How to Marry a Billionaire: A Christmas Tale (Rental) (2000)
Trailer-Behind Enemy Lines; Soul Survivors; Kung Pow: Enter The Fist
Trailer-Super Troopers; Bandits; Black Knight; Ice Age
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Rod Daniel|
Twentieth Century Fox
Carole Raphaelle Davis
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
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.
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.
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.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video is horribly flawed at times.
The audio is not very inspiring.
The extras are not related to the film.
|DVD||Sony DVP-S525, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS797- THX Select|
|Speakers||Jamo X550 Left and Right, Jamo X5CEN Centre, Jamo X510 Surround|