Brewster's Millions (1985)

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Released 24-Dec-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 96:56
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Walter Hill
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Richard Prior
John Candy
Hume Cronyn
Lonette McKee
Stephen Collins
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Ry Cooder


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
German
Dutch
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Montgomery Brewster (Richard Pryor) is a relief pitcher for the Hackensack Bulls baseball team. Monty is content with his life even though he has no material possessions - his true love (baseball) provides him with the only zest and passion he needs. That is, until he and his good mate Spike Nolan (John Candy) are involved in a bar brawl which lands them in front of a judge. Their fines and bail costs amount to $3,000 and neither of them can afford to pay such a sum.

    JB Donaldo (Joe Grifasi) steps forward in the court room and offers to pay any associated costs and bail Monty and Spike out. Monty realises that JB is the same man that has been to the last few games the Bulls have played at and who has shown a keen interest in him. This convinces Monty that JB is actually a talent scout for one of the major league baseball teams and he and Spike head to New York under JB's guidance.

    Monty is surprised to learn that JB and the firm that has asked to see him have no interest in baseball, but instead are a group of lawyers. During the meeting, he learns that as the sole surviving member of his family he is heir to the fortune of a rich uncle, Rupert Horn (Hume Cronyn), that he never knew existed.

    The will is very specific and provides Monty with two clear choices.

  1. He can take $1 million in cash and walk away right now, or . .
  2. He can spend $30 million in 30 days and walk away with $300 million if successful.

    Option 2 sounds easy, I hear you say. Well, it comes complete with very specific rules. At the end of 30 days, you must not have any assets to show for your spending, and return back to the lawyer's office with only the clothes on your back. You also cannot destroy anything inherently valuable, which prevents you from buying expensive paintings and using them as firewood. And last of all, you cannot tell anyone about the chance to benefit from the $300 million, just to make it even more difficult. Uncle Horn got the idea when his father caught him smoking. He locked Rupert in a cupboard and forced him to smoke an entire box as punishment. Rupert wants to do the same with Monty - make him so sick of money that he will throw up at the sight of it.

    Naturally, Monty takes option 2, and we progress straight into a spending spree like you have never seen before. Hold on for the ride...

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced. The original theatrical aspect ratio of this movie was 1.85:1, and it appears that we have a Panned & Scanned transfer.

    The transfer is of a consistent quality, albeit quite poor. Not a high level of detail is revealed by this transfer and grain is evident throughout. Shadow detail is quite good, with a generous amount of detail revealed in the dimmer scenes. There is quite a lot of low level noise present.

    The colours were quite consistent but there were no striking, vibrant colours. Instead, they remained rather drab and muted. There was one section from 33:28 - 33:48 where the colour and brightness dimmed considerably. This was the only section of the transfer where such a drop occurred and this section also contained more film artefacts than the rest of the transfer.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing is quite common but not overly distracting to the viewer. Film artefacts are also quite common, but like the aliasing, if you get caught up in the film they will not be overly distracting. Background grain is more of a problem and appears everywhere, especially on walls and anywhere with large expanses of the same colour.

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

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

Audio

    Considering the highest quality audio track on this disc is Dolby Digital 2.0, it was surprising how effective it was. There is also a German Dolby Digital 1.0 track, but I only listened to the English version in its entirety.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Audio sync was not a problem at all.

    The music is another typical score from Ry Cooder. While it suits the movie, like Ry's other scores, this score never seems to provide anything more than is absolutely needed,  leaving little impression on me. The music was presented quite a bit louder than the voices but the volume reduced when required so as to not drown out any dialogue.

    The surround channels were not used and all musical action remained in the front soundstage. The effect at 39:15 is the best directional use that you will hear during the film.

    The subwoofer was not used at all.

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

Extras

     The only extra on this disc is a movie trailer.

Menu

    The menu design is themed around the movie and is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Before the main menu appears, you are presented with a choice of languages. Once selected, you can move onto the menu.

Theatrical Trailer

    This is of poorer quality than the film. There is very poor shadow detail and a high level of artefacts present. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

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 disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version being widescreen is the preferred version.

Summary

    Overall, Brewster's Millions is a good fun movie that the whole family can enjoy together.

    The video quality is poorer than I would have liked but is still watchable.

    The audio, while only presented in Dolby Digital 2.0, was still effective. Surround activity for some of the large baseball stadium or crowd scenes would have been a nice touch, though.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Saturday, February 02, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer XV-DV55, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe 72cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer XV-DV55
SpeakersPioneer S-DV55ST-K Satellite wall mouted 5-Speaker System; Pioneer S-DV55SW-K Powered Subwoofer

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