Kingdom Come (Rental) (2001)
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Doug McHenry|
Twentieth Century Fox
LL Cool J
Jada Pinkett Smith
Vivica A. Fox
Cedric The Entertainer
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Sometimes I watch a film and find myself really really wanting to like it and say good things in a review, because the overall disc quality is excellent and the actors try so hard with the material that they are given that you just can't help but admire them. But alas, Kingdom Come is the sort of film that despite some good intentions and some real quality performances from lesser-known actors, still has some obvious faults.
The reluctant family gathering is always good for a story and a bit of comedy, so when grumpy old Bud Slocumb suddenly keels over and dies, his family gather for the funeral. In a sort of cameo role (it's not really a cameo but it is really quite a small part), Whoopi Goldberg plays Bud's suffering wife Raynelle. She gathers her clan around her to help in the preparations for the funeral and to celebrate the life of her mean old husband. As usual, it is only after the old man drops off the perch that his siblings and other relatives begin to think about him and what the relationship they shared with him meant to each of them. We first meet the couple's oldest son Ray (LL Cool J) and his wife Lucille (Vivica A. Fox). Ray is a mechanic, who, despite a bit of a shady past is now hardworking, honest, and doing quite well for himself. Contrast Ray's hardworking ethic with that of his deadbeat and broke brother, Junior (Anthony Anderson) and his extremely grating wife Charisse (Jada Pinkett Smith playing a very annoying Rosie Perez-style character). Together with their demonic children, they head across country in their dodgy old car, arguing all the way. Throw in Raynelle's sister Marguerite (Loretta Devine) and her son Royce (Darius McCrary), and the seldom-together clan is gathering like a cyclone in the Timor Sea. The preparations for the funeral continue, with the siblings and other relatives slowly but surely getting on each other nerves, until things reach breaking point and they say things to each other that they probably wish they didn't. The Slocumb brothers in particular have some problems just simmering below the surface, threatening to boil over, and which probably will before the funeral finally arrives with all and sundry arriving to pay their last respects.
Some pretty fine gospel singing and even a role for singer Toni Braxton round out some quite good performances. In fact, the quality of the acting is the strongest aspect of this film. LL Cool J is excellent as the dependable Ray and Anthony Anderson bumbles along as the misfit of the family complete with annoying wife and horde of children. Whoopi Goldberg doesn't have a great deal to do, but is a sort of quiet calm amongst all the chaos. The actual plot is definitely the weakest link in the chain. It seems to flop around a fair bit, wandering from what is a supposed to be a comedy, to touching drama, to almost some slapstick style scenes. There is a lack of any real rhythm in the story and I did find myself getting somewhat distracted many times throughout.
A really fine transfer has been afforded this title, with very little to report in terms of problems and some of the best saturation of colours that I have seen for a long time.
We're greeted with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 complete with 16x9 enhancement. The transfer is extra sharp with lots of fine detail and virtually no problems with murkiness in the shadows. There are traces of edge enhancement in several scenes, though these are only of mild distraction. Grain is well managed and does not become bothersome. There is no low level noise.
As I said above, the colours are among the best saturated that I have seen for quite some time. This is mainly due to the way the film has been shot and the use of some really exquisite orange and golden hued lighting. Some of the external scenes are really quite stunning.
There are no apparent MPEG artefacts. There is only some minor aliasing in the form of a tiny bit of shimmer on some swings at 31:03 and the side of the church at 67:40. Film artefacts are small in number and size and never draw attention to themselves.
There is only one set of subtitles available. These are naturally enough English, and having them on for the majority of the film, I found them to be completely accurate.
This is a single layered disc only, so there is no layer change to navigate as a result.
There is only one audio track on this disc. It is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 384 KB/s and is a fairly front speaker dominated soundtrack that barely generates a ripple from the surround channels.
Dialogue is excellent, with no problems and a presence that is very dominant in the overall soundtrack. Some of the characters speak very quickly, but are still understandable.
The music is a real interesting mix. There is quite a bit of gospel-style singing mixed in with various hip-hop style songs. I quite enjoyed the mixture and found it remarkably refreshing. In fact, one of the funniest scenes features Marguerite and her son Royce travelling to the funeral in their car listening to the radio. They are arguing over the station and keep switching between a gospel station and a rap station.
As mentioned above, there is very little in the way of surround channel use.
The subwoofer, likewise, has little to do, but does lend a hand in the punchier songs.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are no extras on this disc. Presumably this will be different when the retail sell-through version is released.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;
English Dolby Digital Surround 2.0 Soundtrack
Music Video for Thank You
Audio Commentary from Director Doug McHenry
The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;
A somewhat unfair comparison, as the Region 1 title is complete with several extras and is virtually a collector's edition. Time will tell if the retail version here is up to the same level in terms of extras.
An excellent cast make Kingdom Come far more enjoyable than it could have been given the story. The performances are solid and varied and quite fun to watch. However, the whole film is let down by simply not knowing what sort of film it is. One minute we are laughing, the next we are having our heartstrings tugged even though I was half-expecting a joke to drop out the end.
The video can barely be faulted and is near-perfect. The colours in particular deserve special praise since they are among the best I have seen.
The audio won't set the world on fire as a demonstration soundtrack, but it does the job and the music is particularly notable for its variety and use.
The extras? It's a rental, so I guess we'll just have to wait a while for the sell-through.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|