Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby (2005)
|Year Of Production||2005|
|Running Time||160:07 (Case: 155)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Danny Mulheron|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|RPI||$24.95||Music||Samuel Flynn Scott|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, minor plug for Apple|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Ahh, Mr Gormsby: colonial relic, misogynist, committed homophobe, racist blackface minstrel, and a man without a modicum of tact. Fired from Tepapawai Boys High School for all of the above failings, school staff react more than unfavourably when Gormsby (David McPhail) is brought back as substitute teacher for trouble class 5F. But despite a never-ending arsenal of questionable teaching methods (from expounding his studied opinions on every minority to threatening to "Roger" a student in order to make a point), Gormsby somehow manages to connect with the boys of 5F, earning their hard-won respect and friendship. But when the Education Review Board begins to move for Gormsby's dismissal and slimy guidance counsellor Steve sets his plans for power in motion, Tepapawai's future seems more than a little uncertain . . . .
Written and directed by Danny Mulheron, who cut his teeth as Peter Jackson's writing collaborator on Meet the Feebles, Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby is the latest in non-PC, boundary-pushing comedies. Taking the school yard humour of South Park and Bromwell High and bringing it into the real world, Mr Gormsby aims to push the buttons of every possible minority and cross all the right lines, while still maintaining a warm heart and producing a positive social critique. It's a very difficult balancing trick, and sadly, Mr Gormsby is just not quite up to the task. To be frank, there's just more in the way of offence than laughs - and some of it's just plain horrifying. Episode One launches off to a flying start with Gormsby's disciplinary threat of rape (a scene all the more disturbing as it's played for laughs) and the series continues for seven episodes of the same. Admittedly, the boys have a certain endearing naivety: when young teacher Miss O'Flaherty has an abortion after a ill-advised tryst with Steve, the boys innocently ask about the baby's sex and what she planned to call it. Somehow this scene manages to come off sweet, rather than disturbing. Ultimately though, if Seven Periods does produce some sort of positive glow, or reveals a hidden heart of gold in Gormsby, it does so in a fairly manipulative manner. Gormsby manages, in fact, after all his roaring and antics, to teach his class nothing, succeeding rather in bullying and belittling them. Magically, though, his students grow fond of him, his intended "Rogering" victim weeping at Gormsby's departure. Of course if you're not convinced that Gormsby is really a good man despite his offensiveness, his class pay him the ultimate respect (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) by performing a haka in his honour and the staff walk off work in protest of his dismissal. It all rings hollow though, and Seven Periods With Mr Gormsby finds its way to DVD as yet another exercise in poor taste and weak comedy.
All seven periods are included on the disc, enough to keep us occupied until the second helping of Gormsby makes it to the small screen some time in 2006.
1. The Appalling Mr Gormsby
2. Comrade Gormsby
3. Human Relationships
4. Open Day
5. The Retarded Boy
6. Coon Tunes
7. The ERO Parade
Of very recent vintage, Mr Gormsby comes close to a perfect video transfer. The series is presented 1.78:1, its original aspect ratio, and 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer looks crisp and is blessed with excellent shadow detail. Even zoomed in, video holds its detail exceptionally well. I didn't notice any low level noise at all. Colours are very natural, although skin tones appear just a little too pink at time.
Aliasing is a persistent problem, affecting most hard lines (see 51:46, for example). The image breaks up very mildly at 84:12 and again at 88:14. A significant issue is the excessive use of edge enhancement on almost every shot. Faces will often have a heavy dark outline which becomes very distracting. A disappointing flaw on an otherwise excellent transfer.
English subtitles for the Hearing Impaired are included in a yellow font and are spot on accurate. Their placement onscreen is fairly poor. Titles move across the image according to the position of the speaker and when dialogue occurs during the opening credits, the subtitles migrate to the centre of the screen.
The audio transfer is good quality and has no significant problems. A single English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kbps) track is included.
Dialogue is clean, clear and without any sign of hiss. Audio sync is accurate.
Music plays only a small role in Gormsby, rarely appearing outside of the opening and closing credits. Composed by Samuel Flynn Scott, the score is unmemorable but suitable for the overall feeling of the series. Mr Gormsby is dialogue centred, and as such, there is very little in the way of surround presence. The odd music cue is supported by the rears, but most of the audio action takes place front and centre. The subwoofer kicks in for the title music, but is otherwise absent.
|Surround Channel Use|
Seven Periods With Mr Gormsby is only available in Region 4.
Another attempt at revealing a heart of gold behind a barrage of non-PC boundary pushing, Seven Periods with Mr Gormsby ultimately rings hollow.
Video is excellent, although prone to heavy edge enhancement.
Audio is clean and clear and well transferred.
No extras for Gormsby.
|DVD||Sony DVP-S336, using Component output|
|Display||LG Flatron Widescreen RT-28FZ85RX. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||DB Dynamics Belmont Series: Fronts: B50F, Centre: B50C, Rears: B50S, Sub: SW8BR|