Whatever It Takes: Collector's Edition (1999)
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
Theatrical Trailer-(Full Frame, DD5.0, 2:27 minutes)
Audio Commentary-D Raynr (Dir), S West (Act) & M Sokoloff (Act)
Featurette-Making Of-(Full Frame, DD2.0, 3:01 minutes)
Deleted Scenes-4 (1.85:1, non 16x9, DD2.0, 3:44 minutes)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Isolated Musical Score
|Year Of Production||1999|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (61:05)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||David Raynr|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Jodi Lyn O'Keefe
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, but very minor|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The story is set in and around Gilmore High School and principally concerns the quartet of Ryan (Shane West), Maggie (Marla Sokoloff), Chris (James Franco) and Ashley (Jodi Lyn O'Keefe). Ryan and Maggie have been next door neighbours and best friends for years and have just a hint of conservative nerdiness about them. Chris, the school jock, and Ashley, the school dream queen, are cousins. Of course Ryan, who with a bedroom balcony only inches away from Maggie's should have had other ideas, has a crush on Ashley, while Chris has a similar problem with Maggie. Each are a million miles from their respective dreams until they agree to help each other with appropriate pick-up lines and other useful ideas. They both end up within sight of success by the school prom night, but by then Ryan has come to his senses (it turns out that Ashley is as vacuous as she is beautiful) and he tries his best to save Maggie from Chris and his plans.
The characters are likeable enough and the humour sufficiently filling to keep the show on the road for 90 minutes.
The aspect ratio of the DVD image is 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. I would guess this was its original ratio, but can't be sure, since I can't find any technical references to this.
The image is uniformly crisp and clear with never a sign of graininess until perhaps the very last scene, and even that might have been my imagination. I couldn't detect any type of edge enhancement. Being a teen film the lighting was very bright and full, even for most of the night shots, but where shadows occurred they were never lost for detail. Low level noise was non-existent.
The colours in this film really stand out and help to create a bright and sunny mood. The palette contains a range of solid colours that are fully saturated and never bleed. Remember that the film is without a serious thought on its agenda, so this whole production design is quite appropriate.
The transfer has obviously come from an extremely clean print. There were film marks, but I really had to look for them (in one case having to replay a shot three times just to make sure). For practical purposes you could just about say they were totally absent.
This is an RSDL disc with the layer change occurring between chapters 18 and 19 at 61:05. The break is not overly intrusive.
Perhaps the one aspect of this film where I can be picky is in the clarity of the dialogue. Although I was never unable to follow the story, I felt that many of the actors occasionally (to be fair, only very occasionally) stumbled and mumbled over their lines as if they had something better to do. In a couple of other places the very active music tracks that accompany the film overshadowed the dialogue. I don't accuse the DVD engineers of this fault - it appears to be in the original film. In fact this very point was mentioned by the director during the audio commentary, although he seemed to dismiss it as unimportant. To me that is a rather poor attitude for any director to take.
Audio sync was always pretty much spot on. The music essentially consists of a large number of music singles. This is the formula, I suppose.
This is not a special effects film, by any means, yet the surround channels made themselves felt almost continuously. In the main they simply added extra depth to the whole audio stage, however in a couple of places they did get used specifically to create some over-the-shoulder sound imaging in reaction to on-screen action.
Similarly, the subwoofer was generally present although mainly as a general support for the music tracks. There was no need for any special low frequency effects.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-K310, using S-Video output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 (125cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Richter Wizard (front), Jamo SAT150 (rear), Yamaha YST-SW120 (subwoofer)|