One Perfect Day (2004)

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Released 9-Sep-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Audio Commentary-Filmmakers
Featurette-Making Of
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 101:42 (Case: 107)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (26:03) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Paul Currie
Studio
Distributor
Lightstream Films
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Dan Spielman
Leeanna Walsman
Nathan Phillips
Dawn Klingberg
Leigh Whannell
Frank Gallacher
Malcolm Robertson
Josephine Eberhard
Roy Davies
Abbie Cornish
Nathan Wentworth
Alex Menglet
Kerry Armstrong
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Josh G. Abrahams
Rob Dougan
David Hobson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Sony MiniDisc
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    In One Perfect Day we enter the sub-culture of drugs and dance and all night "raves". At the start of the film Tommy Matisse (Dan Spielman - The Secret Life of Us) is living in London whilst he studies music at the Royal College. As a budding young composer he is intrigued by the musicality of the everyday environment - "life's secret symphony". Recording train noises, homeless people singing to themselves in underground stations and the sound of cobbled streets are part and parcel of his plan to create a unique modern opera. Meanwhile back in Melbourne, his devoted younger sister Emma (Abbie Cornish - Life Support) is enjoying the company of a record store worker and the dance scene nightlife, but is missing her brother terribly. Tommy's girlfriend Alysse (Leeanna Walsman - Looking for Alibrandi) is working as a nurse, but is equally besotted by the magic of music - being blessed with a strong vocal talent herself.

    When Alysse takes Emma out on the town to celebrate her birthday, her dealer Trig (Nathan Phillips - The Saddle Club) mistakenly gives her some pure heroin or cocaine instead of speed, as a birthday present. Emma is unable to handle the cocktail of drugs she has taken at the nightclub and dies shortly after Alysse leaves her in the doorway of a local hospital. Devastated by the loss of his sister, Tommy returns to Australia to try and find an explanation for her tragic death. His investigations into the source of the drugs lead to his discovery of Alysse's involvement and his anger drives her into the arms of Hector Lee - local drug baron and would-be music guru.

    While Hector promises Alysse the chance of a recording deal, Tommy finds that he is becoming more and more attracted by the vibrant energy of the rave music scene and the lovers drift ever further apart. With the help of Trig and the local record store DJ, Tommy is soon obsessed by the thrill of mixing music live before the party crowd and his concept of what constitutes being a composer is changed forever. The heady mixture of drugs and music threatens to spell disaster for Alysse unless Tommy can save her from the grasp of the hedonistic and despicable Lee...

    This film has a masterful audio soundtrack and some rather nice visuals, with some genuinely innovative images creeping in from time to time - the scenes where Emma is experiencing her fateful "trip" are mesmerising, and the rave scenes are beautifully shot. Unfortunately the aural and visual effects cannot make up for a thin and generally overworked plot. The story as it stands says nothing new (dance music is exciting and people who takes drugs can die from them) and by the midpoint it becomes clear that this is just another star-crossed lovers story, set to a thumping bass beat. Maybe I'm just getting too old to swallow the simple storyline but the character of Alysse is not believable - she is a nurse and yet has no respect for the dangers of party drugs? Tommy is prepared to pass up the chance to have an international career as a composer so he can be a DJ in the Melbourne rave scene? Whilst the actors generally put in reasonable performances, (Kerry Armstrong as Tommy's mum and Spielman is pretty convincing in the earlier scenes), there is an awfully hammy performance by Andrew Howard as the drug baron Hector Lee which adds little credibility to the film.

    One Perfect Day will undoubtedly attract a loyal following amongst those (younger people) who are tuned into this particular musical subculture. It is by no means a bad movie, but I'm afraid I found it much less appealing than I had hoped. I am certain this will be a must-purchase for fans of the film. For those who are not "into" the particular drug-and-dance culture, probably aged over thirty, it may make a worthwhile rental on the strength of the audio track and the interesting cinematography. Just don't expect too much from the plot or the dialogue. As the tag-line says - All you have to do is listen.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The overall video transfer of this film is very good indeed.

    The movie is presented in an anamorphic aspect ratio of 2.40:1 which is slightly wider than the stated original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

    Image sharpness is generally spot-on with a very satisfying degree of clarity, suffering from only a mild hint of softness at times. There is very little in the way of film grain or pixelization to mar the refreshingly clear transfer.

