Zandalee (Beyond Home Ent) (1991)

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Released 5-Jan-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller None
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 100:03
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (54:34) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Sam Pillsbury
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Nicolas Cage
Judge Reinhold
Erika Anderson
Joe Pantoliano
Viveca Lindfors
Aaron Neville
Steve Buscemi
Ian Abercrombie
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $14.95 Music Pray for Rain


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

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

Plot Synopsis

     Zandalee (Erika Anderson) is a free spirit; we know this because she dances around her house naked. She is married to Thierry (Judge Reinhold); he used to be a talented poet, but has given up practising his art, more concerned with running his deceased father’s company in New Orleans. Zandalee is sexually unsatisfied, and we don’t need her cross dressing boss Gerri (Joe Pantoliano) telling her this for us to know. Onto the scene comes Johnny Collins (Nicolas Cage). In their younger, wilder, bohemian days Johnny and Thierry had been close friends, one a painter, the other a poet, but whereas Thierry has moved on Johnny remains a wild soul, painting his life: “if I cannot paint, everything goes to s***” he states at one stage with a straight face. We know Johnny is still an artist – he has long hair, a goatee beard, smokes constantly and is generally blunt and obnoxious. He awakes in Zandalee lust, jealousy and Catholic guilt as they begin a passionate affair. Thierry knows something is amiss; he and Zandalee try to reconnect by going away for a few days fishing in the bayou, but Johnny follows them. There can be no winners here.

     Zandalee is not a film of any subtlety; director Sam Pillsbury (Free Willy 3: The Rescue (1997) may be the highlight of his CV), draws character and motivation with as broad a brush stroke as Johnny’s garish canvasses. He is not helped by the often banal dialogue, with “I want to shake you naked and eat you alive, Zandalee” as a good example. The acting is also wooden. Judge Reinhold is flat and gormless, Nicolas Cage unconvincing as the wild artist – he just looks silly. Erika Anderson looks good naked, but she is not sufficiently an actress to make us believe her change from initial dislike for Johnny to white hot passion in a couple of meetings. Mostly she just looks glum. The sex scenes are also nothing special or erotic, grunts taking the place of passion.

     Zandalee has pretensions to be art, a meditation on love, lust, Catholic guilt and jealousy but it is mostly all talk and needs some serious work on the plot. As noted, motivations are perfunctory, seemingly important characters such as Thierry’s grandmother Tatta (Viveca Lindfors) go nowhere, the relevance of Steve Buscemi’s character is hard to discern, and the movie resolves its love triangle with about 15 minutes to run, leading to what feels like an ending of another film.

     Zandalee went straight to video in the US and only received a very limited release in other territories. With an indiscriminate plot, silly dialogue and indifferent acting, the film has not a lot to recommend it. Perhaps Nicolas Cage fans might like this one.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     Zandalee is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, the original ratio, and is16x9 enhanced.

     The print is fine without being anything special. It is sharp enough with nice detail, while contrast and brightness are consistent. Colours are natural if not vibrant, skin tones fine. Blacks and shadow detail are acceptable. There is evidence of film grain and the odd small artefact but nothing distracting.

     The layer change at 54:34 resulted in an imperceptive pause.

     There are no subtitles.

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

Audio

     Audio is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo at 192 Kbps. While stereo, the mix is very centre speaker oriented with minimal surround use for ambient noise and music. The sub woofer was silent. Dialogue in the film was mostly clear, although some of Reinhold’s lines, especially when he is quoting poetry, are indistinct as are some of Cage’s southern drawl dialogue. The lack of any subtitles didn’t help, nor did turning up the volume a couple of notches.

     The score was credited to Pray for Rain with a number of added tunes on the soundtrack performed by Jump with Joey and other bands. The music was not obtrusive and worked reasonably well.

     Lip synchronization was fine.

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

Extras

     Not a single thing.

R4 vs R1

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

     I have found records of a Region 2 UK and Region 1 US release but neither seem to have any extras either. In fact, the Region 1 is reported to be in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio. Stick to the local release.

Summary

     Zandalee has pretensions to be art, a meditation on love, lust, guilt and jealousy but it is mostly all talk, with silly dialogue and indifferent acting. It also needs some serious work on the plot. The video and audio are fine; there are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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