He Said, She Said (1991)

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Released 7-Aug-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Audio Commentary-Ken Kwapis (Co-Director), Marisa Silver (Co-Director) et al
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 110:59
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:28) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Ken Kwapis
Marisa Silver
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Kevin Bacon
Elizabeth Perkins
Nathan Lane
Sharon Stone
Anthony LaPaglia
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Miles Goodman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Danish
German
English
Spanish
French
Italian
Dutch
Norwegian
Swedish
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
French Audio Commentary
Italian Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    This is the story of two journalists who work for The Baltimore Times. Actually, this is TWO stories:  one his, and one hers. Okay, here's the thing........

    Dan Hanson and Lorie Bryer work for the Baltimore Times. Both are reporters and equally competent. Lorie (Elizabeth Perkins: Big: 1988) considers herself a writer while Dan (Kevin Bacon: Footloose: 1984) thinks of himself as a newspaper man. He is also a notorious lady's man. When a coveted editorial spot becomes available on the Baltimore Times, Dan thinks he's a shoo-in. He is forced to think again as the newspaper's editor puts Dan on the spot. It's been decided that there should be some competition for the newly-vacated editorial spot, so it's either Dan or another reporter with the paper, Lorie Bryer. The two are given the same subject to cover and a deadline to meet. Dan hits his typewriter while Lorie goes to work on her word processor. The two could not come from more different directions and they of course have little in common other than their work. When it comes to the decision as to who will get the new column, the decision is easy: give it to them both. Much to their consternation, the two writers have been paired, to produce a column called "He Said, She Said". The two don't like it, but after a while they gain a mutual respect for each other even though they disagree on just about everything. As the old saying goes, "opposites attract", and as expected the pair start to fall for each other. After an interview on a local Baltimore TV station, the two reporters are asked whether they would like to have their own TV show in the same vein as their column. They of course accept, but as their differences start to come between them, their new TV audience is treated to the spectacle that can be a break-up. But is it really the end? Tune in tomorrow...

    This is an interesting film from two (yes, two) directors that in the light of shows such as Ally McBeal seems to be ahead of its time. Directors Ken Kwapis (Vibes: 1988, The Beautician and the Beast: 1997) and Marisa Silver (Vital Signs: 1990) came up with the idea for this film after a dinner where the two contrasted the stories of how they met. So different were the stories that they had the idea, "wouldn't this make a great film?" and so began this project.

    This project takes a slightly different path to recent alternate story films. Unlike Sliding Doors: 2000, which offers two alternate realities, this film presents two different perceptions of reality. Yes, some of the situations the two are put into and how they play out can be called "gimmicky", but in the end the gimmicks work with this film and establish the couple's view of their relationship. Each view could be valid; each could be embellished or each could be total fabrication. Whose recollections are accurate? Sit down with your other half and let the questions (or accusations) fly.

    Directors Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver, despite their limited directing experience do a wonderful job with this story. A more competent job could not be expected from even a very experienced director and this film would not have been the success it is if the decision to use two directors had not been made. To have the two parts of the film directed by two different people from their respective gender's point of view seems to be an inspired choice. Ken Kwapis' take on Dan's "play the field, fear of commitment" version stands up well with Marisa Silver's depiction of Lorie's "I just need love, he's a b******" version. The ever-versatile Kevin Bacon does a great job with this role. He seems made for the part, but then he seems made for almost every part he's ever played. Elisabeth Perkins has a lovely look about her that depicts just the right amount of vulnerable. The two leads are backed up by some impressive supporting actors including Anthony LaPaglia (Lantana: 2001) and Sharon Stone (Basic Instinct: 1992).

    There may be no right version and this is the great fun of this film which almost demands to be watched by couples. It really does set people talking, as was intended. Who's right? Who's wrong? Who knows? Check it and see!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    We have here an adequate transfer presented on DVD with the one exception that the transfer presented displays way too much aliasing.

    This film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. Much comment is made during the film's commentary on the reasoning behind using the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This may seem to be overkill for this type of film, but the directors set out with this aspect ratio specifically in mind and also comment on how pan & scan works against their framing of the film.

    The sharpness of image seen throughout this feature is reasonable despite its age with a fair amount of detail visible. Shadow detail is also quite good with the expected amount of image visible during some of the darker and night scenes during the film. Low level noise is kept at bay during the feature.

    The quality of colour on offer during this feature is very good with the print suffering no major loss of colour despite its age. The use of colour during the feature is quite normal and avoids many of the traps attributable to films of this era, primarily being the overuse of pastels and earthy colours. Taking into account some of the clothing and hairstyles, this could have been filmed yesterday.

