The Most Fertile Man in Ireland (1999)

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Released 9-May-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Mullet; The Bank; The Dinner Game
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 92:17
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Dudi Appelton
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Kris Marshall
Kathy Keira Clarke
Bronagh Gallagher
James Nesbitt
Case Click
RPI $29.95 Music James Johnston


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown 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

    The Most Fertile Man In Ireland is a very quirky comedy, with humour that is quite off-beat in some spots. While at times similar to The Commitments, it has its own charm, and is an excellent example of Irish comedy. It is also very different from any film set in Belfast that I have seen before.

    The director has set out from the start to be different. Most contemporary films shot in Belfast tend to have a very grey look about them. I suppose this is a reflection of filmmakers trying to put the troubles and probably the weather onto film. However, the director specifically mentions that grey is banned from this film, and the result is a very colourful portrayal of the capital of Northern Ireland. An example of this is the Orange Day marches, part of which are seen in the film, which were very colourful if you could see past the political connotations. Of course, trying to ignore political connotations in Belfast is no easy task. Though part of the march is shown, the bonfires that traditionally follow the march are not nearly as large or as colourful as I remember them to be.

    Things in Ireland have changed drastically over the last 15 years; referendums, power sharing and many other changes have left some behind, and we see one such character in this film - a Protestant paramilitary who is really a man without a cause.

    The basic storyline of this film is really a stroke of genius both as a comedy and as a vehicle to say a little something about the culture and people of Northern Ireland. A young chap called Eamonn is a bit of a nerd, and is having real problems finding a girlfriend. Through an encounter with the local 'girl most likely to' it is discovered that he has super sperm, capable of making even the most infertile woman pregnant in a single encounter. Because the Catholic church does not allow artificial insemination, Eamonn becomes the only hope for infertile Catholics. He sets up a business with a friend from his old job selling his 'services'. Five or more women a day, five days a week - the guy is superman! Every encounter results in a pregnancy.

    The Protestants get wind of his activities and are horrified, because if this continues there will be more Catholics at the next referendum than there are Protestants. They set out to make sure that the same services are available to the Protestant women of Belfast. While this is all happening, Eamonn is making progress with his true love, a girl that works at the local funeral parlour. Initially, he is too shy to even approach her, but with his new-found confidence things are going well. Unfortunately, he has not mentioned to her what he does to make a living these days and when she finds out things do not go well for Eamonn.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a great transfer, especially considering that it is a single layer disc. There is only one fault and that only occurs for 7 frames and looks like a digital tape dropout.

    The film is presented at 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness is pretty good throughout. The shadow detail is good - there are a couple of scenes that lack a little detail but nothing too distracting. There is no low level noise.

    The colours are really brilliant - almost, but not quite oversaturated. There are large expanses of bright colour on show. Buildings, murals and cars are all rendered with bright colours. The skin tones are excellent and there is no chroma noise.

    There are very few MPEG artefacts. Those that are present are very minor and you really have to be looking for them to find any. If you look at the flowers in the shop front at 3:20 just on the scene change you can see very minor pixelization. The dropout mentioned previously occurs at 76:34 and because the scene is at night it shows up very clearly. There are a series of blocks all over the screen, some red, some blue and a couple that are black and white checkerboard. As this lasts only for 7 frames you will see it but only quickly, though it does detract from the scene. Note that this fault was verified on multiple DVD players and multiple copies of this DVD. There is no aliasing or telecine wobble and film artefacts are very rare, with only a few small flecks here and there. The grain is pretty much non-existent.

    This is a single layer disc and thus has no layer change.

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

Audio

 There is only a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack present on this disc, with the surround flag not set. I listened with Prologic decoding turned on and it worked well. The music and ambience from the surrounds added a reasonable width and depth to the soundtrack.

    Dialogue quality is excellent. The accents are not as broad in the north and should not be a problem for most people. I watched this film with my cousin, also from Belfast, and the two Aussies that we married. When the same group watched The Commitments there were quite a few inquiries as to what had just been said, whereas in this film it only happened a couple of times.

     The audio is in sync throughout the main feature, although I noticed a couple of sync problems in the featurette.

    The music is contemporary and works very well for this film. The music supports the scenes, be they comedy or pathos.

    The surround activity was not bad and would have been missed if I had turned off Prologic decoding.

    The music bass line and drums were the only real activity from the subwoofer.

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

Extras

   

Menu

    The menus are presented at 1.78:1 and are 16x9 enhanced. There is an insert with stills and short action sequences from the film accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The menu loop runs for 62 seconds.

Featurette

    An interesting look at the people involved in the film. There are interviews with many of the cast and the director interposed with footage from the film. I would have liked to see more of the interviews and less of the film but that is probably because I had just finished watching it. This runs for 19:52 and is presented at 1.33:1 with the film footage at its original aspect but not 16x9 enhanced. The quality is not bad but one of the interviews is marred a little by hum in the soundtrack. The only other criticism I could make is that the volume of the voices varies quite a bit between the interviews and the inserted footage. The soundtrack is Dolby Digital 2.0.

Trailer

    Presented at 1.33:1 and not 16x9 enhanced, this trailer runs for 1:44 and has a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Madman Propaganda

    Three trailers for films that are also from Madman:

R4 vs R1

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

    There does not appear to be a Region 1 version of this disc. This disc is coded for all regions but the video is PAL.

Summary

    I really enjoyed The Most Fertile Man In Ireland and at times was just about rolling around on the ground with laughter. There should be something for everyone in this film and it also shows a little of life in contemporary Belfast.

    The video is very good overall.

    The audio is good.

    There is a surprisingly good extra on this disc for a film that is not from a major studio.

 

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Monday, March 25, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252Q CRT Projector, 254cm custom built 1.0 gain screen. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

Other Reviews
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