European Vacation (National Lampoon's) (1985)
Main Menu Audio
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary-Chevy Chase (Actor)
|Year Of Production||1985|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4||Directed By||Amy Heckerling|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Due to its success, a sequel was inevitable (to be followed by another 2 later on). John Hughes returned to co-write America’s favourite family in their second adventure, and Amy Heckerling (after the success of Fast Times at Ridgemont High) was hired to replace Ramis in the director’s chair.
In their second adventure, Clark Wilhelm Griswold Jr. (Chevy Chase), his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) and their children Russ (Jason Lively) and Audrey (Dana Hill) win the grand prize on game show ‘Pig In A Poke’: an all-expenses paid European Vacation. After having to persuade Audrey to leave her lover, Jack, behind in the states, they head off for their first stop - England. Running amok the way only the Griswold’s can, they continue on to Paris, Germany and Rome. The film also features cameos from such great British comedians as Mel Smith, Robbie Coltrane and the hilarious Eric Idle.
This is no Citizen Kane; it’s just plain good old 80s fun. If you’ve never seen any of these films before, then you will not find too much to like in European Vacation, but to those fans out there, like me, it’s still as good as ever. What would the world be without the Griswolds anyway? (that was a rhetorical question by the way).
This transfer isn't too bad for an unrestored 17-year-old film. This DVD features another Region 4 NTSC transfer.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it is 16x9 enhanced.
Expecting worse treatment than the film was given, I was surprised at how decent it actually looked. With an overall slightly faded look, the transfer was not as sharp as recent films, which is to be expected. Shadow detail was also not perfect, but never became obviously lacking.
The colours actually came across quite well - not really vibrant, but not as dulled as one would expect. Flesh tones seemed fairly natural, and never excessively red.
There appeared to be no obvious MPEG artefacts in the transfer at all. The same, unfortunately, cannot be said for film artefacts. Mainly during the film's opening title sequence, quite frequent dirt and scratches marred the transfer. The entire film experienced a hint of grain throughout, but as soon as the opening titles finish, it becomes barely noticeable.
This is a very limited audio transfer, being Dolby Digital 1.0 (mono) in English and French. Interestingly, the commentary track (Dolby Digital 2.0) contains more channels than the audio tracks.
Dialogue was always clear, and never became distorted. There were no problems with audio sync.
The film’s score is by Charles Fox. The real highlight to the film’s soundtrack is its 80s songs, in particular “Holiday Road" performed by Lindsey Buckingham and “Some Like It Hot" performed by Power Station. All music came across clearly, but was limited to the centre speaker only because of the monaural nature of this soundtrack.
The only downfall to the audio transfer is that it features no action from the surround speakers or the subwoofer. Even your 2 main front speakers will be asleep, unless you listen to the commentary track.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video transfer is not too bad considering.
The audio transfer is a let-down, if only due to its limited channels.
The extra features are fairly limited, with a commentary track that is worth a listen for fans.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-525, using Component output|
|Display||Teac 82cm 16x9. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||5 Sony speakers; Sherwood 12" 100w Powered Subwoofer|