Overall | Stir Crazy (1980) | See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) | Another You (1991)

Pryor Wilder Ultimate Collectors Pack (1980)

Pryor Wilder Ultimate Collectors Pack (1980)

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Released 13-Oct-2003

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Overall Package

    Stir Crazy and See No Evil, Hear No Evil more than make up for the disappointment of the final release of the box set, Another You. The first two films highlight Richard Pryor's and Gene Wilder's unique comic act. Unfortunately there are no significant extras in this box set, released only in region 4, the addition of some commentaries and extra features would have been welcome.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Saturday, July 04, 2009
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DVD Net - Jules F

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Overall | Stir Crazy (1980) | See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) | Another You (1991)

Stir Crazy (1980)

Stir Crazy (1980)

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Released 13-Oct-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Filmographies-For Poitier, Wilder, Pryor, Stanford Brown & Williams
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1980
Running Time 106:32
RSDL / Flipper Dual Sided Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Sidney Poitier
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Gene Wilder
Richard Pryor
Georg Stanford Brown
Jobeth Williams
Miguel Ángel Suárez
Craig T. Nelson
Barry Corbin
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI Box Music Tom Scott


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Arabic
Czech
Danish
Dutch
English
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Stir Crazy was the third highest grossing film of 1980, behind Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back and Nine To Five. For many years the movie was the highest grossing film, in monetary terms, for an African-American Director. When I think of Stir Crazy, I think of Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, not Sidney Poitier who directed the film. Poitier had success in the 1970s directing and acting in a loose trilogy of films with Bill Cosby (Uptown Saturday Night, Let's Do It Again and A Piece of the Action). When he was attached to this project, he had the good sense to firstly rent out a prison facility in Arizona and secondly let Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder improvise their scenes.

    Stir Crazy was the second of four films that Pryor and Wilder starred in, the first been the hugely successful Silver Streak by Arthur Hiller in 1976. Richard Pryor plays Harry Monroe, a struggling actor who works as a waiter while Gene Wilder plays Skip Donahue, an unsuccessful playwright working as a store detective. After getting fired from their jobs (on the same day!) they decide to leave New York City and settle out west. They eventually end up in Texas where they get some work promoting a bank by dressing up in woodpecker costumes and performing for customers. During a lunch break they are set-up when two cunning bank robbers don their costumes and rob the bank. Thus, begins their adventures in Glensboro State prison, where they meet up with a gay prisoner (Georg Stanford Brown), another bank robber from Mexico (Miguelangel Suarez) and Grossberger (Erland Van Lidth De Jeude).

    Faced with the daunting prospect of spending 125 years in jail, with 30 years for parole, all hope seems lost for Skip and Harry, until Skip is invited to 'ride the bull' (i.e. ride a mechanised bull) in the warden's office. Skip surprises the warden (Barry Corbin) and the deputy (Craig T. Nelson) by riding the bull at full power and when he does so, a chain of events takes place whereby Skip and Harry can plan to escape.

    Erland Van Lidth needs to be mentioned due to his background. When I first saw him portray Grossberger as a young boy (when I first saw the movie on television) I was genuinely in fear of him, as Harry and all the other prisoners and guards are, especially when we find out that he murdered his whole family one weekend and then decided to kill off another family who happened to look like his family. (I still chuckle as I ponder on the premise of this character!) In real life, Van Lidth was a humble and quietly-spoken man who among other things graduated from University in Computer Science and excelled at wrestling, acting and opera singing. A hugely talented man (no pun intended!) he died from heart failure at 34 years of age. He was last seen in the film Running Man with Arnold Schwarznegger.

    Stir Crazy ranks as one of my all-time favourite comedies, simply because of the outrageous situations that Skip and Harry find themselves in. It is a shame that contrary to what many people think, Pryor and Wilder were not as close in real-life in comparison to the rapport they show in working together in the four films they did. Otherwise, surely they would have done a follow-up together to this hugely successful movie, rather than wait to team up with Arthur Hiller again in 1989, 9 years after Stir Crazy, to do See No Evil, Hear No Evil.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer from Sony Pictures/Columbia Tristar is superb for a film of this age.

