Jimmy Zip (1999)

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Released 13-Nov-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Notes-Storyline
Notes-Art
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 112:35 (Case: 115)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Robert McGinley
Studio
Distributor

Magna Home Entertainment
Starring Brendan Fletcher
Robert Gossett
Chris Mulkey
Adrienne Frantz
Karen Landry
Ike Gingrich
Zia
Kim Dawson
Christos
John Snyder
James Russo
Case Click
RPI $29.95 Music Geoff Levin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, under-age smoking
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Jimmy (Brendan Fletcher) is a foster kid, and a teenager with an interest in fireworks. After he blows up a neighbour's mail box, his unpleasant foster father tells him that he is nothing, nil, zip. He adopts the name Jimmy Zip when he runs away. He arrives in a city with a bag, a bike, and no idea of how to survive. He's lucky to meet a sweet girl called Sheila (Adrienne Frantz), who looks after him when he has a run-in with some of the local street-life.

    Jimmy is desperate for work, so after being turned down by a taco joint he takes a job with a local wannabe crime-lord, Rick Conesco (Chris Mulkey). Jimmy delivers drugs and collects money from the street walkers Rick runs. Jimmy gets himself into big trouble with Rick when he loses a large sum of money - he loses it when he loses his jacket running from a "troll" - the "troll" is a black man with Tourette's Syndrome, who turns out to be Horace Metcalf (Robert Gossett), a sculptor who works in scrap metal.

    Horace sees something of himself in Jimmy (perhaps a touch of pyromania?), and makes an effort to get to know him. He initiates Jimmy into his art - working with steel, using oxy-acetylene gear. They get the crazed notion of swiping some of Rick's drug money and using it to buy materials to build sculptures that they will then sell, and then they'll return the money.

    Did I mention that Jimmy's not over-bright? The idea of stealing money from a drug dealer...

    It looks as if this is an extended adaptation of a short Robert McGinley (the writer and director) wrote and directed three years earlier. The short starred, amongst others, Alyssa Milano. There are no names that big in this version.

    This story is not a fairy-tale, but its pretensions to gritty realism are just that. It's way too nice to compete in that field. It is not awful, but it just doesn't have much to recommend it. It may have won an award at the Hollywood Film Festival, but I can't see why.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, but is not 16x9 enhanced. That's a shame, but at least it is presented widescreen.

    The picture is not bad. It is reasonably sharp, with adequate shadow detail and no low-level noise.

    The colours are fine. Bright colours can achieve full saturation, but there are few bright colours around. We're talking rusty metal and overalls - these don't lend themselves to rainbow colouration.

    There are a variety of film artefacts, but they are mostly untroubling. There's quite a bit of aliasing - the lack of 16x9 enhancement can take some of the blame. There's a little bit of MPEG shimmer, and some moire, but not to the extent of the aliasing. It's not a terrible transfer, but you have seen better.

    There are subtitles in zero languages (I counted them several times). That's a shame, as some of the dialogue could have done with subtitling.

    The disc is single sided and single layered. That means no layer change, but it also means that they might have cranked up the compression a bit further to fit it onto one layer, which might be the cause of some of the artefacts.

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

Audio

    The soundtrack is presented in English, in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded. No other soundtracks are provided.

    The dialogue is mostly comprehensible, but there are a few words that get swallowed. There are no real audio sync problems.

    The score from Geoff Levin is not distracting. It is nothing special, but it does the job just fine.

    The soundtrack is surround-encoded, and there are a couple of moments that show some rear presence, but mostly the surrounds do nothing but extend the score from the fronts. The subwoofer gets nothing to do.

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

Extras

Menu

    There's music (the closing theme, sung by Adrienne Frantz) behind the menu, but no animation.

Cast and Crew

    A brief single page for each of the main players in this movie.

Story Line 

    Three pages of text - a somewhat pretentious view of the story.

Art

    Two pages about the making of the sculptures for this movie.

Trailer (2:31)

    A straightforward trailer, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, not 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

    There is scant information on the Region 1 version of this DVD available. Based on very sketchy and somewhat unreliable reports, it would appear that;

    The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;

    Based on this information, the Region 4 version of this DVD is the version of choice as it is presented in the correct aspect ratio.

Summary

    Jimmy Zip is an ordinary film, on a reasonably good DVD.

    The video quality is fairly good for a disc lacking 16x9 enhancement.

    The audio quality is reasonable.

    The extras are basic.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Monday, May 20, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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