced.

     This is not the sharpest presentation I've ever seen, with some evidence of compression creating a rather flat and monodimensional look. Luminance levels are quite acceptable although there is noticeable loss of detail in the shadow areas.

     The colours are quite warm and pleasing with good rendering of skin tones and a fairly wide palette utilised. There is occasional halation around lit objects but this is not overly distracting.

     There was some mild aliasing present and some film to video artefacts in evidence, but it was not a horribly blighted presentation. Subtitles were clean, sharp and accurate.

     This disc is single sided with 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 is one audio track on this DVD - an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Frankly, with the lack of surround activity, it's a wonder they even bothered.

     The dialogue was not always as clear as one could have desired, with some evidence of distortion that made some sections of the audio track a little muffled. This was never totally unacceptable, but it was by no means an exemplary soundtrack either. Audio sync was, mercifully, quite accurate.

     Perhaps in deference to Jon Bon Jovi's involvement, much of the musical score had a kind of urban bluesy feel. It had a few higher moments, but generally was of a fairly average standard.

     As previously stated, although this soundtrack is presented as 5.1, one could be forgiven for wondering why they bothered. There was precious little evidence of any surround activity, and there was no discernible part for the subwoofer to play.

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

Extras

     There are no extras on this disc.

Menu

     The menu is static and silent, but is very easy to navigate.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     Both versions appear to be identical. Ladies and gentlemen, it's your local call.

Summary

     This film is primarily for the Jon Bon Jovi fans of the world to swoon over and enjoy, although in reality, he's acted off the screen by some of his co-performers. Largely forgettable, but at least it's not an insulting effort, and may just fill in a soggy Saturday afternoon. One for the Bon Jovi pre-converted.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Monday, May 17, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDSinger SGD-001, using S-Video output
DisplayTeac 76cm Widescreen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationTeac 5.1 integrated system
SpeakersTeac 5.1 integrated system

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