Tackle Happy (2000)

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Released 30-Mar-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Tony Martin & Mick Malloy (Director)
Featurette-Puppetry Of The Penis Slide Show
Featurette-Bonus Tricks (4)
Notes-CD (with audio-only samples)
Trailer-Shonky Golf
DVD Credits
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 74:17
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Mick Molloy
Studio
Distributor
Radiant Industries
Madman Entertainment
Starring Simon Morley
David Friend
Mick Molloy
Tony Martin
Darren Chow
Richard Molloy
Stephen Curry
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Gareth Skinner


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, during credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Can two guys practising "the ancient art of genital origami" (alternatively "dick tricks") sustain a stage show, and, in fact a documentary? You better believe it. At least director Mick Molloy did, and he has put his considerable resources into making his mate Simon Morley, sidekick David Friend, and their show Puppetry of the P**** a national success. Basically, two guys get naked, get onto a stage, and contort their wedding tackle into all sorts of wince-inducing positions, including "The Hamburger", "The Wrist Watch" and (my personal favourite) "The Loch Ness Monster".

    From humble origins, the show was premiered at the 1997 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The performers then decided to take it on the road via their ageing Kombi, and Tackle Happy follows their travels around the coast of Australia from Melbourne to Perth. They are accompanied by their faithful sound and camera man Chowie, and later by Stephen Curry as they make their way from pubs to nudist colonies to the back of a truck performing their extremely unique show to all manner of people.

    Recorded on what appears to be a home style video camera by the roadie, Chowie, the entire documentary has something of an amateur home video feel about it. It has been well edited, though, and Morley's weekly telephone calls to the Martin Molloy radio show are used to give some structure to the chaos. As with the stage show, the documentary is somewhat one-joke, and I felt that a little more investigation into the dynamic between the travelling companions (which is touched upon) would have made for a more interesting documentary piece. As it stands, it gets a little repetitive (I don't know about you, but there is a limit to the amount of time that I can stare a p**** in the face) and thankfully it is kept down to a reasonable 74 minutes or so, but some of the tricks are truly amazing, and Puppetry of the P**** seems to be as good a subject for a documentary as any.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is a full frame one, with the video having been recorded on some sort of hand held video camera, probably digital. There is nothing really wrong with the transfer, but there are a few problems with the quality of the source material.

    For the most part, when the conditions are right, the video is clear and sharp. Whenever the light drops, though, the grain creeps in fairly quickly, and due to the nature of the show that it follows, much of the video is taken in darkness. Especially grainy are the shows themselves, and this gives the entire documentary a somewhat amateur video feel. Shadow detail was a little variable, especially during some of the overexpose shots in the night-spots. There was no low level noise.

    Colour was a little muted, again, especially in the low light shots. The outdoor stuff (especially in bright daylight) was just fine, although much of the travelling shots feature mainly browny tones. Some of the stage sequences are overexposed leading to a real wash out of the colour at those times.

    I didn't spot any MPEG artefacts, but there were some instances of aliasing. These occurred on an air conditioner at 17:05 and the buildings around a city skyline at around the 19:00 mark. The Kombi also caused a little trouble (around the windows) and much of the feature is set inside it. There were no videotape artefacts to speak of.

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

Audio

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD, and I listened to both: an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track and an audio commentary track in a similar format. Generally speaking, there wasn't too wide a soundstage due to the limitations of the recording equipment, and the sound was of variable fidelity, however things added in post production (such as the music and the excerpts from the Martin Molloy radio shows) were crystal clear.

    At times, the dialogue was a little muffled, but this was also related to the fact that it was recorded via a camcorder.

    There were no audio sync issues to report.

    There isn't really much in the way of a score per se, but rather, there is a collection of songs from a variety of artists, including the theme song from Gareth Skinner, as well as DerBrains and Grand Theft Auto. It does give the action a bit of a kick along at times, and you can't really ask much more than that.

    The surrounds and subwoofer kept themselves entertained by watching the screen, and offered nothing of a sonic nature to the performance.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is not 16x9 enhanced, however, it does feature a nice animated intro and an excerpt from the score playing in Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. Rather than a traditional scene selection screen, we get "View the Happy Trail" allowing scenes to be selected by location of the tour on a map of Australia.

Audio Commentary - Mick Molloy (Director), Tony Martin (Sidekick)

    Martin and Molloy have an obvious chemistry, and their commentary is quite funny, and in fact sometimes hilarious. They speak fairly well constantly throughout, and they range from jokes to bit of trivia about the performers and the occasional cameo. They are joined at one point for a while by Richard Molloy who was on the tour.

Select-A-Trick

    28 tricks are selectable here. Each takes you to the relevant part of the feature for a couple of seconds.

Puppetry of the P**** Slide Show (2:27)

    These are presented at 1.33:1 with music playing in Dolby Digital 2.0. 12 images (from the calendar) are presented, allowing much closer scrutiny of the tricks (if that is in fact desired) than the feature.

Bonus Tricks

    4 extra tricks are presented here in a window inside the menu screen.

Tackle Happy CD

    This is really an advertisement for the soundtrack, however there are full versions of Gareth Skinner's Tackle Happy and Under the Sea, 79-81 by DerBrains, Nothing by bZark, Spanish Fly by Luxedo and Cha Cha Cha by Grand Theft Auto.

Shonky Golf Preview

    Again, another advertisement, this time for Mick Molloy's video. There are a few different clips here, each of about a minute in length which are played at random when the feature is selected.

DVD Credits

R4 vs R1

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

    This DVD is not available in Region 1.

Summary

    Tackle Happy was a lot of fun, but it is more like a video of an extremely bizarre holiday than a documentary. The sound and video quality of the DVD are good despite some poor source material, and the addition of some extras (especially the commentary) make this DVD a little more worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Curulli (read my bio)
Thursday, May 10, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-D608
SpeakersFront: Yamaha NS10M, Rear: Wharfedale Diamond 7.1, Center: Wharfedale Sapphire, Sub: Aaron 120W

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