Mermaids (2003)

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Sell-Through Release Status Unknown
Available for Rent

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Fantasy None
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 84:30
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ian Barry
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Nikita Ager
Erika Heynatz
Sarah Laine
Case ?
RPI Rental Music Roger Mason


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Czech
Danish
Greek
Croatian
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Slovenian
Serbian
Finnish
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Let me preface this review by saying that I do not understand why I put my name next to this disc as one I would like to review. Despite that, I will try to give it a fair write-up so that if the subject matter interests you, you can get a feel for what this is like.

    Mermaids is an American made-for-TV movie which was actually filmed in Queensland which may be why we are being graced with its release. It also seems to be designed as a pilot for a television series involving the main characters. In fact, this movie very much plays as a slightly longer episode of a television series. It reminds me of  a series like Charmed, the series about three feisty sisters who have special powers. This is the same except they are mermaids rather than witches, which you probably guessed from the title.

   The main protagonists are Diana (Erika Heynatz) the oldest sister and the most feisty. While the other two have left home to pursue life on land, she is still at home with her father at the start of the show. June (Sarah Laine) left home first and has developed a career as a keeper at a local sea park. She is quite angsty about her father and is in love with the local harbour patrol man (although he doesn't know it). Venus (Nikita Ager) is the ditzy one who is currently appearing at the local bar as a mermaid swimming in a tank for the amusement of the patrons, although they seem to think she is just really good at holding her breath.

    In short, a tragedy occurs and they need to band together to solve the crime. They each have special powers; Diana has a trident which doubles as a hair clip, June can squeal very loudly to break glass and Venus can control minds with her siren song and has a magic tiara. Their job is complicated by the fact that Mermaids must grant one wish to anyone who asks, or so it would seem.

    Well, I tried to be fair but in reality this is really trite, badly written and badly acted. Some dialogue examples will give you the idea:

"Freedom comes with responsibility, you need to wear that tiara at all times"

"When you love a mortal who loves you, you are granted a soul"

    My absolute favourite moment was when June gets to kiss the harbour patrol guy. Suddenly, we are in a soft drink commercial - the music swells and strangely the sprinkler immediately comes on, wetting her and thus revealing her tail. The story seems to make up a new super power or rule for their behaviour at a whim (e.g. their tails re-appear at low tide, they have to grant wishes even if the person just mentions a wish in passing and he doesn't know they are mermaids and they can erase memories).

    In short, this is not my sort of thing at all, although your mileage may vary (especially if you like light American TV series).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio full screen which is seemingly the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was generally clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was average with night scenes showing some detail.

    The colour was very good throughout with all colours being well saturated and free from colour bleeding. The skin colouring was very natural.

    No artefacts of any kind were noticeable except one small patch of pink pixelization at 66:00.

    There are subtitles in thirteen languages including English. I sampled the English subtitles and found them to be easy to read but quite summarised..

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

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

Audio

    The audio quality is reasonable, but very front and centre focussed.

    This DVD contains only one audio option: an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at a less than full rate 192 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand but there were many bad American accents from Australian actors. There were no problems with audio sync.    

    The score of this film by Roger Mason was not particularly memorable and actually slightly annoying in parts.

    The surround speakers were occasionally used adding sound effects and music when played using ProLogic II.

    The subwoofer was not used.

    

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu included a scene selection function but precious little else.

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie does not seem to be available on DVD outside Region 4.

Summary

    This disc contains an extremely light (and ordinary) American made-for-TV pilot for a TV series.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is reasonable.

    The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

Other Reviews NONE
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