Loot (2004)

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Released 11-Jun-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 88:31
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Shawn Seet
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jason Donovan
Russell Dykstra
Anita Hegh
Mark Mitchell
Tara Morice
Barry Otto
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Alan John
Darrin Oakley
Jennifer Barty


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    If you had told me a few years ago that I would choose to review a made-for-television movie starring Jason Donovan (you remember.....Neighbours and awful pop songs), I would have laughed at you. However, that was before his very good work in one of the best Australian drama series of recent years, MDA. This film, Loot, is a more recent ABC production in partnership with the cable TV channel, UK-TV. It was shown on ABC television on Friday 25 June, 2004.

    Loot is set in the thrilling and exciting world of chartered accountancy. Wait.........don't press Back just yet, it's better than that makes it sound. Within the accountancy profession is a smaller group of people known as Forensic Accountants, who follow the money trails to catch the guys who have embezzled companies or pulled off scams. The lead character here, Jon Peregrine (Jason Donovan) runs a Forensic Accountancy practice called Peregrine Forensics. He has a silent and slightly eccentric partner, Charles Highsmith (Barry Otto), a retired Partner from a large accounting firm. He also has two employees, Bruno Batelli (Russell Dykstra), a computer expert and an office assistant. His business is just starting off and they have very little work. Before setting up on his own, Jon used to work for one of the big accounting firms, GV White. His soon-to-be ex-wife, Cynthia Allen (Anita Hegh), still works for them in insolvency. It seems that the plan is (or at least was) that these characters would form the basis of a series or series of movies.

   The plot of this particular movie is that Jon's sister's (Tara Morice) husband has just killed himself after losing more money than they have on a stock market investment. As Jon and his team investigate they find that there is much more going on. The investment was in a newly floated company called Angel's Cookin' run by a 'Big Kev' style self-promoter, Billy Angel (Mark Mitchell). Billy has friends and associates who are not necessarily of the best quality. Everyone is involved including gangsters, the accounting firm, stockbrokers and internet chat room members.

    This is a well written story , however it seems that a complex plot requiring two or more hours screen time has been crammed into only 90 minutes, presumably because that's the length the ABC were after. This makes the plot more confusing and difficult to follow than it should be. Considering that I work in the banking and finance industry and that my wife is a chartered accountant with experience in stockbroking, we should have easily been able to follow this story. Unfortunately, as well as the squeezing of the story into a short timeframe, considerable jargon is used and many things are not well explained. The acting is solid from all concerned and there are some interesting visual ideas, including the use of aerial photographs, to link between scenes.

    Overall, this is a well written and acted mystery/thriller that feels like it has been condensed, losing some of the necessary exposition and making the plot difficult to follow. Despite this, it is still considerably better than most of the rubbish currently being produced by Australian Television networks.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is good but has some minor issues.

    The feature is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture was generally clear and reasonably sharp throughout , with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was fine with night scenes showing the required details.

    The colour was good throughout with colours being reasonably well saturated and free from colour bleeding. The skin colouring was very natural. The colour palette was quite muted, giving the program a very natural look.

    There were a few white specks on and off during the film, and some aliasing on a building at 9:40. Otherwise, the program was artefact free.

    There are no subtitles.
    

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

Audio

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

    This DVD contains only one audio option: an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand, however, occasionally it would have been nice to have subtitles to check what was being said.    

    There were no problems with audio sync.    

    The score of this film by Alan John is fine but not particularly memorable.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used at all.

        

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 anywhere else except in Region 4.

Summary

    This disc contains a well written but badly paced and confusing made-for-television drama.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, July 05, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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