As Good as It Gets (1997)
Audio Commentary-James L Brooks, Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, et al
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
|Year Of Production||1997|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (66:22)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||James L. Brooks|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The second time around, I rather liked the movie. I found it much more believable, even though I started watching it with quite a closed mind, expecting to dislike it as much as I did the first time around. Jack Nicholson plays an obsessive compulsive romance novel writer named Melvin Udall. Amongst his obsessions is the fact that he eats breakfast at the same eatery every day, at the same table, with the same waitress, Carol Connelly (Helen Hunt). He also has a cleanliness obsession, and brings his own plastic cutlery with him to eat breakfast with.
Melvin has a gay neighbour, Simon Bishop (Greg Kinnear) who has a dog, Verdell (Jill). Melvin hates both his neighbour and his dog, and treats them both abominably.
Carol has a son, who has asthma. One day, Carol is not at work because she is sick and worried about her son. This discomfits Melvin greatly, who arranges to have a private paediatrician visit them to take personal care of her son, at Melvin's expense, as long as she returns to work to wait on him.
Here, the movie takes a turn towards romantic comedy, where Melvin, Carol and Simon take a road trip to Baltimore so that Simon can cajole his folks for money. Along the way, they all discover something about each other.
I still think this movie is somewhat flawed as a romantic comedy because Melvin and Carol don't strike me as being suited to each other, but I will concede that this is a piece about the development of all three characters away from their initially severely dysfunctional selves.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear throughout, with the only trivial quibble being a small amount of grain in the initial few scenes, which disappeared forevermore after these scenes. Shadow detail was excellent, and no low level noise was apparent.
The colours were perfectly rendered at all times, with never a hint of over or undersaturation.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of a fraction of a second of minimal aliasing late in the movie on some venetian blinds in Melvin's apartment. Film artefacts were virtually non-existent.
This disc is an RSDL disc. The layer change is placed at 66:22, between Chapters 16 and 17. It is moderately disruptive to the on-screen action, but not particularly so.
Dialogue was almost always clear and easy to understand, with only the odd word here and there hard to make out.
There were no audio sync problems.
The score by Hans Zimmer was appropriate but quite light on at times. Frequently, there is nothing but dialogue going on during this movie. This is not a problem, given the nature of this movie, being a dialogue and character driven piece of work.
The surround channels were used lightly for music. Ambience was basically limited to rare occasions in the front channels only.
The .1 channel didn't make a peep as far as I could tell.
As a result, there are significant periods of silence within the audio commentary track, and there are some odd-sounding cuts between conversations. There is a section of the audio commentary track which sounds extremely distorted, from 28:30 to 29:00, and there is an audio dropout at 50:07. Jack Nicholson tends to mumble, as well.
However, there is a significant amount of good information to be found in this commentary track, despite its somewhat disjointed feel. Because so many people contribute at one stage or another to the commentary track, there are a lot of different perspectives being offered on the movie. This is interesting in itself.
Overall, this is not one of the best commentaries I have ever listened to, but neither is it one of the worst. It is certainly infinitely superior to having no commentary track at all.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;
The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;
Pan & Scan version
There is nothing compelling here to favour one version over the other.
The video quality is reference quality.
The audio quality is acceptable.
The extras are highlighted by a reasonably good audio commentary track.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|