Night Shift (1982) (NTSC)

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Released 25-Jun-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1982
Running Time 106:17
RSDL / Flipper Dual Sided Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,4 Directed By Ron Howard
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Henry Winkler
Michael Keaton
Shelley Long
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $19.95 Music Burt Bacharach
Carole Bayer Sager


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Smoking Yes, part of the plot
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, night scene of New York City

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

Plot Synopsis

    I've always had a soft spot for Night Shift - a film featuring the directorial talents of Ron Howard, and starring Henry Winkler (in a role about as far removed from Happy Days' "Fonzie" character as he could possibly get), Shelley Long (who I think is vastly under-appreciated), and Michael Keaton. Plus of course it features the wonderful music of Burt Bacharach (when he was still together with Carole Bayer Sager).

    Chuck Lumley (Henry Winkler) is a mild-mannered, quiet, and easily intimidated former Wall Street investment consultant who got stressed out and decided to have a quiet life working in the city morgue. His life is turned upside down when his boss exercises a bit of nepotism and shunts him to the night shift so that the boss's nephew can take over his job. On top of that, he gets a new loud-mouthed hyperactive partner full of kooky ideas - Bill Blazejowski (Michael Keaton).

    Basically, life is not good for him. His fiancée Charlotte Koogle (Gina Hecht) is obsessed with food and losing weight, his sandwich shop never remembers his order correctly, even the dog in his apartment building is menacing him.

    One day he befriends his pretty neighbour, Belinda Keaton (Shelley Long), who works as a prostitute. When her pimp is killed by some gangsters, Bill "Blaze" has another one of his bizarre ideas - that Bill and Chuck should moonlight as pimps and operate out of the city morgue.

    At first Chuck is horrified, but then agrees out of a desire to vent his frustration against being intimidated, and also out of a genuine desire to help Belinda and her fellow prostitutes. At first things go really well, but then a few problems appear on the horizon ...

    As I've mentioned before, I quite enjoyed this film. It's a good comedy, and yet is somehow sweet and touching as well, and epitomises for me what New York City is all about.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is yet another one of Warner's NTSC DVDs which are essentially Region 1 discs rehashed at minimal additional expense for Australia. We get two versions of the film - full frame and widescreen 1.78:1 (16x9 Enhanced) - on a dual-sided disc. I mainly watched the widescreen version as that is closest to the intended 1.85:1 aspect ratio of the film.

    The transfer is just a tad on the soft side, but features acceptable levels of detail and reasonably dark black levels. Colours appear to be slightly undersaturated, and may reflect the age of the film print.

    The film source is slightly grainy but not too dirty. I did not notice any significant levels of video artefacts.

    There are English and French subtitle tracks present. I turned on the English subtitle track briefly just to verify its presence and that it was reasonably accurate.

    The full frame version of the film has a comparable video transfer quality and appears to be an open matte version of the 35mm print (despite a warning when you insert the disc that the film has been "formatted to fit your TV screen.")

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track on this disc: English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192Kb/s).

    The audio transfer quality is about average. Dialogue was relatively easy to understand, but both dialogue and music sounded a bit "flat" to my ears - lacking dynamic range as well as extended high and low frequencies.

    I did not notice the rear channels being strongly engaged at any point (apart from minor ambience).

    There are no issues with audio synchronisation.

    The music soundtrack features the music of Burt Bacharach and the closing titles feature one of his better known songs: "That's What Friends Are For." Those of us who are used to listening to the Dionne Warwick version of this may be shocked to learn that the original version (as featured in the film) is sung by Rod Stewart.

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

Extras

    There are no extras present on this disc.

Menu

    The menu is static but 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 and 4 versions of this disc are identical, right down to the FBI warning that appears at the end of the film.

Summary

    Night Shift is a decent and charming comedy, though somewhat dated, featuring Henry Winkler, Shelley Long and Michael Keaton. The video transfer is above average (given the age of the film), but the audio transfer is mediocre. There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Thursday, July 04, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS905V, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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What?! NOT AVAILABLE IN PAL - AND NO CRITICISM OF THE DISTRIBUTOR? GOING SOFT? -