What Just Happened (2008)

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Released 1-Oct-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 99:45 (Case: 104)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Barry Levinson
Studio
Distributor
Entertainment One Starring Robert De Niro
Sean Penn
Catherine Keener
Bruce Willis
John Turturro
Robin Wright Penn
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Marcelo Zarvos


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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 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

    Barry Levinson has had a very eclectic career as a director ranging from large scale science fiction like Sphere to Oscar winning blockbusters like Rainman to small indie style 'thinking' movies like Wag the Dog. This film falls closest to the third category and is Barry Levinson's go at an 'insider' Hollywood comedy along the lines of The Player or An Alan Smithee Film. The film is based on a non-fiction book about Art Linson's experiences as a Hollywood producer but he has adapted it as fiction for this movie. A lot of the situations are based on things which really happened though.

    As is often the case with films of this ilk, Levinson has been able to attract an all-star cast, featuring Robert De Niro in the lead role of producer, Ben. Ben is working on many projects at once and is also struggling with his personal life especially his most recent ex-wife, Kelly (Robin Wright Penn). Ben latest project, 'Fiercely', directed by flighty English director Jeremy Brunell (Michael Wincott) has performed badly at its initial test screening. Ben must referee the discussion/argument between studio head, Lou (Catherine Keener who is excellent in this) and the director. She wants major changes made to the film which of course the director feels is attacking his artistic integrity. Fiercely stars Sean Penn. Ben is also trying to deal with issues on another film his is producing which is about to start shooting. The biggest problem here is that the film's star Bruce Willis is refusing to shave a large beard before shooting starts. Ben is trying to get Bruce's agent, Dick (John Turturro) to tell the star that he must shave or risk legal action from the studio. Dick is struggling with his own health issues and is trying to avoid the confrontation with Bruce. Stanley Tucci also appears as a screenwriter who may or may not be having an affair with Kelly.

   This is very much a dialogue driven film which is wry and amusing and will certainly appeal to people who are interested in the inner workings of Hollywood. The acting as you would expect is of high quality and the film overall is quite interesting and entertaining, although, it will certainly not appeal to the megaplex crowd that are looking for action and excitement. The character of Ben is really well portrayed by Robert De Niro and he really inhabits this role.

    Well worth a look for fans of dialogue driven character films.

   

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in an approximately 2.35:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced widescreen.

    The picture was quite clear and sharp without being spectacular. Shadow detail was decent but nothing special.

    The colour was very good but this is hardly a visual extravaganza.

    There were some regular mild MPEG artefacts but nothing too distracting.

    There are no subtitles which would have been useful at times.

    There is no layer change.
    

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

Audio

    The audio is very good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) soundtrack. The case lists it as a 2.0 track however the disc is certainly encoded as 5.1. For this style of film it does not make a big difference however the surround brings more immersion and presence to some scenes.

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand although a little quiet.

    The music by Marcelo Zarvos adds to the atmosphere without really standing out.

    The surround speakers were regularly used for atmosphere and music and the subwoofer added a little bass here and there.

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

Extras

     Nothing here...

Menu

    The menu includes music and motion but functionally only allows for 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 release is significantly better than this local release as it in includes the following in addition to the local release

    An obvious win for Region 1.

 

Summary

    A wry and funny Hollywood insider comedy starring Robert De Niro.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio is very good.

    No extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, January 09, 2010
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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