Water (1985)

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Released 28-Aug-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 93:34
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (52:17) Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Dick Clement

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Michael Caine
Valerie Perrine
Brenda Vaccaro
Leonard Rossiter
Billy Connolly
Dennis Dugan
Fulton Mackay
Jimmie Walker
Dick Shawn
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music Mike Moran

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (640Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes, The herbal kind.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    The fortunes of the small Caribbean nation of Cascara, one of the last remaining colonies of the dwindling British empire, change after a visiting film crew stumble upon tangy spring water.

    The discovery comes as Governor Baxter Thwaites (Michael Caine) has received word to shut up shop and move his populace, which largely comprises the descendants of shipwreck victims and the local clergy, off to a neighbouring island. As much as his South American trophy wife (Brenda Vaccaro) is glad to leave the island behind, the Governor feels otherwise and jumps at the chance to save the island, particularly when he realises it might endear him to a visiting wildlife campaigner (Valerie Perrine).

    An American oil company races to capitalise on the discovery, spearheaded by junior marketing exec Rob Waring (Dennis Dugan, better known for directing Adam Sandler's better work). This spurs numerous other factions to help the local guerrilla freedom fighters (both of them) secure independence for the island. Led by the "Singing Rebel" Delgado (Billy Connolly), who has vowed not to speak, only sing, until Cascara is free, the rebels take their fight to the world stage as media outlets descend on the nation.

    Water is a real curio of its era. The film is a brash, keenly targeted farce that ridicules the consumer culture of the 1980s, Thatcherism and the decline of the Imperial Britain, wrapped up in a fairly classically structured British comedy (an Ealing comedy meets The Comic Strip Presents...) that seems to be pitched to attract an American audience. The film holds up quite well to a modern audience, and indeed much of it is particularly relevant today, although it will be much more amusing to anyone familiar with the culture from which the film was borne. The absurdity Michael Caine's Governor-gone-native character, an all-too-believable mixture of British stiff upper lip and relaxed stoner, is a real delight.

    The film will be of particular interest to Beatles fans, as George Harrison's took a more hands-on involvement with this film than most others produced by his Handmade Films production house, including co-writing the music in the film along with chart-topper Eddie Grant and appearing alongside Ringo Starr, Jon Lord and Eric Clapton as members of Billy Connolly's backing band in the films closing scenes.

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Transfer Quality


    The film is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, which appears to be film's original ratio or close enough to it, and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The video looks excellent for a film that is now 25 years old. The image is clear and sharp. There is little grain to be seen. There is a surprisingly good level of shadow detail in the image. Occasional film artefacts are visible, which certainly show the age of the film but are not particularly distracting. There is no sign of compression related issues or aliasing.

    This is a dual layer disc with a layer break occurring seamlessly at 52:17.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    An English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 Kbps) audio track, an English DTS 5.1 audio track and English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps) is present for the film.

    The audio is reasonably clean and clear. The dialogue is clearly audible at all times and is at a good level in the mix.

    The film features an excellent reggae-rock soundtrack from Eddie Grant and George Harrison, which many may consider enough to make the film worth checking out.

    There is mild surround usage and little noticeable from the subwoofer, save for two explosions and a good bit of bass in the "Singing Rebels" band finale.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    This disc is devoid of any extras, despite the packaging claiming it includes a Theatrical Trailer. There is not even a menu of any sort.

R4 vs R1

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

    The US Region 1 and UK Region 2 editions are similarly bare-bones, featuring only a trailer for the film that we miss out on in Region 4. Not really enough reason to shop elsewhere.


    Those are British citizens, and if anyone is going to die it will be by a BRITISH bullet! - If you find that throw away line amusing, or are a fan of the Beatles, then odds are you will appreciate Water. Certainly not an outright classic, but definitely a movie worth remembering.

    Video and audio quality are excellent. There is a complete lack of extras on this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
DisplayOptoma HD20 Projector. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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