Say Anything... (1989)

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Released 25-Mar-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 96:12
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Cameron Crowe
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring John Cusack
Ione Skye
John Mahoney
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/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 Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
Norwegian
Swedish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    High school has just ended and for two students, the world is about to change. For Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) the high school graduation ceremony signals the time when he needs to finally decide what he wants to do with his life. Unfortunately for Lloyd, apart from having a fixation for kickboxing, he has absolutely no idea about what he wants to do. He lives with his sister (Joan Cusack - ironic hey), and basically bums around, with little drive or ambition. Meanwhile, Dianne Court (Ione Skye) is the equivalent of the school dux, the class square, and a goody-two-shoes all rolled into one. Somewhat aloof from her fellow students, Dianne possesses the brains and the beauty, but has remained distant from the others and as such barely knows any of them. When Lloyd falls for Dianne and decides to pluck up the courage to ask her out, he finally has something to work towards. Dianne isn't really sure who Lloyd is when he calls, but after some suitable pleading, reluctantly agrees to go with him to the end-of-high-school party. By the end of the night, Dianne is thankful for the invitation and has thoroughly enjoyed herself, meeting new people and finally feeling like she belongs. A relationship with Lloyd is beginning to form despite Dianne being offered a scholarship to a college in England. But this isn't the only relationship that forms the focus of the story. Dianne is also incredibly close to her father, James (John Mahoney), with whom she lives. They freely discuss anything with each other (hence the title of the film) and James, after initially warming to Lloyd, is concerned that he may be taking Dianne's focus off her schooling. He is having some personal problems of his own that are also posing a threat to the relationship he has with his daughter.

    Will Lloyd and Dianne's relationship survive?Will Dianne still maintain the strong links she has with her father now that there is the possibility of another man in her life? Watch and enjoy this sensitive, thoughtful, and highly entertaining film.

    Say Anything... is a film that speaks to many people on many levels. I cannot help but laugh when I hear the line "Dianne Court doesn't realise how good-looking she is". I remember thinking exactly the same thing about all the gorgeous girls in school, and how I always imagined they would never look twice at me. In fact, I initially thought the same when I met my wife and couldn't pluck up the courage to ask her out for that very reason. This film just strikes telling and real chords at every turn. Cameron Crowe has made a name for himself by writing and directing films that feature characters that you really want to care about. They are characters that are stripped of clichés and are so much more than standard one dimensional characters. Even the supporting characters are like this (think William's mother in Almost Famous or Dorothy's sister in Jerry Maguire). The relationships that are portrayed in the film are so perfectly played and naturally delivered that you feel empathy with the characters and really care what happens in the end.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Very, very disappointing is the easiest way to summarise the quality of the video transfer presented here. In fact, when the opening scenes started I though there was something wrong with my display and I was actually watching an old VHS cassette. The print just looks plain old and dull, with no vibrancy or eye-catching detail on offer at all.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Overall, sharpness is severely lacking with a somewhat soft transfer that really does make the film look every one of its thirteen years of age. Shadow detail suffers on several occasions, though not to the extent that it makes the film unwatchable. Grain is another matter. It is everywhere, and provides a constant distraction. There appears to be no low level noise.

    The colours have little vibrancy and are poorly saturated. It really is like watching something other than a DVD manufactured in 2002.

    No MPEG artefacts were noticed. Aliasing and other film-to-video problems were controlled or hidden by the soft transfer. There are the usual number of film artefacts present and accounted for, though when compared to the grain, these were not overbearing.

    Several subtitle tracks are present. I watched the English variety extensively and found them to be quite accurate.

    Most of the video problems that are present on this disc can be attributed to the fact it is a single layer disc only, with the whole film squeezed onto the one layer. The only advantage is that there is no layer change to contend with.

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

Audio

    While the video hasn't fared too well, the audio is in much better shape.

    There is only one soundtrack available on this disc, a re-mastered Dolby Digital 5.1 track. Naturally enough, this was the track I listened to. It is quite a reasonably well mixed track. Whilst very much centre channel focussed, it does feature some decent panning across the front soundstage and even some rear channel use.

    Dialogue is prominent in the mix, with clear and concise delivery. There are no audio sync problems.

    As any fan of Cameron Crowe's films will know, music is very, very important to the flow of his stories. Often a signature scene will be accompanied by a signature tune (Secret Garden by Springsteen in Jerry Maguire, Elton John's Tiny Dancer in Almost Famous), and here it is no different. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel features heavily throughout, and particularly in the key scene where Lloyd is parked outside Dianne's bedroom with a ghetto-blaster pumping out this most stirring of Gabriel's tunes. Crowe knows his music, that's for sure. Volumes of emotion (no pun intended) are conveyed without a single line of dialogue being delivered. That is quite an art.

    There is a little surround use that pops up quite nicely on several occasions. Most notable are the scenes at the high school party early on in the movie.

    The subwoofer is rarely called upon other than to support the music, which it does seamlessly.

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

Extras

Theatrical Trailer

    A 16x9 enhanced trailer presented in an aspect of 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Total running time is 2:17 minutes. The quality is virtually identical to the film.

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 disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 disc misses out on

    To say that we have been short-changed for this release is an understatement. This is essentially a film that has cult status and all we get is a trailer, while the Region 1 offering sports the Special Edition tag with a whole bunch of extras.

Summary

    Say Anything... is a rare film. It is sensitive, thoughtful, and told with the gentle hand that Cameron Crowe is now renowned for. All the characters are multi-dimensional and you end up feeling real empathy for them. John Cusack steals the show as he so often does, and this must surely be one of his best roles ever.

    Unfortunately, the same care that went into making the film has not been duplicated when producing the DVD.

    The video is ordinary, looking old, shabby, and just plain dull.

    The remixed audio soundtrack is quite the opposite, offering good fidelity, a wide soundstage and even some rear channel use.

    The extras must have all got stuck in customs when they came in from the US. A trailer is the only one that got through.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Saturday, March 09, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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