    MPEG artefacts are not a problem with this feature, however, aliasing is quite another matter. This film could have been renamed He Aliased, She Aliased. If it can shimmer and flicker during this film, it does. Maybe some will find the endless sparkle in Elisabeth Perkins' eyes endearing, but this is no romantic trick of lighting. It's aliasing and there is heaps to be seen, especially on the old standbys: the Venetian blinds (2:57), in the kitchen (45:59), on the limo (46:46) and on the front of the cafe (91:07). There are many more examples that could be listed, but you should get the picture by now. There is some edge enhancement to be seen (an example is at 1:13) among other places in the film. It is not overly pervasive, but it is there. Film artefacts are to be seen during this feature, but are mostly made up of white and black specks that sprinkle the image from time to time. They are not overly distracting.

    Paramount have developed a tradition of offering a number of subtitle language options and this title is no exception. The English subtitles here are reasonably accurate and do a good job of conveying the meaning of the film, though are not word for word.

    This disc is RSDL formatted with the layer change located at 57:28 which is almost at the end of Chapter 10. It takes place mid-scene and is an awkward place for the change that happens when two characters are talking and also slightly disrupts the commentary. Many new generation DVD machines will have some sort of memory buffer that will render this change almost unnoticeable, but it sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb on some older machines.

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

Audio

    There are 6 audio tracks available on this DVD with the main ones being an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and also a commentary track which is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0.

    The dialogue quality of this title is very good. Being a film that is mostly dialogue-based, this is a most important thing. This disc does not let us down and the spoken word is quite understandable at all times throughout this feature.

    Audio sync was not a problem with this title with no issues to report.

    The music for this film was composed by Miles Goodman and has a nice romantic big band feel, almost in the vein of Nelson Riddle in his work with Linda Ronstadt. A very suitable score indeed.

    While this film has been mixed into Dolby Digital 5.1 from its original theatrical Dolby Stereo audio track, the disc nonetheless presents the sound in a very natural and theatrical manner with the surrounds being used in a secondary supporting role. Most of the audio heard from the rears is atmospheric in nature as would be expected. Some people express disappointment that the rear channels don't blaze loud and clear, but with a title such as this we are treated to a surround mix that enhances the film rather than distracts from it.

    As is the case with the surrounds, so it is with the subwoofer. There is little low frequency available with this title and the little that is there is heard during some of the musical passages.

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

Extras

Menu

    After the language selection start-up and the copyright warnings, we are presented with the Main Menu with the following options on offer:     The Audio Options menu offers the languages that are available on this disc. These are:     The Audio Options menu features images of Kevin Bacon and Sharon Stone as a backdrop. The various options are listed at the bottom of the screen. This menu is presented static and 16x9 enhanced with no audio.

    The Subtitle menu uses the same background image used on the Audio Options menu. This offers several more language options in addition to those listed on the Audio Options menu. This menu is static, silent and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The Special Features menu presents the only two extras on offer with this title. These are:

Theatrical Trailer:  2:16

    This is the predictable mass appeal ad that one would expect to come with a title such as this. Still, it does present the film in a good light and also features a couple of scenes that are in the trailer only and are not seen in the feature. This trailer is presented in 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. Audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded.

Commentary:  Directors Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver, Writer Brian Hohlfield and Cinematographer Steven H. Burum.

    This is a very interesting commentary if learning how a film comes into being and how the creative process works interests you. Some interesting tid-bits talked about here are the explanation as to why the directors chose to use the aspect ratio of 2.35:1 to film this movie in. If you think that pan & scan is acceptable, then perhaps you should check out what the film's directors think of it. Also commented on is a deleted scene in which Elizabeth Perkins' character bowls in a bowling ally using Sharon Stone's head as a bowling ball. While the directors hint at putting it onto the DVD, it is not there. Most disappointing as this reviewer was looking forward to seeing the animatronic head of Sharon Stone.

 

    The Scene Selection menu offers 4 static images per page depicting respective scenes from the 19 chapters available. The scene images have the chapter titles listed underneath and the chapter block selection options along the bottom of the screen. This menu is presented static, silent and is 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title has been released in Region 1 in almost exactly the same form as we have presented here. Other than the different language options and the PAL transfer, this is the exact same package offered to R1. Considering the PAL transfer, extra language options and local affordability, the R4 version would have to be to version of choice. The only exception to this would be in the event that the R1 version did not suffer from the constant aliasing that is prevalent on the R4 disc.

Summary

    This is a fun "date movie" that is a real treat for couples. If you have managed to miss this one over the last decade, then it is worth checking out. Recommended.

     The video is watchable although there is too much aliasing visible throughout this picture.
 
    The audio is quite good with just the right mix of 5.1 atmosphere and dialogue clarity.

    The extras are minimal with the commentary being a stand-out exception.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Sean Bradford (There is no bio.)
Wednesday, July 10, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic A300-MU, using S-Video output
DisplayHitachi CP-L750W LCD Projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V2090
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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