Shallow Hal: Special Edition (2001)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Coomedy Central's Reel Comedy: Shallow Hal
Deleted Scenes-11 +/- commentary
Featurette-Seeing Through The Layers
Featurette-In At The Deep End, With Shallow Hal
Music Video-Wall In Your Heart-Shelby Lynne
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (53:55)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English Audio Commentary
|Smoking||Yes, by the ugly characters of course!|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, there is a (very) short post-credits segment.|
As far as second impressions go (in fact, as I saw this movie theatrically, so it is actually my third viewing), this movie is at once easier to watch again than previous Farrelly brothers movies, and not as enticing a proposition. The reason is that Shallow Hal, unlike the previous output from the brothers, relies more on script and situations to create its comedy, and as such has less moments that create humour out of shock. This means that on repeat viewings, the humour still works very well. Additionally, the performance of Gwyneth Paltrow becomes more impressive with repeat viewings, to the extent that I now think it could well be her most impressive performance to date.
The down side however, is that this is still most certainly a Farrelly brothers movie - and as such holds less anticipation in the watching than some of their other efforts. The more toned-down nature also means that there are less "classic" scenes in this, and that makes it less memorable than many of the other projects from the Farrellys. In the end, the decision as to whether or not to pick this one up when it comes out of its rental window is not an easy one. While it will certainly be of interest to those collecting Farrelly brothers movies, others are advised to rent before buying.
Presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness is excellent - all fine detail fairly leaps off the screen, and there are no instances where it could be considered soft. There is no grain at all, however there is quite a bit of what may be edge enhancement. As the shots are outdoors, it is most likely back-lighting, however as it occurs on every angle, the back-lighting argument may not hold. Either way, the characters are often framed by bright nimbuses. Shadow detail is just as good as the sharpness, and the few dark scenes there are come through very nicely. There is no low level noise present.
Colours are excellent. The highlights are bright, but without impacting on the rest of the picture. The costumes worn by the women are especially good in this regard, and this is probably the most visually pleasing Farrelly brothers movie yet.
There are no compression artefacts at all in this transfer. There are a number of instances of aliasing, but only a few, such as at 45:30 to 45:32 are easily noticeable. There are a number of tiny film artefacts, and also a few, such as the one on the doctor's jaw at 0:59 that are not so tiny, however for the most part they are not an intrusion.
The subtitles are very close to the spoken word, only leaving a few of the more superfluous words out on occasion. This is one of the better subtitle tracks on a comedy DVD.
This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 54:55 between Chapters 16 and 17. It is placed on a scene change, and does not break any dialogue or score, but the cessation of ambient noise still makes it obvious.
There are two audio tracks present on this disc, being the original English dialogue in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 384 Kbps), and an English audio commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround (at 96 Kbps).
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand for the most part - there are no issues with the mixing levels, or the dialogue placement. There are a few problematic occasions, such as at the fountain from around 8:28, but as the brothers explain, in this instance the scene was originally looped but looked so bad looped that the original dialogue was re-inserted. The audio sync is very good, being spot-on for the duration of the movie - probably assisted by the lack of looping.
The score consists of the specifically composed music by jazz/pop trio Ivy and a collection of contemporary songs. The contemporary songs are unusually effective in Shallow Hal, eliciting just the right moods and feelings when used. The score itself is by no means memorable, however it at least does its job and generally stays out of the way.
Surround presence is surprisingly good for a movie of this genre. The surround channels are used not only to carry a lot of the score and other music, but they also provide a surprisingly large amount of ambient noise. Outdoor scenes are filled with birds chirping, and the wind whistling, while indoor scenes generally change to match the location. While there is not much in the way of flashy directional noise, the surround nature of the soundtrack is still very impressive.
Obviously, as there are no explosions or anything else of that nature, the subwoofer is not going to have an enormous job, but it does well enough with what it has, largely backing up the score, and providing punch to the few scenes that call for it.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video quality is excellent, with only some minor aliasing and some tiny film artefacts to reduce its effect.
The audio quality is also very good, and despite some problematic dialogue, is one of the more impressive audio tracks for this genre.
The extras are very extensive, although they do tend to be on the shallow side (pardon the pun).
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)|