Overall | OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (OSS 117: Le Caire nid d'espions) (2006) | The Valet (Doublure, La) (2006) | Priceless (Hors de prix) (2006)

New French Cinema-Comedies (2008)

New French Cinema-Comedies (2008)

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Released 12-Nov-2008

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Overall Package

Madman Entertainment have released a number of French productions locally in recent years – titles have ranged from classic French New Wave titles from Jean-Luc Godard and Claude Chabrol, to recent blockbusters from Francis Veber and Luc Besson, to controversial productions from Michael Haneke and Catherine Breillat.

Under the banner of New French Cinema, Madman Entertainment have now selected titles from their vast catalogue which represent modern French Cinema. This specific box set concentrates on Comedies. This boxset features three major blockbusters including the action-comedy OSS 117, the latest comedy from Francis Veber - The Valet, and the rom-com Priceless.

Each of these DVD titles are identical to when they were individually released. I can also confirm the subtitle issue for the extras on Priceless has indeed been fixed.

In comparison to how Priceless and OSS 117 were released on DVD in the USA – the local releases are the clear winners. The R1 release of The Valet includes the same ‘Making Of’ which appears on the local release and an English language commentary by director Francis Veber. However the R1 release misses out on all the other extras on the R4 release. Overall if English subtitles are a priority the local releases are practical, particularly considering the discount price of this boxset. If English subtitles are not a priority the French (R2) releases are definitive.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
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Overall | OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (OSS 117: Le Caire nid d'espions) (2006) | The Valet (Doublure, La) (2006) | Priceless (Hors de prix) (2006)

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (OSS 117: Le Caire nid d'espions) (2006)

OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (OSS 117: Le Caire nid d'espions) (2006)

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Released 6-Jun-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Making Of
Outtakes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 95:00 (Case: 99)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (46:02) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Michel Hazanavicius
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Jean Dujardin
Bérénice Bejo
Aure Atika
Philippe Lefebvre
Constantin Alexandrov
Saïd Amadis
Laurent Bateau
Claude Brosset
François Damiens
Youssef Hamid
Khalid Maadour
Arsène Mosca
Abdellah Moundy
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Ludovic Bource
Kamel Ech-Cheik


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

   

 Larmina (in derisive tone)- "You are very French!"  Hubert - "Thank You"

    OSS 117 - Cairo : Nest of Spies is an extremely amusing French film made last year. It is a spoof of a 1960's series of French spy films which were made in the style of early James Bond. You certainly do not need to have seen the original films to enjoy this as it also spoofs many other things such as Sean Connery's James Bond, Inspector Clouseau and others. Although it would be easy to compare it to Austin Powers this is a very different approach to the genre than that taken by those films. This film is not as broad as the Powers' films, rather it takes the approach of slight exaggeration instead, which is often funnier than very broad humour. Don't get me wrong I am a big fan of the Austin Powers films, it's just that the approach taken here is also a winner.

    The lead character here is Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath (Jean Dujardin) also known as OSS 117 (a French equivalent to the 00 numbering used in the Bond films). OSS, by the way, stands for the Office of Strategic Services. He is a wonderful mixture of intelligence, stupidity, cultural insensitivity, sexuality and bravery. The film is set in 1955 and the period detail is excellent. His colleague (and possibly secret object of his affections) Jack Jefferson is killed while on assignment in Egypt and Hubert is sent in undercover as a poultry dealer to investigate what has happened, as well as keep an eye on the Russians, Germans, English and a secret society called The Eagles of Cheops. Here he meets his local contact, the beautiful Larmina (Berenice Bajo). Obviously, the plot plays second fiddle to the comedy but it's certainly not uninteresting.

    This film does a wonderful job of reviving the feel and look for 1950s and 1960s spy films with excellent costumes and lots of very reminiscent plot points, such as ludicrous escapes and flashbacks to happier (usually homoerotic) times. There are lots of great sight gags plus excellent dialogue which generally translates well from the original French. Lots of great details from the films being spoofed are included such as the karate chop style moves, excellent vintage style fight scenes, the 'spy stance' like the one used in the credits of older James Bond films, ties and hats plus much more. The director used period equipment such as lighting and period style camera movement to also add to the 1950s atmosphere. The music also does a wonderful job of creating mood as it is a great selection of arabesque cocktail jazz very reminiscent of the era. The overall effect is brilliant.

