Silent Partner (2001)

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Released 19-Apr-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary
Theatrical Trailer
Notes-CD Soundtrack
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Man Of Straw
Trailer-Everynight...Everynight; Italian For Beginners; Don's Plum
Easter Egg-3 x Commentary Photos
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 80:32
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Alkinos Tsilimidos
Studio
Distributor
Australian Film Comm
Twentieth Century Fox
Starring David Field
Syd Brisbane
Hebe
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music Paul Kelly
Gerry Hale


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Silent Partner is an Australian film about two friends who feel their lives are taking a turn for the better when they acquire a greyhound and begin to race it.

    John Richards (David Field) and Bill Shaw (Syd Brisbane) are two friends who are constant gamblers. They spend most of their time unsuccessfully betting on dog racing, smoking and drinking. Both of these men have very little positive happening in their lives but when they are offered the opportunity to race a greyhound they view this as a way out of their current situation. Alex Silver is an acquaintance of John and he offers a dog to him to race, but is this an offer that is too good to be true? John and Bill must register the dog in their own name and pay various up-front costs while the profits are split between themselves and their silent partner. It quickly becomes clear that there is something underhand going on but both of the friends seem unable to accept that this deal is not their big break.

    The movie is centred completely around the two main characters and there are very few other speaking roles in the film. This is due to the fact that this film was written by Daniel Keene and is based on his theatrical play of the same name. With only two principal actors, the film was able to be shot in just seven days with a small crew of just five people.

    This is an interesting Australian film that despite its low budget and minimal production costs is still quite entertaining. If you are interested in seeing what type of film can be created with just one week of shooting then you should check out Silent Partner.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is consistently soft throughout and it never displays the high levels of detail we have come to expect from modern films. The shadow detail displayed during the transfer is slightly disappointing but luckily most scenes are well lit and this does not pose any real problem for the viewer. These problems with the image appear to be due to the original source materials and not the transfer and are most likely due to the minimal production budget. No low level noise was detected at any time during the transfer.

    The colours displayed during the transfer are always slightly muted and washed out. The film displays a palette that is focused heavily upon greys and brown but this helps to effectively capture the grimy environment that the film is set in.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any time during the transfer.

    Only two instances of aliasing were detected during the transfer, at 18:23 and 50:54. These are very minor and are not distracting to the viewer. A single moiré artefact may be seen at 7:26 but this only lasts for a short period of time and is not distracting.

    A number of small film artefacts may be seen throughout the film. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 5:20, 6:38, 7:08, 7:16, 9:03 and 10:29. Each of these artefacts are quite minor and are only slightly distracting to the viewer. Obvious film grain may be seen throughout the transfer but this is only very minimally distracting.

    Unfortunately, no subtitles are provided on this disc.

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

Audio

    A single English Dolby Digital 224 kbps 2.0 soundtrack is provided for the main feature.

    During the majority of the film, the actors are playing drunken characters and consequently most of the dialogue is slightly slurred. This does not cause any real problems but some people may have a problem discerning the occasional word or phrase.

    No dropouts or problems with audio sync were detected at any stage during the transfer.

    The score by Paul Kelly and Gerry Hale is very effective and easily fits the on-screen action. Numerous songs are performed by Paul Kelly, often incorporating a banjo, and this is used to create a theme for the silent partner in the film.

    The surround and subwoofer channels were not utilised during the transfer.

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

Extras

Menu

    The minimally animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Feature Length Commentary

    This feature length commentary features producer/director Alkinos Tsilimidos, writer Daniel Keene and actors David Field and Syd Brisbane. During this scene-specific commentary they discuss locations, the characters' motivations and their various experiences working on the film.

CD Soundtrack

    This is a three-page listing of the track titles found on the Silent Partner soundtrack. Samples from various tracks are provided as background music to these pages.

Biographies

    Short biographies are provided for the following cast and crew members: Alkinos Tsilimidos, Daniel Keene, David Field, Syd Brisbane, Paul Kelly and Gerry Hale.

Short: Man Of Straw (29:29)

    This short documentary was the graduate film for director Alkinos Tsilimidos and it covers surprisingly similar material to Silent Partner. The short is provided with a brief introduction (1:34) by Alkinos Tsilimidos and Daniel Keene.

Theatrical Trailer (1:51)

    This trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Everynight... Everynight (2:22)

    Director Alkinos Tsilimidos provides a short (0:34) introduction to this trailer for his previous feature film Everynight... Everynight. This black and white trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Don's Plum (1:27)

    This black and white trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Italian For Beginners (2:00)

    This trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with burned in English subtitles.

Easter Egg

    Selecting the cigarette butt on the extras menu displays a collection of three images from the recording of the commentary track.

R4 vs R1

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

    This film does not appear to be currently available in other regions.

Summary

    Silent Partner is an interesting Australian film that, while not perfect, still contains enough to keep the viewer's attention throughout.

    The video transfer is acceptable but is let down by the relatively poor quality of the original source material.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is suitable for this dialogue-driven film.

    The collection of extras provides some interesting insights into the film and the short film is a welcome inclusion.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Sunday, April 28, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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Comments (Add)
Everynight... Everynight - Sam