The Man Who Sued God (2001)

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Released 20-Aug-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Scene Selection Anim & Audio
Featurette-The Man Who Sued God - Discovery
Teaser Trailer
Theatrical Trailer
Gallery-Photo
Production Notes
Audio Commentary-Mark Joffe (Dir), Don Watson (Writ) & David Bridie (Comp)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 97:43 (Case: 102)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Mark Joffe
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Billy Connolly
Judy Davis
Colin Friels
Wendy Hughes
Bille Brown
John Howard
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $34.95 Music David Bridie


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Man who Sued God is an Australian-made movie, filmed in New South Wales (the locations used were Sydney and Bermagui), starring Billy Connolly. With his co-star, Judy Davis, he keeps the audience entertained.

    Billy Connolly seems to have been around forever now. I remember listening to his CD's when I was a kid, and even now the aging Scot has not lost any of his appeal. In fact, he is like a good wine: he seems to get better with age. Some people may not like Connolly because they think he may be a little over-the-top. His stand-up shows seem to contain of a lot of swearing, but I think Billy is a true gem. He seems to have a great knack for telling stories which would not be funny coming from anyone else - when he tells the story, he has you in hysterics.

    The Man Who Sued God tells the story of Steve Myers (Connolly), who is a local fisherman. One stormy day, Steve's fishing boat is obliterated by a bolt of lightning. Steve believes he will have no trouble getting his insurance payout and all will be well. Little does he know. The insurance company rejects his claim, saying that the accident was an act of God. Myers decides that if this accident was indeed an act of God then God must be responsible for the loss of his fishing boat. If his insurance company refuses to pay him for a replacement boat, he has no option but to sue God for his loss. The movie follows Steve as, with the help of Anna Redmond (Judy Davis), he goes about proving that there is no such thing as an act of God; it is merely an excuse for insurance companies to keep their profits high by refusing to pay the little man his due.

    Billy Connolly fans who expect this film to be comedy from start to finish will be disappointed. This film has its funny side, but it has a few quite touching moments as well. It should appeal to many people. It also stars Colin Friels, Billie Brown and Wendy Hughes.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is quite good, although not without its problems.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture, for the most part, looks fairly soft and therefore lacks the finer details that better transfers provide. Shadow detail is not brilliant. In a few of the night scenes, it was very difficult to see any sort of detail other than the actors' faces. The background was black, with no detail at all. Low level noise was a minor problem on this disc.

    The colours looked generally very good, but now and again the actors had a very brownish tone to their skin. I can't be sure if this is a transfer problem, or if the make-up artist was a little heavy-handed.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen on this disc, however aliasing was a major problem, with the most noticeable example at 10:54 where the camera pans over the bridge's steel railings; other notable examples were at 17:01 and 30:48.

    This is an RSDL disc but no layer change was detected during the movie, suggesting that the layer change may be located between the movie and the special features.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer on this disc is generally very good, but is not without a few minor problems.

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track, encoded at 448kbps. Also available is an audio commentary track featuring Mark Joffe (Director) David Bridie (Composer) and Don Watson (Screenwriter).

    The dialogue quality on this disc was not a problem and was clear and easy to understand at all times.

    There is a definite audio sync problem about 15 minutes into the movie. It seems to gradually improve from that time, eventually correcting itself about 40 minutes into the movie.

    The musical score was by David Bridie. It was good, in that it did not detract too much from what was happening on-screen.

    The surround channels were used very aggressively throughout the movie. In particular, the scene early on when Steve's fishing boat is blown up sounds wonderful. The discrete use of the rear channels is excellent in this, and quite a few other scenes in the movie.

    The subwoofer channel was also used very well by this soundtrack. There are a few moments of very deep and powerful bass, and the LFE channel is used to great effect.

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

Extras

Featurette - Man Who Sued God Discovery (27.42)

    This featurette consists of the usual interviews with the cast and crew and location shots. It is of good quality. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and features Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Teaser Trailer (1.18)

    This teaser trailer is of fairly poor quality. It is in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 but is not 16x9 enhanced. It has a Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded soundtrack.

Theatrical Trailer (2.24)

    This theatrical trailer is also of fairly poor quality. It is in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, but is not 16x9 enhanced. It has a Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded soundtrack.

Still Publicity Photo Gallery.

    This is a collection of seven colour photos from the movie.

Audio Commentary

    This audio commentary is provided by Mark Joffe (Director), Don Watson (Writer), and David Bridie (Composer). It is a fairly informative commentary; we get a perspective from each of the three, with their thoughts on the movie. One of the more interesting things I learned was that Colin Friels (who plays Billy Connolly's brother in the film) was able to do such a convincing Scottish accent because he was actually born just outside of Glasgow (only a few miles from where Billy Connolly was born). We also learn how to pick when a double was used for Billy Connolly - we are told to look at Billy's left hand (he has a tattoo of a banjo). This audio commentary is well worth a listen.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title is currently not available anywhere else in the world. It seems we have a worldwide exclusive. The movie was filmed in Australia, so it is reasonable that we should be the first to have it.

Summary

    The Man Who Sued God is a good movie. It has some funny bits, although not as many as I expected. It also has a good moral message: that one person can take on the bigger companies and prove a point. I recommend this film, but there is a rental window on this DVD so you will have to wait until August if you want to purchase this title for your own collection; this movie is a keeper.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Stephen Wilson (read my bio)
Sunday, April 28, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplayBarco 708mm CRT front projector (line doubled) onto a 2.5m wide 16x9 aspect screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderMeridian 568.
AmplificationAdcom 555 mk2 x3
Speakers3 Klipsch La-Scala speakers (left, centre and right); 2 Infinity sm122 speakers (rear); 2 Mirage bps 400 subwoofers with 400w built in amps

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