Mr. Bean's Holiday (HD DVD) (2007)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Beans In Cannes
Featurette-The Human Bean
|Year Of Production||2007|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Steve Bendelack|
Universal Pictures Home Video
Emma de Caunes
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
French Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
Italian Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
German Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
Japanese Dolby Digital Plus 5.1
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, mobile phones.|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
I'm a big fan of British comedy and have very fond memories of the Mr. Bean television series. Like a lot of my friends, I found the Hollywood rendition Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie a big disappointment, so I confess it was with some trepidation that I approached this film. Having read numerous scathing reviews on the 'net didn't help motivate me much, but I'm happy to say that it didn't turn out to be nearly as bad as I was expecting. Reading reviews can do that to you sometimes, I guess.
Mr. Bean's Holiday opens with our familiar friend hurrying into a dilapidated church, trying to make it inside in time for a raffle draw. A number of trivial prizes are drawn before we get to the major draw; a French seaside holiday, which Bean (Rowan Atkinson) is very keen on winning. The usual comedy of errors ensues, and before we know it we're joining him on his trip, destined for Cannes. But, making the train will soon be the least of his worries, as in his excitement he inadvertently causes a young boy to become separated from his Dad. As Bean's focus begins to center on reuniting the father and son, he does the unthinkable in a foreign country; he loses his identification, passport, wallet, everything. For a man who has such a hard time in his own country, how will he fare as a foreigner? Sacre bleu! One thing's for certain, he'll leave a trail of destruction in his wake, and all he really wants is to get to the beach.
The film's finale climaxes with Bean crashing the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival, with a few interesting, albeit innocent, pokes at the pretentiousness of the industry. While I do admit to enjoying this film, I have to say I don't really feel that it takes the character into any new territory. There are quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, the obligatory restaurant scene, and not an overabundance of gross-out humour.
Fans of French cinema will be surprised by the number of familiar faces that appear throughout the film. Likewise, the main cast is very good, buoyed by great performances by Jean Rochefort and Willem Dafoe. Gorgeous French actress Emma De Caunes is fantastically flirtatious as Sabine (get it?), the Yang to Bean's Ying.
Mr. Bean's Holiday is good fun, and will likely be enjoyed by those who are familiar with the TV series, as well as new recruits. There's nothing inappropriate to be found, and its PG rating makes it suitable for the whole family.
This video transfer is just stunning, the kind of transfer that makes you want to throw away all of your old SD DVDs.
One of the objects Bean takes on holiday with him is a personal video camera, and there are many scenes within the film that utilise handheld POV camerawork. On a big screen these range from irritating to nauseating in their jerky, unpredictable movement.
The film has been transferred at a resolution of 1080p, in its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, in a native 16x9 frame.
The level of fine texture and detail is amazing, lending the overall image an incredible depth and a certain realistic quality. See the clarity during the sequence in the field at 45:21, with the expanse of gently waving grass that appears so clear and finely detailed. Shadow detail is equally superb and there is no visible noise present in the image whatsoever. Simply put, this is one of the finest HD transfers I have seen to date.
Like a lot of contemporary European productions, a great deal of the film has been graded in post to create a strong sepia tone. During the milder scenes, colour reproduction is bold and lifelike.
The VC-1 compression codec has been applied, without a hint of compression grain or noise to be seen. Similarly, the source print is in perfect condition, free of any film artefacts or blemishes.
An English subtitle stream is forced in order to translate numerous passages of French dialogue. The unobtrusive font is easy to follow and appears to be accurate. A standard English stream is available, along with numerous other languages.
This is a dual-layered, HD-30 disc.
The film's original soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1, along with a number of alternate dubbed languages. The default soundtrack is determined by the viewer's selection from an initial setup menu that loads upon insertion of the disc.
The dialogue is clear and distinct at all times. The ADR is seamless. Audio sync is absolutely perfect.
The surround channels are put to great use, emphasizing effects such as rain and traffic noise with great depth. The musical score is also present in the rear channels, with beautifully bright strings and percussion to be heard. Voices are confined to the front soundfield.
The score is attributed to Howard Goodall and follows the playful nature of the film well. Howard even manages to take the p*** out of the French in the process.
The subwoofer lends some great bottom end to the lower registers of the score, as well as a few explosions along the way.
|Surround Channel Use|
This is a pretty lightweight package of extras, but it's better than nothing. The quality of the deleted scenes varies greatly, while all of the featurettes are 16x9 enhanced. There are no HD features.
A standard Universal feature, this function allows the user to flag their favorite moments during playback of the film, to be easily retrieved later on. A personalised list of highlights is created that you can revisit whenever the disc is reinserted.
This Making Of covers locations and discusses assorted hurdles that were overcome during production. Included are interviews with the director, cast, writers and crew.
Continuing from the above, this piece looks specifically at the scenes that were shot at the festival and around Cannes itself.
Director Steve Bendelack, along with assorted cast and Producers, discuss what it's like to work with Atkinson. Most point out how the role is physically taxing for him.
Presented in SD, these scenes include location audio and are not 16x9 enhanced. Most serve as extensions to already familiar scenes, with a few additional gags, as well as an extra closing song. I had some trouble getting subtitles to work during these deleted scenes, many of which contain lengthy passages of French dialogue.
This HD DVD disc is identical to the UK and European releases.
The North American release of November 2007 omits the multiple foreign language audio options and adds an English Dolby Digital TrueHD soundtrack. The North American disc is also a combo format, with HD content on one side and standard definition DVD on the other.
Given that this isn't an effects-laden, bombastic soundtrack, I don't see any reason not to go with the local product.
The video transfer is superb.
The audio transfer is excellent.
The extras are a little lightweight.
|DVD||Toshiba HD-D1, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.|