Showtime (2002)

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Released 17-Sep-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Train
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary
Deleted Scenes-5 +/- commentary
Featurette
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 91:28
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tom Dey
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Robert De Niro
Eddie Murphy
Rene Russo
Frankie R. Faison
William Shatner
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music Alan Silvestri


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English 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 English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, a few bloopers before end credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Every now and then I see a trailer for a movie that looks appealing enough to go straight into the "must see" movie book. Showtime was one of those that made it into the little book, but unfortunately I just never managed to get to the cinema to see it. So it was with a mixture of excitement, intrigue and curiosity that I loaded this film into my DVD player. Personally, I can say that this was a thoroughly enjoyable film that will be watched many more times in the future.

    Whilst this is no Rush Hour, there are some similarities between the two. Both feature a hard-edged cop that has a mission and an objective. The partners, on the other hand, are very unlikely characters that are more interested in their personal needs and are intent on driving their partners crazy.

    In the case of Showtime, the hard-edged detective Mitch Preston is played by Robert De Niro. He is undercover and about to make the city's biggest-ever drug bust. All is going to plan until a street cop called Trey Sellers (Eddie Murphy) gets a whiff of something going down and he moves in to investigate. What happens next is a debacle and Mitch ends up losing his only lead, and in an act of frustration he shoots out a TV camera belonging to a news station covering the action.

    The news station decides to pressure the Police Department into allowing a TV crew to follow Mitch around and feature the event on a new show. And who else should they partner him up with but the cop that lost him the only lead he had. It makes for an interesting show and while the quiet Mitch is going crazy having a camera crew in his pocket, Trey is right in his element thanks to a part-time acting course he has done. Look out for an appearance by a police office that is brought in to coach the pair called T.J. Hooker, oh I mean William Shatner . . .

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video transfer of this movie is superb.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely clear and extremely sharp for the entire duration of the film. There is a high level of detail revealed by the transfer and it was a pleasure to watch. Shadow detail is also exemplary, with an enormous amount of detail revealed in the dimmer scenes such as inside cars or buildings. A classic example can be seen at 61:40 which shows a nice balance between a dark pure black background and the clarity shown in the actors' faces. There is no low level noise.

    The colours were bright and vibrant with exceptional clarity. The actors' skin tones were natural and true-to-life. A bright neon sign at 6:28 is a good place to see the bright and cleanly defined colour that is the norm throughout this feature.

    There were no MPEG artefacts to be seen. Aliasing is also non-existent in the feature but makes a very heavy comeback in the feature True Confessions in the Additional Scenes section. Film artefacts are very rare and not distracting at all.

    This disc is an RSDL disc with the layer not showing up at all on my Pioneer DVD player. Needless to say it was not disruptive and may in fact reflect the placing of the movie on one layer with the extras on the other.

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

Audio

    This is a magnificent audio transfer, marred only by slightly too much emphasis on the front soundstage at times.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand for the majority of the film but at 31:58 a momentary volume increase was required in order to keep the dialogue intelligible.

    Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.

    The musical score by Alan Silvestri was enjoyable and definitely added to the mood of the film. The action sequences tended to have a lot of high energy tunes, and at quieter times especially during dialogue there were restrained little tunes playing. An example of this can be heard at 14:22. I actually found these little snippets very appealing to the ears and the way they danced around and through the speakers made for further enjoyment when it may have otherwise appeared somewhat dull. At all times the music is a magical match to the on-screen action, such as can be heard at 47:20 or 56:47.

    The surrounds were not as aggressively used as they could have been with focus remaining primarily on the front soundstage in a few areas rather than floating further back. Whilst certainly not the norm for the soundtrack, these instances did stick out to my ears on a few occasions. With this aside, the remainder of the film made excellent use of split surrounds and near-transparent imaging amongst all the channels. In all cases, actors walking around the room or objects like a TV in the corner of the room all maintained their volume and level of noise in "space" as the camera changed its focus and floated around a room. Not since "the briefing scene" in Mission To Mars have I heard such realistic imaging. There are too many areas to list, but try 4:40, 5:02, and 26:31. The dialogue, effects and score are perfectly balanced.

    The subwoofer was highly active during the action sequences, and placed an excellent bottom end on these sequences in all but one instance. Areas such as 8:37 or 28:26 onwards were well done in this area, but at 50:05 I felt that the on-screen action warranted more of a wallop through the sub.

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

Extras

     A good selection of extras are present with the inclusion of an audio commentary and an HBO feature.

Menu

    The menu design is themed around the movie but it is clearly evident hardly any budget was allocated for the menu design. The images are still shots taken from the movie itself but the overall look and feel is a little on the tacky side. Personally, I felt after seeing the movie that the menus really need a facelift to do the movie justice. The menus are 16x9 enhanced. The main menu features an animated clip from the movie and Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio.

Biographies-Cast & Crew

    This gives a listing of all past films for the following actors, offering the film name and date of production;

    In addition, a paragraph of text outlining past work projects is displayed under the following headings for the filmmakers;

Filmmakers Commentary

    Tom Dey (Director) and Jorge Saralegui (Producer) walk us through some interesting facts about the movie. This offered an interesting insight into the movie but featured one audio quirk which was distracting until you got used to it. Tom's voice was mixed between the Front Left and Front Centre channels, placing his voice midway between the two speakers. Jorge, on the other hand, was only mixed through the Centre with nothing from the Front Right channel at all. Maybe this was intentional with the two sitting on a stool side by side but somehow I doubt it and would have preferred Jorge to be mixed diametrically opposed to Tom in the front soundstage.

Additional Scenes

    There are a total of 9 different deleted scenes in this section. Personally, I felt the last 5 were not worth watching and rather boring. All scenes offer Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. All but one of the scenes can also be heard with an audio commentary, I have marked this one exclusion with an asterisk "*".

Documentary

    This documentary features none other than T.J. Hooker, aka William Shatner, who takes you on a journey to show you what makes these cops tick. A light-hearted look at the movie and worthy of a look.

Theatrical Trailer

    This is of a quality comparable to the main feature, being presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced and with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded sound.

R4 vs R1

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

    There are both Widescreen and Full Frame releases of Showtime available in Region 1. Both contain identical content apart from the image formatting.

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     There is no reason to favour one version of this DVD over the other.

Summary

    Showtime was a thoroughly enjoyable movie that will be played many more times in this household.

    The video quality is superb.

    The audio quality would also have been superb if the rears were used a little more in the action sequences.

    The extras are good, especially with the inclusion of an HBO documentary and the Commentary track. Both are well worth checking out.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Saturday, September 07, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-533K, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe 72cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Audiolabs Magnum M30 (Mains); M05 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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