Stiff/The Brush Off (Shane Maloney Box Set)-Extras Disc (2004)

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Released 31-Aug-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 47:42
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
Southern Star
Madman Entertainment
Starring David Wenham
Sam Neill
John Clarke
Shane Maloney
Michael Heyward
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI Box Music None Given


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 Varies Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    If you purchase both of the Murray Whelan films, Stiff and The Brush Off, as part of the box set that is available, you get a third disc given over solely to bonus material. What we have here is really one long making of featurette that has been divided into a few smaller ones and placed on a main menu (thankfully there is a play all option).

    The content on this disc runs for 47:42 and contains six sections:

    The Books (13:17)

    The author of the original Murray Whelan novels, Shane Maloney, candidly discusses the creation of the books and how his ideas have progressed from page to screen. He seems genuinely pleased with the finished films and hints that some of his other books might possibly make the transition to film. Book publisher Michael Heyward also contributes his ideas about why the books have proved popular and how special the character of Murray Whelan is.

    The Screenplays (7:33)

    Producer Jay Cassells, screenwriter John Clarke and author Shane Maloney discuss in interview and with a Melbourne University class just how challenging it is to convert something from the written page to the screen.

    Challenges of Directing (12:21)

    Directors John Clarke (Stiff) and Sam Neill (The Brush Off) discuss their experiences in the directors chair. Topics included budget constraints and the lottery that is the process of casting. Neill seems genuinely amazed that Mick Molloy has pulled off the role of the politician and minister.

    Importance of the Director (4:08)   

    An almost irreverent take on directing from the dead-pan John Clarke. In a manner that only he can, he tries to explain what his role was during the filming of Stiff. Other than making tea it seems he didn't do much.

    The Film (5:08)

    A round table discussion with the two directors of the movies (John Clarke and Sam Neill) and the lead actor David Wenham. They discuss all the usual aspects of the films, the cast and the characters.

    The Edit Suite (5:16)

    The most serious and technical of the sections, this sees John Clarke in an edit suite explaining the differences between shots and takes on a certain scene in Stiff. Good from a film making angle, but probably a little brief to be of any real use.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer here is quite good, though with some of the source material obviously being a cheaper hand-held video camera it is not going to be as good as the finished films. It is presented in a combination of aspect ratios, with some of the sections being 1.78:1 and others 1.33:1. The transfer is also 16x9 enhanced with the 1.33:1 material appearing with black borders down the left and right hand sides of the screen.

    All the vision is at least of average sharpness while the detail level is consistently good throughout. There is some minor edge enhancement on a couple of the sections (the round table discussion with the directors is where it is most notable). There are absolutely no problems with shadow detail. The image is grainer than the films but it really doesn't spoil the picture.

    The colours are excellent with even saturation and shading.

    There are no MPEG artefacts and video artefacts are also absent.

    Unfortunately, there are again no subtitles available at all on this disc.

    The disc is single layered so there is no layer change.

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

Audio

    There is just one audio soundtrack on this disc, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at the bitrate of 224 Kb/s. It is really not required to do a great deal with much of the content merely interview grabs and the like.

    Dialogue is handled well and there are no audio sync issues.

    There is no surround or subwoofer use.



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

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    This is not really an extra since the whole disc is in itself one big extra.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title has not been released in Region 1.

Summary

     Purchase Stiff and The Brush Off in the box set and you'll score this third disc of extras. It contains a 47 minute featurette broken into six chapters covering many of the film-making aspects and featuring interviews with all the key players.

    The video quality is fine for what is really an extra while the audio is also more than adequate.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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