How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale (Rental) (2000)

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Rental Version Only
Available for Rent

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Trailer-Behind Enemy Lines; Soul Survivors; Kung Pow: Enter The Fist
Trailer-Super Troopers; Bandits; Black Knight; Ice Age
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 88:53
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Rod Daniel
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring John Stamos
Joshua Malina
Shemar Moore
Dorie Barton
Carole Raphaelle Davis
Rhea Perlman
Dabney Coleman
Katherine Helmond
Kenneth Mars
Gabrielle Anwar
Case ?
RPI Rental Music Teddy Castellucci


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    'How to Marry a Billionaire' is a TV movie from the USA that is a loose revision of the 1953 Marilyn Monroe film 'How to Marry a Millionaire'.

    The film stars John Stamos, Joshua Malina and Shemar Moore as three financially challenged guys in LA who cannot hold onto a relationship due to their lack of funds. Deciding that women are only interested in men with money (....what?), they move into a huge Malibu beach-fronted mansion and have two weeks to marry a rich girl before their house-sitting enterprise must end.

    Together, they hit the town in search of 'love' before their time runs out - they meet their respective partners and try their best to convince us and themselves that they actually love them.

    Tom (John Stamos) confides in a mysterious woman he meets on the beach, and they instantly hit it off, but after talking for a while he realises that she does not have much money, so he declines her offer for a date in favour of Tiffany the giggling idiot who is cashed up. I wonder what will happen here folks.....

    That is pretty much the whole plot synopsis for this film....of course the moral high ground takes effect as you would expect, and there are a few little surprises that keep the film moving instead of completely petering out towards the end.

    The production values are not too bad, and it shows off L.A nicely. The performances are adequate, with the highlight being Dorothy Barton as Tom's rich bride-to-be, Tiffany, who plays the giggling moron surprisingly well. The extended title of this film is 'How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale'- there is nothing that draw this film to Christmas besides its setting in December and a rather scary Santa Claus that appears throughout the film like the Crypt Keeper from 'Tales from the Crypt'.

    There are some half-decent jokes throughout the film, but the utterly predictable and sickening ending makes this film just another TV movie.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this film is terribly flawed at the start of the feature but gets steadily better as the feature progresses.

    The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness of this transfer is very shaky with some points in the film that become a blurry mess, notably at 1:43, 34:02 and 32:30. Some of these sharpness problems stem from other artefacts that are present at the same time, therefore, some of the time markers that I mention may appear more than once. There are plenty of moments where the picture is not sharp, but those mentioned above are by far the worst examples for you. There are some spots of heavy grain to be found at 6:57, 7:41 and 20:41. Shadow detail is not too bad throughout, and there were no obvious instances of low level noise.

    The colours in the feature are very bright, as the film's palette tries to show off L.A at its brightest and best. There is one horrible instance of colour bleed at 0:37. Other than that, the flesh tones are natural, and we have a bright and vibrant colour transfer.

    In some of the scenes where shots look out of focus this is actually because of some MPEG artefacting, namely pixelization or macro blocking. The worst and most noticeable example of this is at 1:43 as the camera pans to the right, with other bad examples at 0:37, 16:54 and 34:01. There is some mild aliasing present at 5:24, and there are no film-to-video artefacts.

    There are English subtitles recorded here. I watched quite a lot of these subtitles and they are word-for-word with the film.
Annoyingly, the subtitles automatically come on at the start of the film and need to be manually turned off.

    This is a single layered disc.

    As this film is made for TV, every so often the screen fades to black and then come back up at the next scene where ad breaks would have been taken. For mine, this detracts from the viewing experience and probably could have been tightened up for the production of this DVD. It would not have been too hard to go back into the editing room and bring these breaks together to help the flow of the film and give it more of a theatrical feel.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio track recorded on this DVD; an English 2.0 Dolby Digital surround track.

    For the most part, dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Audio sync became an issue at 16:53, but was fine for the rest of the film.

    The musical influence in this film is basically modern-sounding Christmas melodies. They appear throughout the film and do not add much to the overall feel, but are quite good.

    The surround speakers and the subwoofer do not feature very much throughout the film, but there is an excellent spatial feel between the left and right channels.

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

Extras

    As this is a rental release, there are no substantial extras to be found.

Trailers (11:29)

    There is a trailer reel here that plays upon start-up, but this can also be selected from the menu. The following trailers are presented with an English Dolby 2.0 Surround Track and all suffer from some slight pixelization and grain.

R4 vs R1

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

 
    Currently, this title is not available in Region 1.

Summary

     'How to Marry a Billionaire' is a pretty poor film that has some mildly amusing jokes throughout. Its poor narrative and predictability make it a pretty lacklustre film.

    The video is horribly flawed at times.

    The audio is not very inspiring.

    The extras are not related to the film.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Hugh Fotheringham (what the hell is going on in bio??)
Saturday, July 13, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S525, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS797- THX Select
SpeakersJamo X550 Left and Right, Jamo X5CEN Centre, Jamo X510 Surround

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Martin F (read my bio)

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