Another Day in Paradise (1999)

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Released 19-Jul-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Audio Commentary-Larry Clark (Director)
Biographies-Cast
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 100:35
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Larry Clark
Studio
Distributor
Chinese Bookie Picts
Eagle Entertainment
Starring James Woods
Melanie Griffith
Vincent Kartheiser
Natasha Gregson Wagner
Paul Hipp
Brent Briscoe
Branden Williams
Case ?
RPI $34.95 Music Howard Paar
Robin Urgang


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 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

    Bobby (Vincent Kartheiser) is a young small-time thief living with his girlfriend, Rosie (Natasha Gregson Wagner) in what could only be described as squalid housing conditions. One day, when Bobby is out stealing money from vending machines, he is sprung by a security guard who then starts to beat the crap out of him. At first you think Bobby is done for, as the guard is really laying into him, but Bobby can take a hell of a beating and he manages to get away, albeit a lot the worse for wear.

    A local hood, Mel (James Woods), patches Bobby up and offers him a job. Bobby accepts the offer. Mel advises Bobby that they will be hitting the road and it's up to him if he wants to bring Rosie along or not.

    Next we meet Mel's girlfriend, Sid (Melanie Griffith), who by the way is a junkie and somewhat kind-hearted. We get to know some more about our couples before their next robbery, which goes without a hitch. When the time comes to sell the drugs that they stole, things get screwed up. Mel gets shot and Bobby is badly hurt.

    There is plenty more to come, but I will leave the plot synopsis at that, as I don't want to spoil anything for those of you who haven't seen the movie.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    R1 and R4 running times the same? Theoretically the R4 version should have only run for approximately 97 minutes, due to PAL's 4% speed up. After listening to the director's commentary, I believe I have found the explanation for this. The R4 version contains one extra scene that was not present even in the U.S. Director's Cut version.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, not widescreen as erroneously stated on the back cover. The original film's aspect ratio was 1.66:1. It's not clear if this is a Full Frame or a Pan & Scan transfer, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it is Full Frame.

    The transfer is impressively clear and sharp. No low-level noise was noticed. The shadow detail was excellent, with plenty of depth. There is, however, one scene during the opening sequence where the screen is almost totally black. I suspect that this was a deliberate cinematic choice made by the director rather than a transfer problem.

    The colour is exemplary - beautifully saturated, rich and vibrant. Skin tones had a wonderful richness and depth to them that I have rarely seen.

    Grain was almost non-existent. It was so trivial that it is almost not worth mentioning. There is one exception to this, however, which occurs between 30:49 and 31:27, where the image takes on a definite grainy appearance. Since the rest of this film is so grain-free, I believe that this graininess was more the result of the type of film stock used to film this particular scene, rather than being a transfer problem.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing is rare and extremely mild when it does occur. I suspect most, if not all, occurrences will go unnoticed, even on really big screens such as projectors, when you are actually watching the movie, instead of looking for faults like I was. There is some trivial aliasing during the end credits.

    Film artefacts were reasonably scarce with just the odd one popping up every now and again. A slightly more serious problem occurs at 34:42, where two black lines appear down the length of the image. These lines come and go up until 35:32, when they finally decided that they had had enough fun and disappeared for good. This was clearly a film artefact, not a transfer problem.

    Fun Note: Keep an eye out for the guest appearances of 'The Microphone' and 'The Mysterious Helping Hand'.

    Packaging Errors: In addition to the incorrect labelling of this transfer as widescreen when it is not, there is no theatrical trailer nor subtitles on this DVD as is promised by the packaging.

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

Audio

    There are two audio tracks on this disc, an English 448Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an English 224Kb/s Director's Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack. I want to commend Eagle Home Entertainment for using a 448Kb/s bit stream here and can only hope that they continue to use 448Kb/s bitstreams for all their releases.

    The dialogue was usually clear and easy to understand, but there were a couple of occasions where it became muffled and harder to make out.

    No audio sync problems were noticed with this transfer.

    The music was supervised by Howard Paar and Robin Urgang, and it seemed to suit the movie well.

    The surround channels are predominantly used for music, with the odd sound effect thrown in for good measure. The soundstage generally sounded front-heavy and the overall impression I got from the mix was that it had more in common with a Dolby surround-encoded soundtrack than with a Dolby Digital soundtrack. In short, it is a rather disappointing Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.

    There are not too many sequences that actually need the subwoofer, but it was lightly used throughout the movie to add a little extra kick to the music, and to the odd scene.

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

Extras

    There is not much in the way of extras, just a Director's commentary and Filmographies for the main cast.

Menu

    The few non-16x9 enhanced menus are well-presented. The menu selections comprise; Play Movie, Scene Index (24) and Special Features.

    I have one small criticism to make of the Scene Index menu - it does not have an quick index, so if you want to jump to chapter 21 you have to go through five screens before you can select it. It's a small thing, but it makes a big difference when you want to jump to a particular chapter.

Filmographies

    This section contains filmographies for James Woods, Melanie Griffith, Natasha Gregson Wagner and Vincent Kartheiser.

Director's Commentary - Larry Clark

    This commentary features a Dolby Digital 2.0 224Kb/s stereo soundtrack. Larry Clark pretty much talks about everything other than what is actually going on in any given scene, so in this respect this commentary is totally useless and extremely annoying. He talks in a flat, monotonic voice about how the movie came about, the casting and auditioning of the actors, other things like lighting and music, and praises the cast and crew. Towards the end of the credits he unceremoniously gets up, removes the microphone - while it's still on I might add - and leaves.  There are many instances where nothing is said for several minutes. For me, this was one of the most uninteresting commentaries that I have ever listened to.

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;     After reading the shellacking and slamming the R1 version of this disc has received from several reputable R1 reviewers, and the fact that I believe the R4 version contains extra footage, I would strongly recommend the R4 version.

    (Ed. I would have to disagree with this assessment, as I would consider the incorrect aspect ratio of the R4 version to be most unsatisfactory, including the unintentional appearances of 'The Microphone' and 'The Mysterious Helping Hand' referred to previously. Readers are advised to make up their own minds depending on what is important to you.)

Summary

    Another Day In Paradise offers superb video quality that is only limited by the original film quality. It's too bad that it isn't in the original film's aspect ratio of 1.66:1. Lets hope that Eagle Home Entertainment don't get into the habit of producing non-widescreen discs.

    The sound quality is good, but the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix is disappointing and a little front-heavy.

    There is not much in the way of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Sunday, August 06, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

Other Reviews NONE
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