    All of the technical work would be wasted if it wasn't for the pitch perfect performance of Jean Dujardin who is hilariously funny as OSS117. He does a wonderful combination of Sean Connery & Inspector Clouseau with his own added touches. He was nominated for a Cesar for this role. The film was nominated for 4 other Cesar's, winning one for production design. The film was shot in France and Morocco.

    Any fan of either classic 60s spy films, spy film spoofs or French comedy will really get a kick out of this. It deserves to be seen by a wider audience in the English speaking world. It was a huge hit in France. I have not laughed as much at a film in quite a while.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is excellent.

    The feature is presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced, which I would guess is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was very clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. There was some very light grain but only occasionally. The shadow detail was excellent.

    The colour was fantastic with incredible richness and depth of colour. There were no colour blemishes of any kind.

    I noticed one spot of macro-blocking in an underwater scene at 49:40 but this was very minor. There was also a couple of spots of very minor aliasing..

    There are subtitles in English. They are in an SBS-style yellow font and seem to be well timed.

    The layer change occurs at 46:02 and is not noticeable.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is very good.

    This DVD contains two audio options, a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s and a French Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s. The cover mentions a DTS track however this is not actually present on the disc. The whole mix is very front focused with little surround action in either soundtrack.

    Dialogue seemed clear and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The score of this film by Ludovic Bource & Kamel Ech-Cheikh is a great mixture of cocktail jazz and middle eastern flavours, which is fantastic for setting the 1950s atmosphere and the jovial tone of the film.

    The surround speakers were only used occasionally for some directional effects such as the chickens and some atmosphere.

     The subwoofer was not used to any great degree.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu design is great, with motion, music and a very cool design.

Alternate & Deleted Scenes (17:13)

    Presented non-16x9 enhanced, but in widescreen. An amusing selection of extras and alternate silliness. Worth a look.

The Making of OSS 117 (19:08)

    Presented non-16x9 enhanced widescreen. A short but interesting making of which covers influences, how the feel was recreated, colour schemes, costumes, technical information, stunts and sets.

The Collection of Howlers (11:57)

    This is a genuinely funny set of outtakes which sets it apart from most other outtakes. Great stuff.

Original French Trailer (1:42)

    A trailer in the style of trailers from the 1950s. This is a hoot!

Madman Propaganda

    Trailers for four other French films.

R4 vs R1

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

    The only other versions of this film which seem to be available globally at this point come from France. There are three different editions available. The standard edition is virtually identical to ours with the exception that the DTS track is included and a Director's commentary is available. Additionally, a short featurette on what was going on around the world in 1955 is included. The French edition does include English subtitles (certainly on the main feature). The second version includes a second disc with a 60 minute documentary about the film, and the third includes special packaging and a figurine. You would have to give the nod here to the French version.

Summary

    A very funny French spoof of classic spy films.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The disc includes a good selection of worthwhile extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, August 01, 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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Sold! - Hot Fuzz's Evil Butchers, UK

Overall | OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (OSS 117: Le Caire nid d'espions) (2006) | The Valet (Doublure, La) (2006) | Priceless (Hors de prix) (2006)

The Valet (Doublure, La) (2006)

The Valet (Doublure, La) (2006)

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Released 17-Oct-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-Making Of-Making of (45:23)
Interviews-Cast & Crew-Alice's Choice (4:38)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Behind the Scenes with Karl Lagerfeld (1:06)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes- Fashion Parade (5:38)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Featurette on Alice Taglioni (2:02)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Site visit with the production desiger (6:11)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-The Valet's Valet (4:33)
Theatrical Trailer-La Doublure (2:01)
Theatrical Trailer-Le Placard (1:25)
Theatrical Trailer-Le Couperet (1:36)
Theatrical Trailer-Après vous... (2:01)
Theatrical Trailer-Le Dîner de cons (1:43)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 82:22 (Case: 85)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Francis Veber
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Gad Elmaleh
Alice Taglioni
Daniel Auteuil
Kristin Scott Thomas
Richard Berry
Virginie Ledoyen
Dany Boon
Michel Jonasz
Michel Aumont
Laurent Gamelon
Patrick Mille
Michèle Garcia
Philippe Magnan
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Alexandre Desplat


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

Francis Veber’s fable La Doublure, finds the director treading new ground as he once again reinvents his fallible hero François Pignon and has written pivotal roles for three female characters. Pignon is portrayed by celebrated stand-up comedian and actor Gad Elmaleh, who recently starred opposite Audrey Tautou in Pierre Salvadori’s romantic-comedy Hors de prix.

