Shallow Hal (Rental) (2001)
|Category||Comedy||Trailer-Ice Age; Joe Somebody; Black Knight|
|Year Of Production||2001|
|Running Time||109:01 (Case: 113)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/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||Yes, ah...this is a Farrelly movie.|
While the message that this film is trying to get across - that a person's inner beauty and personality are far better reasons to choose a partner than their looks - the way it goes about it is not that clever. While the aim is noble, there is much here that could be quite offensive to people who are overweight. It must be remembered however that this is not unusual for a Farrelly movie. There have also been many critics of this movie because it suggests that "ugly" people can only find romance with other similarly beauty-challenged people. While this is actually quite heavily suggested by Shallow Hal, the sad fact is that for the most part it is simply a reflection of reality. The world we live in is very driven around body image, with those that are fit and good looking being the greatest objects of desire. It is this idea that is actually being challenged by Shallow Hal, and to do so it must show the world as it is. Certainly it would have been more effective if the casting had been somewhat better - Hal could have been a drop-dead gorgeous guy for instance - and it is in this regard that the Farrellys let themselves down.
In general, Shallow Hal works very well as it presents what really is a sweet romantic comedy that features a round of very good performances. Jack Black is good as the shallow Hal who cannot see the wrong in his ways, and the supporting cast are all very good. The real stand-out here, however, is Gwyneth Paltrow who shows that, regardless of what people might think of her after her best actress acceptance speech, she is really an incredible actress. She brings a sweetness and vulnerability to the beautiful version of Rosemary that is completely in line with the large woman she is really playing, and she manages to pull it off while looking more stunningly beautiful than in any film she has appeared in before. The only sour note to the casting here (or maybe it is perfect casting) is Jason Alexander who plays Mauricio as a virtual clone of his Seinfeld character, George Costanza, even down to the way in which he complains about his women.
Shallow Hal is a very enjoyable movie that is far less a gross-out comedy than previous Farrelly movies, and far more a romantic comedy with a twist. However, a warning must be issued that, as with all other Farrelly brothers' movies, it does have the potential to be quite offensive to people who are so inclined.
The transfer is presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
The sharpness of this transfer is very good. It does have a slightly "polished" feel to it that dulls the sharpness a little, but overall it is still very easy to make out even the smallest detail. Impressively, there is no obvious grain present at all, lending the image a marked clarity often lacking in instances where background grain is present. Shadow detail is likewise excellent, and on the few occasions that the action takes place in less than fully bright locations, there are no problems with characters disappearing into darkness. There is no low level noise present.
Colours are very good, displaying the necessary changes in environment from outdoor to indoors without any problems at all.
There are only a very few artefacts present in this transfer, and none are particularly obvious. There are no compression artefacts at all, and only a very few instances of mild aliasing, such as on the edge of the rowboat from 45:26 until 45:31. Similarly, there are only a very few visible film artefacts, such as at 51:50, and all are minor. Probably the worst sequence for film artefacts in the transfer is between 42:51 and 42:55 where a number of small artefacts fleck the image.
The subtitles are quite accurate, are well paced, and generally do not affect the comedic impact of the dialogue.
This is a single layered disc, and as such does not have a layer change.
There is only a single audio track present on this disc, being the original English dialogue in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 384 Kbps).
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. The ambient sound effects and the score never affect the dialogue, and are nicely mixed in with one another. There are no problems with audio sync in this transfer.
The musical accompaniment to Shallow Hal can be divided into two categories, being the score music provided by New York trio Ivy and a collection of contemporary songs. The score is not particularly notable, albeit being composed by a jazz/pop band rather than a cinematic composer, and largely stays unnoticed (suggesting it does its job well). The contemporary songs have a fair amount of success, only seeming off on the odd occasion, and in general enhance the interaction with the movie.
The surrounds are largely used to carry the score, but on many occasions are also used for ambient sound. While their use is neither consistent, nor constant, there is enough use of ambient surround to justify the use of 5.1 channels over and above spreading the score. There are no directional sound effects in this movie at all.
The subwoofer only comes to life to back up the score, otherwise sitting dormant. During the club scenes however, it does come in handy.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is extremely good, and there are only a very few, minor, problems.
The audio quality is also extremely good, and could only be improved by a slightly more consistent use of ambient surround.
As with most Fox rental discs, this one is completely devoid of film-specific extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)|