Grumpier Old Men (PAL) (1995)

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Released 10-Aug-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 96:51
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (62:25) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Howard Deutch
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Jack Lemmon
Walter Matthau
Ann-Margret
Sophia Loren
Burgess Meredith
Daryl Hannah
Kevin Pollak
Case ?
RPI $14.95 Music Alan Silvestri


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/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 English
French
Italian
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Romanian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Outtakes - very funny

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

Plot Synopsis

    One of the first films that I reviewed when I joined the review team here at www.michaeldvd.com.au was the 1993 comedy Grumpy Old Men starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The sequel to that film, which came 2 years later, has sat miserably on the Dud list here for quite some time so I thought it was time to check out the sequel, Grumpier Old Men, and I’m glad I did. This film is a charming and good natured romantic comedy that is easy to enjoy.

    John Gustafson (Jack Lemmon) and Max Goldman (Walter Matthau), our grumpy old men, are still fishing and still bickering but their rift has been somewhat mended by the impending marriage of John’s daughter Melanie (Daryl Hannah) to Max’s son Jacob (Kevin Pollak). When the two old timers learn that their favourite bait shop is going to be converted into an Italian restaurant they join forces to try and drive out the new owners, Maria Sophia Coletta Ragetti (Sophia Loren) and her mother Mama Ragetti (Ann Morgan Guilbert). While John and Max are attempting to drive away the new owners, John’s father Grandpa Gustafson (Burgess Meredith in his final screen performance) is actually trying to woo Mama Ragetti. It also seems that Max might be falling for the charms of Maria.

    In the meantime, Melanie and Jacob are planning their upcoming wedding and while they appreciate the help of their parents, it would appear that their idea of the ideal wedding may not be in sync with what John and Max have in mind. This creates tension in the relationship and it seems the wedding might be off if they can’t resolve it.

    Overall I think this sequel is a better film than the original. The writing is better, the lines are wittier and the plot has more substance. A montage in the middle of the film showing Max and John trying to sabotage each others' fishing trips really had me chuckling away. Like the original however, the funniest moments definitely occur during the outtakes in the closing credits.

    One of my biggest criticisms of the original film was the lack of depth given to the supporting characters and thankfully this has been rectified in this sequel. The supporting characters are now more fully formed individuals. This is not a great film by anyone’s measure but with the always wonderful chemistry between Lemmon and Matthau the result is still a joy to watch.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is the second release of Grumpier Old Men here in Region 4 and this new release is a significant improvement over that original release. It is a very nice transfer overall but there are still a few minor issues. The original release was encoded in NTSC at an open-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It suffered from over compression and exhibited a slightly annoying vertical streakiness. When comparing the old to the new it really is chalk and cheese. The new release is noticeably superior in virtually every respect.

    The new transfer is PAL encoded at an aspect ratio of 1.78 which is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. Incidentally, when comparing it to the original release it seems the original release was open-matte and not pan and scan.

    Image sharpness and detail are both very good although they do vary a little scene to scene, which is probably more a reflection on the source material rather than the transfer. The image is free of low level noise.

    Colours were accurate and well saturated throughout.

    The film print used is very clean and I did not detect much in the way of film artefacts. A few minor instances of aliasing were noticed, such as some water reeds at 7:32. The biggest issue that I found with this transfer was an apparent overuse of image noise reduction. I first became aware of it around 19:22. This is a scene in a supermarket and the grocery shelves behind Jack Lemmon shimmer and almost wobble. This was probably one of the worst cases but I continued to notice other instances of this throughout the rest of the film. It is probably only going to be noticed by viewers with larger screens but I personally found it a little distracting.

    English subtitles are white and easy to read. They match well with the onscreen dialogue.

    The film is presented on an RSDL formatted dual-layered disc with the layer change occurring at 62:25. This is between a cut from interior to exterior but may be noticeable as some music trails off during the layer change.

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

Audio

    The English soundtrack is provided in Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 384 Kb/s and is a fairly decent soundtrack although quite front centric.

    Dialogue quality was quite good, however Walter Matthau does have a tendency to mumble his lines. Generally audio sync was quite good although I did notice a few scenes towards the beginning where it wasn’t quite right. One scene which occurs around 3:45 has Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau on separate small boats. I thought it might have been due to ADR but when I checked the previous release it was not a problem. This issue only seems to affect the opening few minutes of the film.

    The music used in the film is mostly existing songs, mainly from the fifties and sixties. The original music by Alan Silvesti is very similar to the original and subtly reinforces the onscreen action.

    The surrounds are mostly used for music cues but are occasionally used for subtle ambience. The subwoofer gets very little use at all.

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

Extras

    None.

R4 vs R1

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

    The DVD available in Region 1 seems to be identical to our original release which is NTSC, full frame and quite poor compared to this remastered version. Our version is clearly the version of choice.

Summary

    The sequal to 1993’s Grumpy Old Men sees the return of all the main and supporting cast plus the addition of Sophie Loren to this warm and witty comedy. A fine supporting cast and the magic chemistry between Lemmon and Matthau make this a real fun film to watch.

    The video transfer is very good overall and the audio, while nothing special, is perfectly serviceable.

    There are no extras at all.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Gauntlett (read my bio if you're bored.)
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-696AV-s, SACD & DVD-A, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE900E HD LCD Projector onto 90" 16x9 Screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderLogitech 5500 THX. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationLogitech 5500 THX
SpeakersLogitech 5500 THX

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