The Flamingo Kid (1984)

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Released 6-Oct-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1984
Running Time 95:44
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Garry Marshall
Studio
Distributor
ABC Motion Pictures
MRA Entertainment
Starring Matt Dillon
Hector Elizondo
Molly McCarthy
Martha Gehman
Richard Crenna
Jessica Walter
Carole Davis
Janet Jones
Brian McNamara
Fisher Stevens
Leon
Bronson Pinchot
Frank Campanella
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Curt Sobel


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Set in the summer of 1963, The Flamingo Kid opens with Jeffrey Willis (Matt Dillon) and his friends discussing their plans for the holidays. While they would all like to get away from Brooklyn for a while the reality for most is that they must work a summer job in order to save some money for college. Jeffrey is less than enthusiastic about the office job his father, Arthur (Hector Elizondo), has organised with an engineering company.

    To make the most of the remaining free time Jeffrey teams up with Steve Dawkins (Brian McNamara) and Hawk Ganz (Fisher Stevens), as they head off to the El Flamingo Beach Club for a game of Gin Rummy. It is here that Jeffrey is introduced to Carla Samson (Janet Jones), the niece of influential club member and Gin Rummy champion Phil Brody (Richard Crenna).

    The El Flamingo Beach Club is an exclusive club that only admits members and their guests, so when Jeffrey is offered a job as a parking valet he jumps at the prospect of seeing Carla again. His enterprising ways are further rewarded once he realises that he can make more money in one day through tips than he could working as an office boy for a week.

    When Jeffrey accepts an invitation from Carla to join her for dinner at the Brody mansion, the Brody’s upper class airs and graces stand in complete contrast to Jeffery’s working class background. Despite the obvious differences Jeffrey manages to make an impression on Phil who convinces him that it is not necessary to have a college education to get ahead in life. When Phil offers him a job as a luxury car salesman Jeffrey finds himself reconsidering his future. This of course leads to a falling out with his own father, who isn’t easily impressed by all the stories of easy money.

    Phil manages to pull a few strings at the El Flamingo Beach Club and it isn’t long before Jeffrey is promoted to cabana boy, where he finds himself waiting on the top Gin Rummy tables. Of course it is only a matter of time before the summer holidays come to an end, along with Jeffrey’s dreams of an easy life.

    The Flamingo Kid was made in 1984 and it certainly has a dated quality that is not particularly endearing during the early stages of the movie, with its ill conceived and poorly delivered lines. Thankfully once the character introductions are out of the way and the pretext of the story has been established we can settle in for what is ultimately an enjoyable, unpretentious movie.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Given the age of the movie the video transfer is acceptable, but far from outstanding.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The overall image appears soft though the shadow detail is reasonable. Blacks can appear grainy at times, for example the darkened bedroom at 52:51 and the night time harbour at 72:36.

    Like the rest of the video transfer the colour palette is par for the course. You definitely won’t find vibrant colours leaping out from the screen.

    The majority of problems associated with this transfer are related to the source material rather than the transfer process. MPEG artefacts and film-to-video artefacts are almost non-existent. There is some grain evident on the long shots, such as the bridge at 4:37, and minor film artefacts are evident throughout the film.

    This disc contains no subtitles.

    This is a single sided, single layered disc so there is no layer change to report.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is far from outstanding, but of greatest concern is the high pitched buzzing that can be heard at 11:21, 36:14, 59:55 and several other locations.

    The disc contains a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (448Kb/s) audio track.

    The dialogue is generally loud and clear but far from outstanding. Lip sync appeared to be out by just a touch throughout the movie and can at times border on annoying.

    The large number of 1960s era rock songs proved to be the greatest highlight of the movie. The songs included Good Golly Miss Molly by Little Richard, Run-around Sue by Dion and Da Do Ron Ron by Phil Spector, just to name a few.

    Despite being surround encoded the surround channels didn’t have a lot of work to do. All dialogue and music sits squarely in the centre of the front sound stage, providing a monaural experience.

    Being a Dolby Digital 2.0 (Surround) audio track the subwoofer was not utilised.

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

Extras

    There are no extras available on this disc.

 Menu

    The menu is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced. It is not animated and it is not accompanied by any audio. With no extras available the only menu options are Play and Scene Index, of which there are 12.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 4 version of this disc is recommended on account of the video transfer being 16x9 enhanced. 

Summary

    The Flamingo Kid is a poorly executed coming of age movie that is further let down by an average video transfer and a poor audio track. The committed viewer who sits through the agonisingly poor dialogue at the start of the film will be partially rewarded by movie’s end. The classic 1960s rock songs that are played throughout the movie would sound so much better with a quality audio transfer.

    The video transfer is acceptable, but far from outstanding.

    The biggest letdown was the disc’s English Dolby Digital 2.0 (Surround) audio track, which can be summed up as flat, front and centre.

    There are no extras whatsoever, not even a Theatrical Trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Aaron Devereaux (read my bio)
Friday, August 11, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-533K, using Component output
DisplayInFocus Screenplay 7200 with ScreenTechnics 100" (16x9) screen. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to Amplifier. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC -A11SR
SpeakersJamo D6PEX wall mounted Speakers and Powered Sub (7.1)

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