    The aspect ratio for the film is 1:85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.

    Although the film is presented on one side of a flipper (a DVD-10) with the movie See No Evil, Hear No Evil, the transfer only has minimal grain and no low level noise. The average bitrate of the film transfer is 5.2 mb/sec which is reasonable for a 106 minute film.

    Colour is consistent with other films of it's era. The scenes at the beginning of the film in New York City look similar to other films of the late 1970s/early 1980s such as Kramer vs. Kramer, Tootsie or Trading Places.

    There are no significant MPEG artefacts, with once instance of telecine wobble, but his may be present in the film elements and not a product of the transfer by Sony.

    There are subtitles for 18 languages! These are in white and are easy to follow.

    There is no RSDL change as the disc is presented on a single layer of a flipper DVD-10 disc.

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

Audio

    The soundtrack has minimal background and incidental music as a lot of time was reserved for Pryor and Wilder to improvise their dialogue and routines in the film.

    There are three audio tracks (English, French and German), all in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono encoded at 192 kbps.

    Dialogue is clear and audio is synchronised throughout.

    There are a few songs in the film, including the title song sung by Gene Wilder, but as mentioned before, music is used sparingly by Poitier in this film.

    As the soundtracks are in mono, there is no surround channel usage.

    The Subwoofer is also silent for the duration of the film.

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

Extras

Filmographies

The only extra is a text-based filmography for Sidney Poitier, Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Georg Stanford Brown and Jobeth Williams. This is disappointing as a film like this deserves to be supported with quality extras such as cast/crew interviews, a documentary or an audio commentary.

R4 vs R1

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

    Stir Crazy has been released in Region 1 in the USA and Region 2 in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. The Region 1 release has a theatrical trailer, some production notes and a bonus trailer for Richard Pryor Live On The Sunset Strip and See No Evil, Hear No Evil whereas the Region 2 releases are identical to Australian Region 4 release, except for the addition of Spanish subtitles (a minor variance!).

    Although the Region 4 release is only available in a box set, there is no real difference or advantage between Regional releases of Stir Crazy.

Summary

    Apart from Arthur Hiller's 1976 film, Silver Streak, Stir Crazy may possibly be Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder's finest film together. Even after multiple viewings the film is still funny, a testament to Pryor's and Wilder's improvisational performances in the film.

    Stir Crazy is only available in the Pryor & Wilder - Ultimate Collector's Pack box set in Region 4, together with See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Another You. Despite this, the set is well worth picking up for the first two films of the box set at the very least.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 019), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

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Overall | Stir Crazy (1980) | See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) | Another You (1991)

See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

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Released 13-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 97:58
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Arthur Hiller
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Richard Pryor
Gene Wilder
Joan Severance
Kevin Spacey
Alan North
Anthony Zerbe
Louis Giambalvo
Kirsten Childs
Hardy Rawls
Audrie J. Neenan
Lauren Tom
John Capodice
George Bartenieff
Case ?
RPI Box Music Stewart Copeland


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Arabic
Bulgarian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    See No Evil, Hear No Evil was the second movie co-starring Gene Wilder and Richard Prior. After the success of their first, Stir Crazy, it is surprising it took 9 years for them to do another. I have seen See No Evil, Hear No Evil many times, including at the theatre, on cable TV and when I purchased the Region 2 DVD a couple of years ago. I found it hilarious then and I still feel the same. It has aged much better than I would have expected.

    See No Evil, Hear No Evil is a mismatched buddy comedy with a bit of a twist. Wally Karue (Gene Wilder) is a quiet and conservative news stand owner while Dave Lyons is loud, obnoxious and recently employed by Wally as his shop assistant. While going about their daily work routine they witness a murder. The only catch is that Wally is deaf and Dave is blind.

