Homer and Eddie (1989)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
|Year Of Production||1989|
|Running Time||95:43 (Case: 101)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Andrew Konchalovsky|
Beyond Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
Homer (James Belushi) is an intellectually challenged man who lives by himself in Arizona. After a hit by a baseball as a child leaves him with a permanent learning disability, Homer's parents send him away telling him that they cannot afford to look after him. After years of not seeing his parents, Homer takes his savings and begins hitchhiking from Arizona to Oregon to pay his parents a surprise visit. He is not long into his trip when he falls afoul of highway robbers and soon has only the clothes on his back. Along the way, he meets up with Eddie (Whoopi Goldberg) who also attempts to rob him, and after her unsuccessful attempt (Homer having already been robbed once) eventually agrees to help him get his money back. Eddie has recently been discharged (or escaped, we are never quite sure) from a psychiatric institution and has an ongoing mental condition which makes her go into fits of rage and lash out violently. When Homer tells Eddie about his long lost parents, she reluctantly agrees to help him out. On the way, Homer discovers Eddie's violent streak, his own sexuality, Jesus (well, sort of), and the truth about his parents.
This film has serious problems. Whilst we have two stars at the beginning of their respective careers (Whoopi Goldberg going on to do Ghost shortly after this and James Belushi fresh from Red Heat and K-9) and an accomplished director in Andrei Konchalovsky, this film seems to fall apart at the seams fairly early on. The screenplay seems to be only half done, as there is quite a bit of wasted potential here as plot goes by with little development or resolution. Is Eddie really mad? Does she really have a medical condition or is she lying? Do we really care? Half way though this film that is the real question we start to ask ourselves. While Homer's character is likable in a dopey kind of way, Eddie is almost repulsive with her careless and violent (in the extreme) attitude. She kills a convenience store clerk in one scene and not less than five minutes later, she is having a deep and meaningful conversation with Homer and we are expected to become endeared to Eddie's character? When this happens in a Quentin Tarantino film, you expect it as the script sets you up for that type of scenario. This film does not, instead setting you up for a comic road trip type of film, so acts of brutal violence seem out of place here. Also, there is the use of the "Jesus" character. We have brief glimpses of a "Jesus" character in some of the latter half of the movie. Is he real or a delusion of Eddie's? This type of character finds no place in such a film and stands totally out of place within the storyline - in the end, I don't believe its inclusion is justified.
There are also some technical problems. The camerawork is amateur at best. We have combinations of handheld and fixed camerawork, sometimes in the same scene. This sometimes is not a problem if the techniques are used cinematically and consistently within a film. With this title, this is not the case. At times, we have the camera running after the subject in a disruptive manner, or moving side to side in documentary style. This is usually not a problem if it is consistent with the style used for the duration of the film, but here there is no hint of style and sometimes the camerawork seems totally foreign to the storyline.
In the end, we have to hold the director (Andrei Konshalovsky) responsible for this mess. While he has had success with several films, both on the domestic American market and overseas (The Boy and the Pigeon:1962 and Siberiade, which in 1979 won the Cannes Special Jury Prize; and the popular Tango & Cash in 1990), this film fails to deliver on all fronts and at every level throughout. Despite the leads being good actors, including James Belushi before he went "Direct to Video" (although even some of his "Direct to Video" work is quite good) and Whoopi Goldberg (whose work in The Color Purple and Star Trek: The Next Generation was fantastic), the performances here are adequate at best. The screenplay is half baked and could have been so much more. The camerawork is worse than first year film school. The cinematography is ordinary in the extreme. The script is totally average with little character development. We have seen all concerned here in better times. This reviewer's advice is as follows: Save your sanity, save yourself. Avoid this film at all costs!
This film is presented on DVD in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, full frame, and is not 16x9 enhanced. While viewing the feature, you get the distinct impression that the transfer presented here on this DVD was intended to be matted to 1.85:1 and what we have here is an open matte fullscreen transfer. This is further hinted at by the appearance of the reflection of a microphone boom early on (6:12) in the film. We do not seem to miss any information on screen by having this film displayed full frame. That said, this film was shown theatrically in 1.85:1 and it is always a disappointment when we are not offered the original aspect ratio, no matter what the film.
As to the sharpness of the transfer on offer here, it can only be described as adequate. Some of the darker scenes are okay in their level of detail, though not anywhere near reference quality.
The quality of the colour on this disc is okay with the majority of the scenes having a rather earthy tone. Other than that specific note, colour use during this feature and on this disc seems to be fairly natural and presents no technical problems.
There are some slight MPEG artefacts and chroma noise visible at 8:37, but this type of flaw is not too frequent. Aliasing is no real issue with this title. There are quite a few film artefacts to be seen during this feature with white and black flecks and marks evident during the entire movie. There is also a fair amount of grain to be seen throughout this feature, although it is not to the extent of being overly distracting.
No subtitles are available on this DVD.
Since this disc is single sided and single layered, there is no layer change.
Dialogue quality is not a problem on this disc and the spoken word presented has no major problems. Audio sync is not a problem with this disc and seems to be quite natural and accurate.
The music was composed for this feature by Edward Artemyev with additional music being credited to Robert Randles. Mick Fleetwood also did some instrumental music work with the soundtrack of this film.
The surround channels were used minimally with their contribution being almost totally atmospheric.
Despite there being quite a few music tracks used throughout this film with many featuring strong bass lines, the subwoofer is quite subdued and is called upon very rarely. There is little on-screen action that calls the subwoofer into use, either.
|Surround Channel Use|
The Scenes menu allows you to choose from a selection of 3 out of the 9 chapters that make up this DVD. The three chapters are listed by name on screen with static shots depicting scenes from two out of the three respective chapters. An animation of a scene plays in a window and a music track from the film plays for 11 seconds. If no selection is made after this time, the disc defaults to the next three chapters and this loop continues until a selection is made. This menu is presented full frame and is not 16x9 enhanced. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 surround.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video was adequate although film artefacts and grain are readily apparent during the feature.
The audio was adequate with an average mix using little more than the front channels.
If you are completing a collection of James Belushi or Whoopi Goldberg films on DVD, then this might be a film to get. For all others, save your money and avoid this title. Not recommended.
|DVD||Panasonic A300-MU, using S-Video output|
|Display||Hitachi CP-L750W LCD Projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||VAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)|