Scoop (2006)

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Released 15-Nov-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 91:54
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Woody Allen
Studio
Distributor
Icon Entertainment Starring Jim Dunk
Robert Bathurst
Geoff Bell
Christopher Fulford
Nigel Lindsay
Ian McShane
Fenella Woolgar
Pete Mastin
Doreen Mantle
David Schneider
Meera Syal
Kevin McNally
Robyn Kerr
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/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 No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

   

"You come from an orthodox family, do you think they will accept a serial killer?"- Sydney Waterman to Sandra Pranski

    Scoop is Woody Allen's follow up to his first London-based film, Match Point which also starred Scarlet Johanssen. There are some other similarities between the films besides location but there are also lots of differences. This one is a much less serious film than  Match Point with much more of a comedy-thriller vibe rather than the dramatic thrill of the previous film. The previous film was also a box office success, whereas this one only made $10 million at the US Box Office and was not released theatrically in the UK, or here, I believe. This is probably not a fair reflection of its quality as it is an enjoyable comedy caper romp with some excellent dialogue as we have come to expect from Woody Allen.

    This film's plot involves a young, smart and beautiful journalism student from the US who is visiting a family friend in London. Her name is Sandra Pranski (Johanssen) and while she is in London she is trying to write some stories for her college paper. She attends a vaudeville-style show with her friend Vivien (Romola Garai) where she is invited up on stage to assist a magician, Splendini (Woody Allen) with a trick where he puts her in a box and makes her disappear. While she is standing in the box, a man appears next to her who she works out is a dead investigative journalist called Joe Strombel (Ian McShane). He died in the preceding few days before the show and got some inside information during his trip to the afterworld. He tells her that he will give her an incredible scoop which is that Peter Lyman (Hugh Jackman) is a serial killer who the police have been trying to catch. The killer is known as the Tarot Card Killer as he leaves a Tarot Card at each kill. Obviously, Sandra decides to investigate but soon discovers that she is very attracted to the young, rich and aristocratic Lyman. She presses Splendini (whose real name is Sydney Waterman) to help her by posing as her father. A mildly thrilling and amusing mystery unfolds.

    Allen is probably the highlight from a performance perspective (even if he is playing himself) whereas Jackman seems somewhat out of place. Johannsen is good.

    This is an enjoyable and diverting film which is worth your time but may not be something you watch over and over again. I would recommend a rental especially for fans of Woody Allen.

    Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout but never crisp. There is no evidence of low level noise. There is some MPEG grain to be seen which occasionally lapses into macro-blocking, such as at 17:30 in the red background. The shadow detail was average, probably due to the naturalistic lighting used.

    The colour was well rendered without being overly vibrant.

    Artefacts included some small film artefact specks, some edge enhancement (32:15) and some minor aliasing.

    There are no subtitles at all.

    There is no layer change.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is fine but as usual with Woody Allen films, it is presented in Mono.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s. Generally speaking, the soundtrack is a bit quiet and you will need to turn up your amplifier.

    After turning up the volume, dialogue was very clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film is made up of a variety of well known classical pieces such as Swan Lake, Hall of the Mountain King and Strauss' Trischk-Traschk Polka. It sounds quite good considering the mono source.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer are not used.

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

Extras

    Nothing, again a normal thing for a Woody Allen film.

Menu

    The menu design is very simple only allowing for playing the film or scene selection.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version is only different in that it includes subtitles in English, French & Spanish. Worthwhile for the hard of hearing.

Summary

    A diverting comedy thriller from Woody Allen following up his superior Match Point.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is good but as with all Woody Allen films, only mono.

    Woody doesn't 'do' extras...

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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