    Wally and Dave quickly become the prime suspects for the murder. How are they to clear their names? They must escape from the police station, and attempt to identify and then evade the real killers, played by Joan Severence and Kevin Spacey, before solving the murder mystery.

    There are some very funny lines and scenes throughout the entire movie. Most of the comedy is centred around the main characters' impairments and the situations which arise because of them. The storyline is a bit thin at times but is more than compensated for by the almost constant hilarity.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is reasonable for its age, but could have been better.

    The video transfer is presented in the original aspect of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is reasonably clear and sharp but on occasion it does suffer from slight grain. The worst examples occur at the very beginning and at 48:25. The shadow detail is good but there are only a few dark sequences and little chance to assess it thoroughly. Low level noise was not an issue with this transfer.

    The colours were clear and constant with no untoward variations evident. The blacks were black and did not waver.

    There were no visible MPEG artefacts. Film-to-video artefacts were well controlled with only minor aliasing occurring at 23:48 and 45:00. Video artefacts were also minimal, with the only major instance occurring at 52:05.

    There are a wide variety of subtitle options available on this disc. They include English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish and Turkish. I sampled the English option and they appeared to be accurate and timely.

    This is a single layered disc and therefore there is no layer change present.

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

Audio

    As with the video, the audio is reasonable but could have been better.

    There are five audio track options available on the disc, English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) surround encoded, French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). I listened to the English offering.

    As this is a predominately dialogue-driven movie, the dialogue quality is of prime importance. In this case, it was clear and easily understood at all times. Audio sync was not an issue with this transfer.

    The musical score was written by Stewart Copeland and complements the movie well. The soundtrack does on occasion tend to telegraph the on-screen action but overall is more than acceptable. However, it's easy to tell from the soundtrack that the movie is from the 80s.

    The use of the surround speakers is minimal. As this is a dialogue-driven movie, there are only rare occasions when their use is called for. The subwoofer remains silent throughout.

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

Extras

    The extras are minimal and generally disappointing.

Theatrical Trailer (1:19)

    This is your standard theatrical trailer. It shows seemingly random scenes from the movie in no discernable order. The trailer is presented at 1.33:1 and has a 2.0 channel (192 kbps) Dolby Digital soundtrack.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes (8:02)

    Not your typical behind the scenes featurette. This is more of an extended trailer, with a voiceover and a couple of short interviews with the stars thrown in for good measure.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    This extra is static and silent. It lists the biographies and filmographies for the main actors; Gene Wilder, Richard Prior, Joan Severance, Kevin Spacey and director Arthur Hiller.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;

    The Region 2 and Region 4 versions of this DVD are identical. The differences between the Region 4 and Region 1 versions are minor. It just comes down to your preference, PAL or NTSC.

Summary

    See No Evil, Hear No Evil is a very funny comedy starring Gene Wilder and Richard Prior. It has numerous laugh-out-loud moments and is one of the best movies by the pair. Both the video and audio are acceptable without being great. The extras are few and not really worth the effort.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Geoff Greer (read my bio)
Sunday, December 28, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S525, using S-Video output
DisplayBang & Olufsen BeoVision Avante 82cm 16:9 Widescreen. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderDenon AVR-1803. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR 1803
SpeakersParadigm: Phantom V. 3 Front, Paradigm CC270 V. 3 Centre, Paradigm: Titan V. 3 Rear, Yamaha YST-SW305 Sub

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Overall | Stir Crazy (1980) | See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) | Another You (1991)

Another You (1991)

Another You (1991)

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Released 13-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Trailer-28 Days, Mr Deeds, See No Evil, Hear No Evil
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 90:34
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (54:21) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Maurice Phillips
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Gene Wilder
Richard Pryor
Mercedes Ruehl
Stephen Lang
Vanessa Williams
Phil Rubenstein
Peter Michael Goetz
Billy Beck
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI Box Music Charles Gross


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Dutch
Arabic
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Norwegian
Polish
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    This was the final film for Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, Maurice Phillips' Another You. The film was released in 1991, four years after Pryor had announced that he had multiple sclerosis, and the effect of the condition is obvious in his scenes, from his frail look to his awkward movement. The film is a play on the old doppelganger theme, whereby Wilder's character (George-a compulsive liar) is mistaken for the heir of a wealthy businessman, Abe Fielding. Pryor plays Eddie Dash, a con man who has to serve 100 hours of community service, and in doing so winds up meeting George who has been set up to become Abe Fielding in a sinister plot to grab the inheritance.