    Black levels are excellent, being deep and solid throughout with virtually no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail is close to perfect, which is just as well considering much of the film takes place in the neon-lit world of dance parties. Colours are solid, very cleanly rendered and can often be very vivid and highly saturated.

    The transfer has no significant problems associated with MPEG compression. Aliasing was totally absent on my set-up, but there is some minor edge enhancement present on occasion. Whilst this haloing of characters can be seen if you look closely, it is never significant enough to be a major distraction - even on a large projected image. There is no issue with telecine wobble.

    The transfer is pretty much spotless, with no significant film artefacts present.

    The English subtitles are very well timed, easy to read and offer song lyrics and appropriate audio cues for even the smallest effects.

    This is a single sided, dual layer (RSDL) formatted disc, with the essentially invisible layer change only occurring at 26:03. It is not disruptive in the slightest.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is exceptionally good, and is (appropriately) by far the most accomplished aspect of this film.

    The main English audio track is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at a healthy 448 kbps. It is totally free from significant problems in the way of hiss, clicks or dropouts. The dialogue is generally crisp although the effects of drugs and adrenaline on some characters can make it a little difficult to hear every word clearly. This is not a fault of the transfer however. I also sampled the alternative Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio track (encoded at 224 kbps), and whilst it is perfectly serviceable it obviously lacks the dynamic range of the surround mix. Audio sync was just fine throughout.

    The thumping soundtrack is provided courtesy of a number of popular techno/house/dance/trance artists. It includes works by the likes of Fatboy Slim, Paul Van Dyk, Robert Smith and Orbital. The musical soundtrack is obviously a pivotal part of making the film convey the energy and excitement of the dance scene, and it does so admirably. Fans of this genre of music will find nothing to complain about in respect of the sheer quantity of music present - it almost never stops. The sound mixing is tremendously well done, with miniscule sounds, clear dialogue and driving music merging seamlessly into a truly excellent audio mix.

    With the surround mix selected, all of your speakers will get a highly active workout. The surrounds complement the delivery from the front speakers very well indeed. This is a highly immersive soundtrack whenever music is being played - which must be ninety per-cent of the time. There is some very creative use of more subtle panning and localised sound effects in addition to the sheer volume approach from the rave scenes.

    There is a high level of subwoofer bass activity throughout the movie, with the musical numbers often packing quite a visceral LFE punch. This bass presence will prove most satisfying for those who enjoy this type of thumping, bass-heavy music.

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

Extras

    The extras are quite decent, given that there is also going to be a Special Edition available (including a CD of music from the soundtrack).

Menu

    The main menu is an animated affair accompanied by a loop of dance music. By selecting the mixing desk keypads pictured, the musical accompaniment can be changed to one of four other choices - a nice touch given the nature of the film. The menu allows the options of playing the feature, selecting one of a healthy twenty-eight chapter stops, audio track selection, subtitle activation and access to the following features:

Audio Commentary

    Director Paul Currie is joined by various other members of the crew to deliver a scene specific commentary track. Despite not being a huge fan of such commentaries, I found this to be informative and quite lively. Fans will lap it up. It is encoded in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 kbps.

Making of OPD

    This is a pretty substantial piece running for 39:09 and is more detailed and interesting than a standard EPK piece. Whilst it does include its fair share of mutual admiration moments, it does also provide some genuine insights into the making of the film. It is presented at 1.33:1 with letterboxed inserts (at 1.66:1) from the movie. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded at 224 kbps.

Theatrical Trailer

    Presented anamorphically enhanced at 2.35:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track encoded at 224 kbps, it runs for 2:03.

R4 vs R1

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

    This DVD does not yet appear to be available in either Region 1 or Region 2. It would appear that the Region 4 release is easily the best version available.

Summary

    One Perfect Day is a look inside the world of the Australian dance/rave scene. Tommy Matisse is an aspiring composer who finds that the drug-related death of his teenage sister leads him away from classical music and into the world of turntables, ecstasy and laser lights. Beneath the trendy exterior we have a fairly standard star-crossed lovers story. With a thumping soundtrack and some wonderful sound mixing, this will appeal greatly to fans of this particular musical sub-culture. For those of us over thirty, the appeal will be more limited, but as a directorial debut for Paul Currie, and as an example of modern Australian film it can still be recommended as a rental.

    The 2.40:1 video transfer is of a very high quality.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio transfer is excellent, both in terms of the thumping musical tracks and in the creativity of the sound design.

    Extra features are reasonably substantial.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Monday, September 06, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDMomitsu V880 upconverting DVI player, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

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