Stories from the Golf (2004)

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Released 1-Dec-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Menu Audio
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 68:06 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Robyn Butler
Wayne Hope
Studio
Distributor
SBS
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Robyn Butler
Wayne Hope
Irene Korsten
Marco Chiappi
Bob Franklin
Matt Parkinson
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Craig Pilkington


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 Yes, incl Drugs
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I love Australian comedy in all its many forms and guises, so I decided to give this series which was shown on SBS a go, despite knowing very little about it.

    Stories from the Golf is a series of 13 short episodes each of approximately 5 minutes. The premise is that each episode tells the story of a different person who hires the same Volkswagen Golf from a car hire yard. Each person has a different reason for needing the car and gets themselves into a different comedic situation. Most of the characters are played by the married couple who are the Writer/Directors, Wayne Hope & Robyn Butler. Both of them are faces I have seen before in Australian television productions without really registering their names. There are a couple of other actors/comedians who I also recognised amongst the cast such as Bob Franklin & Matt Parkinson. As is often the case with series like this, some episodes are very amusing and others really fail to hit the mark. On balance though, this is a blackly funny and interesting comedy series which I enjoyed watching.

    The episodes are:

  1. The Getaway - A slightly dim man hires the car as a getaway vehicle, because stealing one was too difficult. A good start without being spectacular.
  2. Woman in the Back Seat - The car is hired by a journalist investigating a lottery scam. She picks up her informant but gets more than she bargained for. Another good episode.
  3. Dirty Weekend - A married couple hire the car to head to a Pimps and Prostitutes party but have both come as the same thing. The best episode of the entire series. Great ending.
  4. Christian Soup - A group of born again Christians on their way to a healing retreat find out a lot more about each other than they probably wanted. One of the weaker episodes.
  5. F***stocker - A man with a difficult Danish name rents the car to attend his father's funeral, but isn't sure he wants to. A one joke premise which doesn't really work.
  6. The Journey - Done in the style of a black & white French film, this follows the journey of a French couple on a day trip. Very funny - the second best episode in the series.
  7. Karaoke Roadie - A ex-roadie who has a business doing Heavy Metal Karaoke hires the car to drive to a gig. Good episode.
  8. Pedestrian Awareness Vehicle - A married couple whose son was killed in a car accident hire the vehicle to walk around Australia to promote Pedestrian Awareness. Good episode.
  9. Jitterbug - A 57 Chevy is double booked for a wedding and the driver takes the Golf instead. He gets a better tip than he thought he would.
  10. Father & Son - Loser son hires car to impress his father. I didn't really understand this episode and found it weird rather than funny.
  11. Me & My Gal - Overbearing mother hires car to take 30ish daughter to the country to get her a wife. Funny stuff.
  12. Smashing Pumpkin - Cute and funny episode about an old man who must relinquish his licence but decides to take the Golf for one last drive.
  13. Syncopated Road Rage - A surreal and weird musical episode involving a stressed salesman. Not one of the better episodes.

    If you like your comedy a bit off the wall and interesting this is worth checking out.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is disappointing for something this new.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is most likely the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was not overly clear and sharp, especially in the first episode. There was some light grain, presumably a result of the MPEG compression. There was however no evidence of low level noise. The shadow detail was decent.

    The colour was decent but certainly not vibrant or exciting.

    Artefacts were plentiful including aliasing such as on the fence at 0:45 and the house at 1:20, lots of jagged lines (which were worse in early episodes), minor examples of edge enhancement and some macro-blocking in large expanses of colour.

    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 adequate, and perfectly suited to the material.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The music by Craig Pilkington is good without really standing out.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu included stills, and the ability to select episodes separately or play all.

Behind the Scenes (19:46)

    This is quite amusing and is basically a completely tongue-in-cheek interview with Wayne Hope & Robyn Butler interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage and bloopers. The spend their time slagging off the crew and generally making fun of themselves. Bravo!

Stills Gallery (2:40)

    A collection of behind-the-scenes photographs set to music. Moderately interesting but you would probably only look at it once.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is only available in Region 4.

Summary

    A funny but patchy Australian comedy series based around a Volkswagen Golf and the people who hire it..

    The video quality is average.

    The audio quality is fine for the material.

    The disc has two extras, one of which is quite amusing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, 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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