Elmaleh’s Pignon is a simple man who is besotted with his childhood friend Émilie (Virginie Ledoyen), who he’s wanted to marry since kindergarten. Émilie has recently opened a bookshop and has found herself in debt owing the bank €32,450 and when Pignon asks her to marry him; she rejects him on the basis that he cannot financially provide for her. Pignon works as a valet at a fashionable restaurant in front of the Eiffel Tower with his roommate Richard, played by renowned stand-up comedian and actor Danny Boon who recently starred in Patrice Leconte’s successful comedy Mon meilleur ami with Daniel Auteuil.

On the other side of Paris wealthy businessman Pierre Levasseur (Daniel Auteuil) is having an affair with supermodel Elena Simonsen (Alice Taglioni) and after being photographed by the paparazzi with his mistress he finds himself front-page news. When Levasseur’s wife Christine (Kristin Scott Thomas) questions her husband about the photograph, Pierre claims the supermodel has no association with him, rather she is with the man who appears in the background of the photo. The mystery man happens to be the recently rejected Pignon.

Pierre and his lawyer Maître Foix (Richard Berry) organize for Pignon and Elena to appear as a couple to fool Christine because if she is to divorce Pierre, he will end up with nothing. Pignon agrees to be part of the charade for the exact sum of €32,450 while Elena agrees for the sum of €20,000,000, which she will return to Pierre if he divorces his wife, which is something he has been promising Elena for years.

What follows is a series of disasters in the name of love as Pignon tries to win the heart of Émilie, despite the competition of her other suitor Pascal (Patrick Mille), while Richard tries to understand why Pignon has kicked him out of the apartment and is now living with a supermodel.

Equally Pierre tries to convince his wife that he is faithful while pining for Elena and subsequently becoming jealous of Pignon, and Elena tries to come to terms with being the third party in a marriage.

This is a well crafted comedy and the film features the trademark characters of a Veber film, from the doctor (Michel Aumont) who continuously falls ill while treating other patients to Pignon’s eccentric parents (Michel Jonasz and Michèle Garcia), to the egotistical Pascal - La Doublure is filled with wonderfully odd yet realistic characters. But it is Taglioni who shines through, she is the heart of the film and equally Elmaleh’s take on the classic character of Pignon is splendid. Those familiar with Elmaleh’s stand-up will know he is an energetic and vibrant showman and his restrained yet charismatic performance as Pignon is marvellous and dignified. Boon steals the show with some great lines and a lively performance while the double act of an uninhibited Auteuil and a controlled Berry is great to watch. Kristin Scott Thomas is also elegant and impressive.

I thoroughly enjoyed Veber’s latest effort as the director continuous to go from strength to strength. Keep an eye out for the great reference to Le Dîner de Cons. La Doublure is a wonderful comedy with heart and a remarkable cast and it is not surprising to learn that the American remake is currently in pre-production.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Presented in the theatrical aspect ratio of 2:35:1, the transfer is 16x9 enhanced and the image remains clear with excellent shadow depth and a natural and vibrant colour scheme.

The transfer has been encoded at a high average bit-rate of 6.45 Mb/s over a dual layer DVD. Subsequently the transfer is free of MPEG compression artefacts and is overall commendable.

The transfer incurs minimal telecine wobble (22:15), however there were no incidents of aliasing.

The optional English subtitles are presented in a clear yellow Arial font. While the subtitles do give a good generalisation of the French dialogue, there was an odd incident of a reference to designer and model ‘Inès de La Fressange’ being subtitled as ‘Naomi Campbell’ (70:20).

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

Audio

There are audio two options; a French 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack and a French 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack and both are clear and audible.

As this is a dialogue-driven comedy, the surround sound is used sparingly.

There are no problems with audio synch.

Chuck Berry’s No particular place to go is the main theme for the film while Alexandre Desplat’s original score is expressive and involving.



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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

The main menu is easy to navigate with a still image of the cover art and a selection of twelve scene selections, access to extras and set-up. The menu scored with a section of Chuck Berry’s No particular place to go.

The following extras appeared on the French R2 Gaumont DVD release of La Doublure. All the extras have player generated English subtitles which appear automatically when the feature is selected. These subtitles which are presented in a clear yellow Arial font can be turned off if desired. Overall the subtitles do give a good generalisation of the French language interviews. All the extras are 16x9 enhanced.