    Unlike See No Evil, Hear No Evil, which was a critical failure, yet a box-office smash, Another You both failed at the box-office and with critics. The reason for this may be due to the failure of the plot and the characterisation, the audience, having become familiar with Pryor and Wilder's previous films, would've struggled to sympathise and identify with their lead roles. Exactly why or how Pryor's character, Eddie ends up with Gloria (played by Vanessa Williams) is never explained, and the likelihood of Wilder's character, George hitching with Elaine (Mercedes Ruehl) is similarly unlikely.

    Another You does have some comic moments, it's just that it's a shame to compare Pryor and Wilder in this film to their work in Stir Crazy.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The film is presented in the Pryor & Wilder - Ultimate Collector's Pack box set on it's own DVD, unlike Stir Crazy and See No Evil, Hear No Evil which was issued on a flipper disc.

    The aspect ratio of Another You is 1:85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions.

    The film has an average bitrate of 8.2 mb/sec so there are no issues with compression on the DVD. The are no macro-blocking compression issues or low level noise evident in darker scenes. Film grain is minimal.

    Colour is neither dull or bright, the presentation is neutral, there is no emphasis on a colour scheme.

    There are many minor MPEG artefacts in the first five minutes of the film. This may have to with the film elements rather than the transfer. Also, peculiarly for a mainstream Hollywood feature there is some poor cinematography at the beginning of the film with some shots out of focus. Film artefacts can be seen at 1:13, 1:32, 4:00, 4:10, 11:29, 11:51, 23:10, 37:33, 76:38, 77:10 and 85:43.

    Subtitle options are similar to the other two films in the box set, with many to choose from and they are clear and white, easy to read.

    The RSDL change occurs at 54:21, during a scene transition.

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

Audio

    The three language options, English, French and German are all in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround-encoded tracks are all 192 kbps.

    Dialogue is clear and audio is synchronised.

    The film score by Charles Gross includes many jazz-inspired big band numbers but unfortunately with Andy Summers of The Police included in the movie, it's a shame that he was not included in more scenes.

    Surround Channel Usage mainly comes from the front three speakers during scenes that include background music.

    The Subwoofer is not utilised at all.

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

Extras

Trailer

The only extra are three trailers for Mr Deeds with Adam Sandler, 28 Days with Sandra Bullock and Pryor's and Wilder's previous film to Another You, See No Evil, Hear No Evil.

R4 vs R1

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

    Another You has been released in Region 1 in the USA and Region 2 in The Netherlands, Italy, Scandinavia and The United Kingdom. These releases only vary in their language and subtitle options, none of the releases have any more extra features than the Region 4 version.

Summary

    Since 20th Century Fox has the rights to Silver Streak, Pryor and Wilder's first film together, the films in this box set release were always going to be weaker with the addition of Another You and with the unavailability of Silver Streak (Sony Columbia own the film rights to the films in this box set). Nevertheless, Stir Crazy and See No Evil, Hear No Evil make up for this disappointing farewell for Pryor and Wilder as a comic duo team.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Stivaktas (I like my bio)
Friday, July 03, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S550 (Firmware updated Version 019), using HDMI output
DisplaySamsung LA46A650 46 Inch LCD TV Series 6 FullHD 1080P 100Hz. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-K1000P. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationSony HTDDW1000
SpeakersSony 6.2 Surround (Left, Front, Right, Surround Left, Surround Back, Surround Right, 2 subwoofers)

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Jules F

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