Grumpier Old Men (NTSC) (1995) (NTSC)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Notes-New Member To The Team
Trailer-Grumpy Old Men
|Year Of Production||1995|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,4||Directed By||Howard Deutch|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, Outtakes during end credits|
When you're onto a good thing, make a sequel is a Hollywood maxim, so in 1995 out trundled Grumpier Old Men, the sequel to the 1993 hit Grumpy Old Men. Judging by the age of the stars, I guess they had to get this one out pretty quickly before they all dropped off the perch!
Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon reprise their roles as the cantankerous and grumpy Max Goldman and John Gustafson. If you remember from the original, the boys were always arguing and playing jokes on each other. This all took on a new turn when they then ended up clamouring for the attentions of the recently arrived widow, Ariel (Ann-Margret). They resorted to all manner of nasty practical jokes and tricks to outwit each other. In the end, (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) John Gustafson won out and claimed Ariel's hand in marriage. Move forward a year or two (the seasons have at least changed and the snow and ice of the Minnesota winter has melted), and the boys have a new challenge. This time, they face a common foe and have united in their efforts. Now, remember that the grumps love their fishing, so when old Chuck's Bait Shop is sold to a newcomer, they are hopeful that it will soon re-open to allow them to replenish their supplies. Much to their dismay, it is not about to become a tackle and bait store, but an Italian Restaurant (or ristorante) run by the divorced Italian beauty Maria Ragetti (Sophia Loren), who has no plans to restore the tackle store and will be serving up bolognaise and fettuccini instead of hooks, lures, and worms. So begins a series of comic capers as the pensioners battle with Maria and throw all manner of obstacles in her way to stop her opening her restaurant. Of course, not all goes to plan, and in between some wayward preparations for Melanie (Daryl Hannah), and Jacob's (Kevin Pollak) wedding and the battle to land the famed gigantic catfish we see some amusing moments as Maria gets her own back on the fellas, who are getting grumpier by the minute.
One of the strengths of this film is that all the original cast are back for another run. Joining Matthau, Lemmon, and Loren are Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, Ann-Margret as Ariel, and of course Burgess Meredith as John Gustafson's dad. It also contains many jokes, gags and sexual innuendos of the type that made the first film so endearing, especially from Meredith as he woos Maria's mother in the supermarket. The outtakes during the end credits are even better this time round, so keep watching.
The plot and characters aren't the only things that this disc has in common with its predecessor, as this is another Region 4 NTSC transfer. There is a small label on the top right corner of the case advising this fact, so beware, as you will need a suitable display to view this disc.
Like the former, it is also presented in the modified screen ratio of 1.33:1, and is therefore obviously not 16x9 enhanced. The original theatrical aspect was 1.85:1. There is also a message displayed at the commencement of the film stating that this feature has been modified from its original aspect in order to fit your television (if you own a 4:3 set that is).
The image is very similar to the original disc, though it is a somewhat sharper transfer, and though edge enhancement is present, it rarely becomes bothersome. Shadow detail is handled well with no lost clarity in the darker scenes. Grain is also evident, but managed quite well and does not dominate any scenes. There is no low level noise.
The colours on offer here are marginally more vibrant than the original, though are still hampered by the NTSC formatting. Again filmed in Minnesota, it is actually set in spring or autumn and the colour palette reflects this. Still, nothing to get excited over.
No MPEG artefacts are present. The problems with 3:2 pulldown are not as consistently bad as they were in Grumpy Old Men, but it is still present and on a couple of occasions becomes very distracting. The most notable examples occur in the supermarket on the various signs (see 19:23 for the worst case). There is little evidence of aliasing. Film artefacts are present in reasonably large numbers, but do not become an overly large distraction as most are limited to the usual small white specks.
There are only three subtitle options available. I watched part way through with the English stream on and found them mostly accurate and easily read.
This is a single layered disc only, so no layer change is present.
The audio on offer is better than the first film, benefiting from the existence of Dolby Digital technology at the time of release. We get a choice of two full Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks and a Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. I listened to the English track only. Despite the presence of a soundtrack that utilises all six speakers, the surrounds and sub receive little work to do. There are some reasonable panning effects across the front speakers, but this is still pretty much dialogue-based and anchored pretty squarely in the centre channel.
Dialogue is fairly dominant as would be expected, and there are no problems with audio sync.
The score is by Alan Silvestri and is quite similar to the original film. There are numerous songs throughout. Many are somewhat clichéd, such as That's Amore by Dean Martin to set the Italian theme.
Despite the presence of a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, there is little surround or subwoofer use.
|Surround Channel Use|
Stock standard bio and filmography detail for the cast and several of the crew. Quite detailed but no mention is made of the recent deaths of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon.
A slightly ridiculous couple of screens, showing still images of Sophia Loren and a rather tacky speech bubble summarising her thoughts on the film. Very brief. Very pointless.
A one page text screen, summarising the filming location in Minnesota. Not very informative.
In the same manner as the first film, this trailer also has no timecode information, but runs for approximately 1:50 minutes. It is also presented full screen 1.33:1 and is about the same quality as the film. Not too many gags are spoilt this time round either.
The same trailer for Grumpy Old Men that appears on the original disc. Again no timecode information, presented full screen 1.33:1.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
With this being a dual Region 1 and Region 4 disc, our version is obviously exactly the same as the version available in Region 1, right down to the NTSC formatting. There is no reason to favour one over the other, as they are both as bad as each other.
It's pretty easy to sum up this film. If you liked the original Grumpy Old Men, then you will certainly like this, as it is pretty much more of the same. If you didn't like the first and found the constant "putz" and "moron" banter annoying, then steer clear.
The video is in the same class as the original. NTSC Region 4 transfer and an incorrect aspect ratio.
The audio, despite being a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, is nothing remarkable.
The extras are poorly and cheaply conceived and really of no value at all.
In closing, I really feel that with all the advancements that the DVD format has made over the last two years, and with the quality of product from most distributors being of an exceptionally high standard, that dishing up discs like this is really taking a step backwards and cannot be a good thing. I therefore find it extremely difficult to recommend either of the Grumpy Old Men discs to anyone but the biggest fans of the films.
|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|