The Making of La Doublure (45:23)

This feature is the main extra and it includes extensive interviews with director Francis Veber who recalls the beginnings of the Francois Pignon character and the development of La Doublure. Verber mentions that the motivation of Elena to take part in the charade was the main script problem – is she motivated by money or by love. The feature also follows Elmaleh as he physically becomes Pignon and he explains his commitment to the role and also the difficulties which plagued him. Equally Danny Boon explains the difficulty of stand-up comics becoming actors. Taglioni, Auteuil and Berry are also interviewed. The feature includes extensive behind the scenes footage demonstrating the art of comic timing and Verber’s patient and detailed directing style. Also included is behind the scene footage with Karl Lagerfeld and Kristin Scott Thomas. This is a wonderful addition to the local release. The feature is divided into 10 chapter selections.

Alice's Choice (4:38)

Alice’s choice or rather the choice of Alice includes an interview with Taglioni recalling her first days of the film interspersed with camera tests and Veber explaining why he chose Taglioni for the lead role.

Behind the Scenes with Karl Lagerfeld (1:06)

Brief behind the scenes footage of Karl Lagerfeld’s photo session with Francis Veber.

Fashion Parade (5:38)

Behind the scenes footage of the 2005 Chanel Haute Couture Parade which appeared in the film. Note the subtitles incorrectly mark the parade as a 2007 event.

Featurette on Alice Taglioni (2:02)

Behind the scenes footage of Karl Lagerfeld’s photo session with Alice Taglioni.

Site visit with the Production Designer (6:11)

From Pignon’s apartment to the creation of the shopping strip, production designer Dominique André guides us from the designing stage to the final set pieces of the impressive film sets.

The Valet's Valet (4:33)

Three of the stand-in’s are documented in this behind the scenes feature. The three individuals stand-in for the lighting and camera set-ups when the actors are away and read lines in scenes which require off-screen dialogue.

Theatrical Trailer (2:01)

The theatrical trailer is 16x9 enhanced with burnt English subtitles.

Madman Propaganda

The following trailers are preceded by a heavily compressed anti privacy warning: Le Placard (1:25,) Le Couperet (1:36), Après vous... (2:01) and Le Dîner de Cons (1:43). The trailers are not 16x9 enhanced and they can be viewed individually or as a play all feature.

R4 vs R1

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

The R2 release includes the same extras with the addition of a Director’s commentary. The R2 release includes an English – Hard of Hearing subtitle track for the feature film however, the extras do not feature English subtitles. The R2 menus are themed in a similar fashion to the animated opening credit sequence of the film.

Summary

Madman's DVD release of La Doublure is a quality release for English speaking audiences.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1910, using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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Overall | OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies (OSS 117: Le Caire nid d'espions) (2006) | The Valet (Doublure, La) (2006) | Priceless (Hors de prix) (2006)

Priceless (Hors de prix) (2006)

Priceless (Hors de prix) (2006)

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Released 18-Mar-2008

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Making Of-(26:41) Full Frame with optional English subtitles.
Deleted Scenes-4 Deleted Scenes-Full Frame with optional English subtitles
Featurette-Behind The Scenes- (5:22) Gag Reel-Full Frame with optional English subtitles
Theatrical Trailer-(2:01) French Trailer
Theatrical Trailer-Madman Propaganda
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 101:24 (Case: 104)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Pierre Salvadori
Studio
Distributor
Les Films Pelléas
Madman Entertainment
Starring Gad Elmaleh
Audrey Tautou
Marie-Christine Adam
Vernon Dobtcheff
Jacques Spiesser
Annelise Hesme
Charlotte Vermeil
Claudine Baschet
Laurent Claret
Jean de Coninck
Blandine Pélissier
Philippe Vendan-Borin
Bernard Bourdeau
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Camille Bazbaz


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

Two of France’s brightest stars – Audrey Tautou and Gad Elmaleh unite for Hors de prix (2006), the new romantic comedy from Pierre Salvadori.

Hors de prix (Priceless) is the tale of Irène (Tautou), a beautiful young woman whose idea of happiness is high-end fashion, designer shoes and diamonds, and Jean (Elmaleh), a humble employee at a luxury hotel in the south of France, who is somewhat misplaced amongst the glamorous and wealthy who surround him.

