Anything Else (2003)

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Sell-Through Release Status Unknown
Available for Rent

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 104:08 (Case: 108)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Woody Allen
Studio
Distributor

MGM
Starring Jason Biggs
Christina Ricci
Woody Allen
Stockard Channing
Danny DeVito
Kadee Strickland
Jimmy Fallon
Fisher Stevens
Anthony Arkin
Diana Krall
William Hill
Maurice Sonnenberg
Kenneth Edelson
Case ?
RPI Rental Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
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, + drugs
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I have now reviewed quite a few Woody Allen films for this site, mostly older films. As a fan of Woody's work generally, I was quite keen to take a look at this recent Woody Allen film which had really flown beneath my radar. Frankly, this is the least interesting of the films of his which I have reviewed. If you are a fan of Woody Allen this one is probably worth a look, however for non-fans or the uninitiated, watch something else first, like Sleeper. This one did not get a cinema release here and is being released first to the rental market. It was actually made two years ago.

    Anything Else is marketed as a 'hilarious romantic comedy'. The only one of the three words used here that I would agree with is that it is a comedy. It is more quirky than hilarious and not really very romantic at all, despite having a relationship at its core. Jerry Falk (Jason Biggs) is an aspiring comedy writer, once divorced, who has a friend and mentor in another older comedy writer, David Dobel (Woody Allen). He is in a relationship with a difficult to please and slightly strange struggling actress, Amanda Chase (Christina Ricci). Jerry is a bit of a doormat both with Amanda, his agent, Harvey (Danny De Vito) and even Amanda's mother when Amanda decides that she is coming to live with them. Dobel tries to get Jerry to stand up for himself, suggesting that he change things like his agent, his girlfriend and other things about his life. Dobel unfortunately is not necessarily the most sane man on the planet. The plot follows the relationships of both Jerry & Amanda and Jerry & David.

    You can tell you are watching a Woody Allen film from the opening credits as they are in his standard font on a black background with jazz playing over the top. The highlights of this film are the interactions between Jimmy & David, which include some good dialogue. Biggs is really just playing a younger version of Woody most of the time. As usual in a Woody Allen film, everyone is neurotic in some way or another. The relationship between Jerry and Amanda and his complete lack of ability to stand up for himself were quite difficult to understand. The film does end with a quirky little twist and David Dobel is certainly the most interesting character.

    If you like Woody Allen's films, this one might be worth a rent, but I find it hard to imagine wanting to watch it again.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. There was some very light grain in evidence. Shadow detail was good without being spectacular.

    The colour was very good, especially the greens of Central Park.

    The only noticeable artefact was some mild edge enhancement, such as at 39:20.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read although somewhat summarised from the spoken word.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is average, especially for a new release.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.

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

    The music used in this film is Woody's normal soundtrack of jazz standards.

    The surround speakers were not used.

    The subwoofer kicked into life in one scene at 58:30 but this was a result of my amp's bass management.

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

Extras

    None.

Menu

    The menu was still and silent and included the ability to select scenes and subtitles.

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie has recently been released in Region 1 in a very similar format. The differences are quite minor.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    On this basis Region 1 wins but you might as well not bother.

Summary

    A recent Woody Allen film which was not released theatrically here (and you can see why).

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is decent but mono.

    The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, August 08, 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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