Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital Trailer-Egypt
Featurette-Cannes Festival - Press Conference - Highlights
Easter Egg-David Lynch's 10 Clues...Unlocking Mulholland Drive
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (69:54)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||David Lynch|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Laura Elena Harring
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Betty (Naomi Watts: The Ring: out November 2002, Tank Girl: 1995, Gross Misconduct: 1993, Home and Away television series 1991) has come to The City of Angels with stars in her eyes and a dream to make it in the movies. She has come down from Canada and has been offered her aunt's apartment while the aunt in turn goes to Canada to shoot a film. Arriving in Los Angeles, Betty takes a cab from the airport to her aunt's apartment. It is more than she could have ever expected and she is excited to be in not only such a beautiful home, but in the City of Dreams as well. But the apartment is not empty and neither Betty nor the other occupant knows who's there.
This is the briefest of plot synopses, as to say any more would give away too much. Even the back cover of the disc gives away little in the way of plot for this film. This is a relief as this is one movie that you will want to go into without any preconceptions. Please bear that in mind as the above synopsis is but a very brief outline of the very beginning of the movie.
There is a sort of wide-eyed wonderment that you feel when you watch a David Lynch movie. David likes to take his audience on a journey to destinations unknown. In this, he never fails to disappoint. Vague comparisons could be made between David Lynch and Paul Thomas Anderson, as both immediately take you on a trip that goes in many different directions at the same time with many story threads that cross and intersect unpredictably. The main difference is that while the Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia: 2000, Boogie Nights: 1997) picture will take you on a trip of highs and lows, the David Lynch picture seems to take the viewer on a descent into despair and foreboding. He does this very well in this movie as the road you begin to travel on never quite ends up where you think it will.
This film originally had its genesis as a pilot for ABC (America) in 1999. After ABC executives saw the finished pilot, they deemed it too dark and unbackable and so David Lynch reworked the unused pilot and with about 20 minutes worth of reshot footage and a reedited film, it was released theatrically. The performances here don't flag its television pilot origin with the main cast well chosen and all doing a first rate job in their roles. We also have quite a list of what would have been called "Special Guest Stars" in the 70s including Marcus Graham (star of the Australian television series Good Guys, Bad Guys and US series Sins of the City), Melissa George (star of the Australian television series Home and Away and also seen in the 1998 Alex Proyas film Dark City) and Billy Ray Cyrus, responsible for the early 90s worldwide hit Achy Breaky Heart.
The one thing that this film demands is attention. David Lynch films are usually like this and with such attention one is usually rewarded for their efforts. This film definitely rewards the attentive viewer and multiple viewings reveal more layers of the story; something that this reviewer would definitely recommend.
Director David Lynch actually lists clues that one should look for during the feature. These are listed inside the DVD cover and are called:
David Lynch's 10 Clues to Unlocking the Thrills of MULHOLLAND DRIVE
These are provided by the director as a sort of vaguely laid trail for the viewer to use to help make the film more understandable. Multiple viewings and the clues help you along the way, but are not totally necessary for enjoyment of the film.
As is the case with much of director David Lynch's work, this film is not for everyone. Some may find the symbolism and imagery irritating and confusing. They may also find the storylines unfollowable, so beware, this film is not light going. Still, if you are up for a challenging film that will make you think rather than a film where you turn your brain off, then this may just be the movie for you. I had this film running in my head for days. It is a serious film that rewards the diligent viewer. Highly recommended.
The transfer is in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. Given that this was originally meant to be shown as a television series, the 1.85:1 framing works just fine, even on the small screen.
The transfer to disc has gone fairly well with a couple of exceptions. First of all, the sharpness of the transfer is fine. Most of the shots are quite clean and clear with everything that should be able to be seen clearly visible. There is a minor amount of edge enhancement that is at times noticeable (see 19:49 and 46:54 for examples), but this does not detract unduly from one's enjoyment of the film. There is also some softness of image during some of the early shots of Betty. These seem to be intentional and are part of the film rather than an artefact. Shadow detail is quite good during this feature with darker scenes very viewable and clear (see 7:18 for example). Low level noise is no problem with this title, but there is a minor tapestry-like effect to be seen on the red wall at 16:58. This type of artefact is visible several times, but again, is not too distracting and probably unnoticeable if you aren't looking for it.
Colour during this feature is very good. Director David Lynch has an eye for subtlety and vibrancy where required during the film. This DVD has no problem in presenting these attributes accurately.
MPEG artefacts are not a bane of this title, but they can be seen to a minor extent at 5:23 in the cloud of smoke. Aliasing is a very minor issue with this transfer and is seldom visible. There are very few film artefacts to be seen on this DVD with the transfer to disc quite clear and free from all but the most minute specks.
A single set of English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are present on this DVD. They are adequate enough to convey the meaning of the on-screen dialogue, but are not word for word.
This disc is RSDL-formatted with the layer change placed at 69:54. Note that as per the director's request, there are no chapter stops on this DVD.
A single English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is present on this DVD.
Dialogue quality is very good throughout this feature with the spoken word understandable at all times. Audio sync is accurate throughout this picture with no sync issues detected.
The music is by Angelo Badalamenti (who also plays the mafia Don-type Luigi Castigliani in the film). It is not overly dramatic or complex but rather is atmospheric in nature. The soundtrack helps convey the sense of foreboding and some sort of enigmatic impending doom. Much of the soundtrack consists of a low rumbling that has the effect of making the viewer just that little bit more unsettled, just as the director would have intended.
The surround channels are used quite sparingly with most of the soundstage being forward-oriented and spread between the front three channels. Other than an atmospheric role, the surrounds are not often required.
|Surround Channel Use|
The special features menu offers the following:
There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.
No details are avalable on discs from Regions 5 or 6.
While the omission of a dts track on the Region 4 disc will be of supreme annoyance to many, its importance may be of limited value with this title as the Dolby Digital 5.1 track works very well. This feature is a showcase of filmmaking and not an audio-visual tour de force such as Gladiator where a dts track is far more important. The range of discs available around the globe is starting to give fans of this film a wide range of choices as to what features they might find interesting. There are some MPEG compression problems associated with the French and Dutch versions of the film, but both (especially the Dutch version) offer a large range of extra features. It is starting to get to the point where I might recommend multiple versions of this disc. The transfer quality of the Region 4 disc is good, but there isn't a huge range of extras available. Still, if you are in Region 4, I'd have no problem recommending the R4 disc, however, if dts is the be all and end all for you, then you may have to go for the U.S. or Dutch discs. I'll continue to try and bring the details of the various discs available worldwide as the come to hand.
Mulholland Dr. is a very engaging film with a story that will haunt you for days, and not in a "one joke" fashion such as a movie like The Sixth Sense does, but in a much deeper, darker and more profound way.
The video is fine with good clarity and a few minor transfer problems. Eminently watchable.
The audio is forward-oriented with a clean sound and not much in the way of rear effect other than atmospheric surround sound.
The extras are fairly thin but include more than the R1 version. The omission of the dts track is a niggling negative factor.
© Sean Bradford (There is no bio.)
Saturday, June 01, 2002
|DVD||Panasonic A300-MU, using S-Video output|
|Display||Hitachi CP-L750W LCD Projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||VAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)|