La Chèvre (1981)

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Released 16-Aug-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Les Comperes, Les Fugitifs, La Chevre,Mon Oncle, Play Time
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1981
Running Time 89:51 (Case: 95)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (42:13) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Francis Veber
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Pierre Richard
Gérard Depardieu
Pedro Armendáriz Jr.
Corynne Charbit
Maritza Olivares
André Valardy
Jorge Luke
Sergio Calderón
Michel Robin
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Vladimir Cosma


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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Plot Synopsis

    Francis Veber has long become one of France's most popular film makers. La Chevre was his breakthrough hit as a director. It also introduced the immensely successful pairing of Pierre Richard (already an established comedy actor) with Gérard Depardieu, a duo that would appear together many times again.

    Veber had successfully established himself as a comedy writer throughout the 1970s, even earning an Oscar nomination in 1978 for writing of La Cage aux Folles (somewhat of a rarity for a French language feature), but his rise to super stardom in his homeland didn't come until he began directing. This release is part of Madman's Directors Suite range. Veber's Les Fugitifs has also been released in this range and reviewed here.

    La Chevre translates to "The Goat" in English (although the film was released as Knock on Wood in the English speaking world), which sums the film up nicely. The daughter of the chairman of a bank has been kidnapped in Mexico and private detective Campana (Depardieu) has failed to find her after 42 days. The daughter happens to be one of the unluckiest people in the world, so the chairman decides to partner Campana with the somebody equally as unlucky, François Perrin (Richard) in the hope that their bad luck will somehow bring them together. It's a ludicrous premise, but one that provides ample excuse for some comedic mayhem.

    The humour in La Chevre is very similar to the style of early Steve Martin (particularly the similarly titled The Jerk) and Jerry Lewis. It is extremely silly, often not politically correct and relies on a good dose of slapstick. Recommended to anyone looking for a chuckle.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video is presented in its original 1.66:1 aspect and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The film has been given a very good restoration and transfer, particularly given the age of the film. The image is generally quite clear and there are very few film artefacts visible. Some scenes have a very mild flicker in the light level (see for example 7:20), but it is not particularly distracting. Dark scenes typically have adequate shadow depth, but some are fairly grainy (37:31). This does not make them unwatchable, but is a stark contrast to the very clear lighter scenes. Colours are quite bold, but occasionally appear to have been slightly over-balanced with skin tones in some scenes appearing much pinker than other scenes.

    There are no obvious digital video artefacts introduced by the transfer to DVD.

    The layer break occurs discretely at 42:13.

    The English subtitles are very bold and yellow - easy to read and well timed.

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

Audio

    There is one French Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (224 Kbps) language track available (the cover incorrectly lists audio as Dolby Digital 5.1).

    The audio is generally well mixed, but does not make use of the surround channels or subwoofer. Dialogue is clear, but the sync is noticeabley off for many of the Mexican actors, many of whom were likely dubbed in post production.

    The orchestral score is quite catchy and suits the film well.

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

Extras

    In addition to some fairly minimal extras - certainly less than one would expect from a title from a "Directors Suite" collection - there is a brief essay on Francis Veber included inside the cover.

Main Menu Audio

    Standard static menus featuring a catchy segment of the score.

Theatrical Trailer

    Standard theatrical trailer.

Madman Propaganda

    Piracy warning followed by trailers for other titles in the Madman Directors Suite range. Includes trailers for Les Compéres, Les Fugitifs, Mon Oncle and Playtime.

R4 vs R1

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

    La Chevre is available in Region 1 in NTSC in the incorrect aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and devoid of extras. Region 4 is the region of choice.

Summary

    A classic comedy that has been given an above average DVD transfer.

    The video transfer is good, but suffers some minor issues in dark scenes. The audio transfer is basic, but true to its source material, and very clear.

    Extras are minimal, which is somewhat disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDLG V8824W, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 80cm 4x3 CRT. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D512
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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