The Hollywood Sign (Rental) (2001)

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Rental Version Only
Available for Rent

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 89:46
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Sonke Wortmann
Studio
Distributor
Amberlon Pictures
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Tom Berenger
Jacqueline Kim
Rod Steiger
Burt Reynolds
Case ?
RPI Rental Music Peter Wolf


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 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

    The Hollywood Sign is a movie about three washed-up movie stars; Tom Greener (Tom Berenger), Floyd Benson (Rod Steiger) and Kage Mulligan (Burt Reynolds), who are all now making ends meet by working at jobs other than acting.

    We first meet Tom and Kage on the set of a movie in which they play two policeman about to make a drug bust. Kage is completely inept, forcing the movie's frustrated director to re-shoot a simple scene many times. Tom's girlfriend, Paula Carver (Jacqueline Kim), has written a script called (you guessed it) The Hollywood Sign. Skip seven years ahead and we find both Tom and Kage out of work and out of luck. Tom and Paula have broken up and Tom has rewritten The Hollywood Sign to give it a happy ending. He enlists the aid of his friend Robbie Kant (Kay E. Kuter) to shop the script around in an attempt to get the movie made. When a car accident kills Robbie, this results in Tom and Kage meeting Tom's friend Floyd at the funeral. The three have a few drinks and end up reminiscing about old times under the real Hollywood sign, where they discover the dead body of a gangster.

    I'm not sure whether this movie is supposed to be a comedy or a thriller. As a comedy, it is much more tedious than it is funny. As a thriller, any movie which is as predictable as this has clearly failed in its aim. Not only is the story tedious, but for the most part so are the characters. Burt Reynolds' character excels in this regard and is sure to annoy most viewers from start to finish. Perhaps he won this role because he is the character: a has-been actor who even in his heyday was able to summon up only marginal acting talent at best. As you might guess, I'm no fan of Burt's so I might be slightly biased in this view. By all means see this movie for yourself, but don't say I didn't warn you!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer quality of this title is a mixed blessing. While it is fantastically free of almost all types of artefacts, it is well below standard in respect to shadow detail and sharpness.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. Very little information is available regarding the original aspect ratio of this title, however it would seem likely that this is the correct aspect ratio for this movie.

    While there are no problems with low level noise, a lack of shadow detail in the many darker scenes results in the picture having a very two dimensional appearance. This lack of shadow detail made this movie annoying to watch as many shots are either backlit or filmed under less than optimal lighting conditions, frequently putting the actors faces in shadow and thus robbing viewers of the opportunity to appreciate any subtle facial expressions. Shadow detail in the brighter scenes is, however, quite reasonable. The level of sharpness is a long way from what you would expect from a film that is only two years old, with virtually every scene having a slightly soft appearance. Since I've never seen this movie in any other format, it's impossible for me to say whether the problems with shadow detail and sharpness are a problem with the transfer, the source material, or if perhaps it was the director's intent.

    The movie has a normal colour palette, however the colours are not as deeply saturated as you would typically expect, which results in a somewhat washed-out appearance.

    With respect to artefacts of all types, this transfer is excellent. No aliasing or compression artefacts were noted. Film artefacts were limited to just a very few extremely minor marks which will surely go unnoticed by most people.

    There are no subtitles available on this disc.

    This is a single layered disc so there is no layer change to disrupt your viewing experience.

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

Audio

    This disc is graced with a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio track, which could best be described as adequate for the task of getting the story across.

    The dialogue was perfectly clear at all times and I didn't note any problems as far as the audio sync was concerned.

    The music by Peter Wolf doesn't really add anything to this movie. A little-known composer, he is responsible for the music in such notable films as Weekend At Bernie's II and The Neverending Story III.

    The soundfield was mainly concentrated in the screen channels, with the surrounds really only used for the music score.

    Given that the only audio track is Dolby Digital 2.0 encoded, there is no dedicated LFE channel present to give the sub a workout.

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

Extras

    The extras are limited to a single trailer.

Menu

    The menu is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio is provided, however there is no animation.

Theatrical Trailer

    A trailer of 2:03 duration is provided. It features Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio and is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.20:1 but is 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.

    As far as I can determine, this title currently appears to only be available in Region 4.

Summary

    The Hollywood Sign is a tedious and predictable movie, filled with annoying characters. It has been presented on a bare bones DVD.

    The video quality is a mixed bag; very good in respect to artefacts and poor when it comes to sharpness and shadow detail.

    The audio quality is adequate.

    The only extra is a theatrical trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Cole (Surely you've got something better to do than read my bio)
Thursday, June 13, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-995
SpeakersFront L&R - B&W DM603, Centre - B&W LCR6, Rear L&R - B&W DM602, Sub - Yamaha YST-SW300

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