The Night Before (1988)

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Released 24-Apr-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 86:36 (Case: 90)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Thom Eberhardt
Studio
Distributor

Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Keanu Reeves
Lori Loughlin
Theresa Saldana
Trinidad Silva
Michael Greene
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $24.95 Music George Clinton
Richard Cox


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown 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

    Every once in a while a DVD comes across my desk that I have not heard of before. I was curious to check out The Night Before, mainly to investigate the acting abilities of Keanu Reeves before he went on to star in The Matrix. Besides, a guy that sells his prom date has got to be quite entrepreneurial, right?

    Winston Connelly (Keanu Reeves) is an average student in both academic abilities and in his way with women and dating in general. When he gets the chance to take the beautiful Tara Mitchell (Lori Loughlin) to the prom and parade her in front of all the other guys, he is rather impressed, and rightly so. Tara's dad (Michael Greene) is a police captain and is extremely protective of his daughter. He gives Winston the usual "bring her home before midnight" speech.

    Unbeknownst to Winston, he is only going on this date because Tara lost a bet with her girlfriend, and a date with Winston was the booby prize, which she begrudgingly accepts. On the way to the prom, Winston takes a shortcut and inadvertently heads into the bad end of town, running low on petrol. The pair head off to try and find a taxi, or at least somewhere that they can call for one. From this point on, their luck deserts them as they embark on an unending downhill spiral of worse and worse luck.

    Winston wakes up in the early hours of the following morning still in the bad end of town and with amnesia. He now has to set off on an interesting quest to find out where his car and last night's date have gone. The local hoodlums also keep reminding him that he has a showdown with a hood named "Tito" (Trinidad Silva) later on in the morning.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1 but is NOT 16x9 enhanced.

    This particular transfer was quite clear and easy to watch. Shadow detail is wonderful - just take a look at 56:38 to see the perfectly black background and strong foreground colours. Luckily, this level of detail is quite common throughout the presentation, which is just as well because almost the entire movie is filmed at night, or in poorly lit rooms and bars. There is little or acceptable levels of low level noise.

    The colours were true to life and never seemed to fade or lose their lustre.

    There were minimal MPEG artefacts to be seen, which is always a good thing. At 49:53, the scene looks like it has been edited and there is a slight jump from one frame to another. Aliasing is very rare and mild when it does make an appearance. The end credits suffered from telecine wobble. Film artefacts are where I was expecting this film to take a downward turn, but thankfully this was not so. There are very few artefacts at all and those that you do see are usually in the periphery of the image and therefore not distracting.

    There are no subtitles on this disc.

    This disc is single sided and single layered and therefore has no layer change.

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

Audio

    There is only an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack available on this disc. Running this track through a Dolby Digital Pro-Logic II decoder did give a more immersive "feel" to the movie. The crowd and bar scenes really need this extra ambience to give a more natural feeling to the surrounds.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was spot on.

    The music is credited to George Clinton and Richard Ian Cox for songs and additional music respectively. Personally, I felt that all songs and music were well-chosen for the particular segments that they featured in. This is one case where they added to rather than detracted from the storyline.

    Being a Dolby Digital 2.0 track, the surround channels are not used at all unless artificially engaged with surround processing.

    Likewise, the subwoofer gets a rest, but it is not really missed in this particular feature.

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

Extras

    The only extra on this disc is a trailer.

Menu

    The menu design is themed around the movie and uses a still clip from the actual presentation.

Theatrical Trailer (1:43)

    This is of average quality, being presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and therefore not 16x9 enhanced, and with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The trailer has a very grainy appearance and contains a substantial number of film artefacts that thankfully did not make it to the main presentation.

R4 vs R1

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

    I was unable to find any references to a specific Region 1 release of this DVD.

Summary

    The Night Before was an interesting movie. While simplistic in its plot, it was still enjoyable the first time around. It is not something that I could sit and watch repeatedly, but it is certainly worth hiring on a rainy day.

    The video quality is quite good and was easy to watch.

    The audio is only stereo, which does leave your ears wanting more in some scenes. You will really want to enable some artificial surround decoding to get the most out of it.

    The extras consist only of a trailer. Personally, I don't think any additional extras would make the movie any better or more interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Saturday, May 18, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-533K, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe 72cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Audiolabs Magnum M30 (Mains); M05 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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