In the dead hours of the night Jean falls asleep at the hotel bar but is awakened by the charming Irène, who invites him to have a drink with her – it’s her birthday and Jacques (Vernon Dobtcheff), the older man she is with has fallen asleep. Unbeknownst to Irène, she has in fact made her first error of the evening – Jean is actually the barman. Still Jean innocently plays along and the two drink into the night. In the early hours of the morning Jean wakes up alone but remains besotted by the mysterious Irène.

One year passes and it is Irène’s birthday again. Irène is at the hotel and still in the arms of Jacques yet she sneaks out in the middle of the night to meet Jean. When Jacques finds out he is being cheated on he unceremoniously dumps Irène and she returns to Jean - who she believes is a young wealthy suitor. But then Jean is revealed to be a modest employee and she furiously storms out. Irène is alone and penniless, no longer does she have a rich man to pay for all her heart’s desires.

While Irène tries to seduce another, Jean tries to impress her – although it becomes increasingly clear she may be out of his league, or is she?

When Irène spots Jean on the arm of Madeline (Marie-Christine Adam) a rich older woman, she is intrigued and begins to instruct Jean in her devious ways and may perhaps even be falling for him.

Both Tautou and Elmaleh are amiable in the roles – she a gold digger with a heart of gold and he a timid somewhat naïve individual who has eyes only for her. The dialogue and sight gags are well paced and the south of France locations are elegantly captured, in short, Salvadori’s Hors de prix is another charming(amoral) comedy. Recommend to fans of Tautou and Elmaleh, as well as fans of Salvadori’s acclaimed Apres Vous… (2003).  

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Transfer Quality

Video

The PAL transfer is particularly good preserving the lush cinematography and rich colour palette of the film.

Presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1 widescreen, the transfer is relatively clean with no incidents of film grain and is free of MPEG compression artefacts.

The consistent high encoding bit-rate of 7.25 Mbps over a Dual Layer DVD achieves an overall smooth transfer.

Black levels and shadow detail are excellent.

The English subtitles are burnt onto the print of the film and are a good translation of the French dialogue.

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

Audio

The audio presentation is also very good. There are two French soundtracks available – Dolby Digital 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.1. As expected the soundtrack does not make full use of the surround sound but dialogue remains clear and the audio track is faultless.

The dialogue is mostly emitted from the front of the soundstage with occasional atmospheric sound and score emitted from the rear speakers.

The music score by Camille Bazbaz is light, engaging and dramatic without being domineering. All round, this is a well produced soundtrack for a romantic comedy.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

The main menu is a still image of the cover-art, accompanied with a section of the score. The menu is easy to navigate with access to twelve scene selections, set-up and access to the various extras.

The Making of Priceless

This making-of is a nice inclusion on the local DVD. The featurette focuses on the script, directing technique, casting, set design, comic timing and improvisation. An English subtitle stream automatically accompanies the featurette. (Full Frame) (26:41)

Deleted Scenes

There are four deleted scenes presented in Full Frame:

1: The Perfume (2:17)

2: Happy Birthday (2:37)

3: Beauty Salon (1:49)

4: The Watch (3:37)

 An English subtitle stream automatically accompanies each scene.

Behind the Scenes of Priceless

The staple of a comedy production – the gag reel. (5:22)

Theatrical Trailer

The French trailer with burnt-in English subtitles (2:01)

Madman Propaganda

An anti-piracy warning focused on the Australian film industry, precedes the following trailers:

R4 vs R1

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

The R2 (France) release includes the same technical specifications and extras as the R4 plus:

Summary

Salvadori’s Hors de prix is another charming (amoral) comedy. Audrey Tautou and Gad Elmaleh both shine in this romantic comedy of errors.

The Madman DVD as a whole package is commendable; it includes a good transfer and flawless soundtrack and a selection of extras which are informative and entertaining.

All round this is a great DVD release of the popular French comedy.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Vanessa Appassamy (Biography)
Monday, December 24, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDOPPO DV-980H, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE 700. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationYamaha DSP-A595a - 5.1 DTS
Speakers(Front) DB Dynamics Polaris AC688F loudspeakers,(Centre) DB Dynamics Polaris Mk3 Model CC030,(Rear) Polaris Mk3 Model SSD425,(Subwoofer) Jensen JPS12

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subtitles on deleted scenes - Matt REPLY POSTED
Also no subtitles on other extras - peto REPLY POSTED