My Mother's Castle (Le château de ma mère) (1990)

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Released 5-Aug-2009

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Drama Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1990
Running Time 94:34
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Yves Robert
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Philippe Caubère
Nathalie Roussel
Didier Pain
Thérèse Liotard
Julien Ciamaca
Victorien Delamare
Joris Molinas
Julie Timmerman
Paul Crauchet
Philippe Uchan
Patrick Préjean
Pierre Maguelon
Michel Modo
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Vladimir Cosma


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Dolby Digital 2.0 (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 English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Following on from My Father's Glory or La gloire de mon père which I reviewed recently was this film My Mother's Castle or Le Chateau De Ma Mere. They were seemingly made at the same time as both were originally released theatrically in 1990. The stories follow on immediately from each other with this film starting just after the family have returned from their original summer holiday in the hills of Provence. This time the story covers multiple holidays in the hills as they discover how much they miss it when they are away. They return for Christmas, then Easter and then finally they find themselves going every weekend. There are three main story strands including Marcel meeting a young girl and falling for her, Marcel preparing for scholarship exams for the lycee and the whole families adventures as they sneak through the grounds of grand manors to reduce their weekend trek by many kilometres. This third part of the film is every bit as joyful and humourous as the first film while the story strand with the girl which kicks off the film is not as well handled in my opinion. Unlike the first film, this one also has some bittersweet and melancholic moments towards the end, which may upset the younger end of the audience.

    Once again this is a generally joyful film about childhood, family and the simple pleasures of life. It includes some beautiful cinematography of the magnificent scenery in the hills of Provence and was again it was directed by veteran French film director/actor/writer/producer Yves Robert. The addition of the canal scenes adds another dimension to the scenery on display. Once again the score by Vladimir Cosma adds significantly to the movie. To my mind this film is not as strong as the first one while still being a very worthy partner of the first film.

    If you like your cinema with simple pleasures, humour, fun and adventure this film is highly recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good but not quite as good as the first film.

    The feature is presented in an approximately 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is most likely close to the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced widescreen.Unfortunately, my DVD-ROM drive would not recognise this disc so I am unable to confirm the aspect ratio.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp for a film of this age, although not quite as good as the first film. Some scenes were a little softer such as at 65:20. Shadow detail was decent but never great. There was some occasional  light grain especially early in the running time such as at 7:50. There were also some minor MPEG artefacts to be seen from time to time.

    The colour was well rendered and vibrant representing the the beautiful cinematography well.

    Other artefacts only included some very occasional edge enhancement.

    There are yellow subtitles in English. They were clear and easy to read although a slightly different translation to those on the trailer.

    The layer change was not noticeable.
    

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

Audio

    The audio is quite good but again not quite as good as the first film.

    This DVD contains a French Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. This soundtrack was quieter and more front and centre focused than the first film.

    Dialogue seemed clear and easy to understand throughout although my French is limited.

    The music consists of a beautiful score by Vladimir Cosma which was Cesar nominated.

    The surround speakers provided a small amount of ambience when played using ProLogic II and the subwoofer added a little bass to the music.

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

Extras

    

Menu

    The menu is still and includes music from the score. Scene selection is available.

Theatrical Trailer (2:00) 

    In French with subtitles.

Madman Propaganda 

    Trailers for other films and an anti-piracy warning.

 

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 release of this movie is very similar to our local release except that it adds an optional English dub. Draw.

Summary

    The second in a series of wonderful and joyful French films about childhood and the simple pleasures of family.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio is quite good.

    Only a theatrical trailer in the extras department.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS708H upscaling to 1080p, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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