Any Which Way You Can (1980) (NTSC)

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Released 29-Jul-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Filmographies-Cast
Listing-Cast & Crew
Production Notes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1980
Running Time 115:34
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (35:14) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4 Directed By Buddy Van Horn
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Clint Eastwood
Sondra Locke
Geoffrey Lewis
William Smith
Ruth Gordon
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Steve Dorff


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    Sequels are almost invariably never as good as the original, and although Any Which Way You Can is a very good sequel in its own right, it lacks that cutting edge of the original. Reprising the same cast and crew, except for Clyde the Orangutan (who was replaced by a younger, less dangerous version due to fears that the older ape might be a little unpredictable), the characters are very familiar and the plot is suitably simple with lots of violence and plenty of light humour.

    For the most part anyone who has seen the first movie will know the characters well. John Quade reprises his role as Cholla, leader of the most notorious, not to mention stupid, biker gang in the world, the Black Widows. Naturally they are looking for some pay back on their old nemesis Philo Beddoe (Clint Eastwood), a part time trucker and bare knuckles champion. Philo has his crew including Clyde, Orville (Geoffrey Lewis) and Ma (Ruth Gordon). The female interest is played by Sondra Locke as Lynne Halsey-Taylor and William Smith plays the bare knuckle fighter Jack Wilson.

    The plot is reasonably simplistic and entertaining enough. Philo is set to fight a local cop but has decided he's going to quit. After busting the cop up (and Clyde doing his usual thing in the front seat of the police car), Philo runs into an old flame, Lynne, who happens to be singing at his local bar (surprise surprise). After the usual to-ing and fro-ing they naturally end up together. Into the frame comes a couple of mobsters determined to match Philo with their man Jack Wilson. Wilson is a brutal fighter whose previous opponent ended up very unhealthy and to sweeten the pot they offer Philo $25,000, of which $10,000 is up front. Accepting, Philo is eventually talked out of it by his family and friends, but this doesn't sit too well with the mob boys, since they have organised a lot of punters to attend the event. After a short run in with Philo, they kidnap Lynne with the promise to release her if Philo fights, so he manfully heads off to a showdown with Wilson, all the while keeping a sharp eye out to rescue his girl, and steering clear of the biker gang who are on his tail.

     Like I said, simple but some decent moments. This is a movie that has had a long run on TV, so quite possibly you've seen it once or a dozen times already. The best part of the movie is the big fight at the end but some of the music was a little lamentable (unless you love soppy Country and Western of course). For Eastwood fans this is another must to finish off that complete collection, for the rest of us it's fairly lightweight mulch that you will either enjoy or won't bother with.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Due to the fact this is an NTSC version of the movie, and not a PAL one, I didn't hold out for much on the video front, but I was pleasantly surprised. Obviously transferred from a very good print, it's been a long time since it looked this good, although it still has that dated feel to it.

    Originally shown in 1.85:1 aspect ratio, this has been transferred at 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture has a good quality to it with no edge enhancement noticeable. Sharpness as a result is very good with lots of fine detail discernible. Occasionally the lighting is a little on the dark side, especially in the indoors scenes, with the consequence that some background shots are a little blobby and shapeless. Apart from this though, the movie is easy on the eye. Grain is noticeable throughout but for the most part it isn't offensive with only the opening credits being extremely heavy. This settles down quickly to a less annoying level and, although the closing credits again show more grain, the only time during the movie grain becomes an issue is for example at 31:32. Blacks were quite solid overall and low level noise was not noted.

    The colour is slightly washed out in many places but nothing serious. Flesh tones are good with no colour bleed or chroma noise detected.

    Aliasing is minor and mostly confined to slight shimmering. Two noticeable examples are at 2:53 on the grille of truck and 38:51 on a car. At 10:55 there is a line down the picture and at 91:35 what appears to be a stain on the print, but it is only fleeting. Every now and then you might notice a little motion blur in the picture due to the NTSC format, but it was mostly under control and not that irritating. Film artefacts are minimal with the only really noticeable examples being at 16:46 and 21:54. All the other instances were black marks or slight nicks in the print, otherwise this is a very presentable print.

    As usual the subtitles are nice and easy to read, about an 1/8th of the way up from the bottom of the picture. The font is simple and the dialogue is fairly faithfully rendered.

    The layer change comes fairly early into the movie at 35:14 and occurs in the middle of a scene. Even so, it's reasonably quick and inoffensive with just a slight pause noted.

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

Audio

    Listed as a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at a bit rate of 384 kilobits per second, this gets better as the movie progresses. The opening song, apart from being bloody awful, lacks any real punch but things improve once the fighting starts. There is some nice separation across the fronts, especially with the crowd noise, but you won't get any sense of 5.1 until much later in the movie.

    Dialogue is fine throughout but the syncing cops a hammering, especially the lip syncing of Sondra Locke's character when she is singing. A good example of nearly getting it right is at 15:38 when she's out by a beat on one of the songs. Other examples are littered throughout the movie with the various singers being ever so slightly out of sync.

    Plenty of good old Country and Western dominates this soundtrack. Personally having movie actors sing is always a sure sign of sadistic intent (IMHO). The opening song, sung by Clint Eastwood is almost unlistenable and Sondra Locke looks better than she sings, although her voice is a little more palatable. Songs by Glen Campbell and other noted Country and Western singers are some relief though. The soundtrack is very easy listening and Steven Dorff does a reasonable, if non-memorable job on the background music.

    The surrounds barely raise above a whimper until around 49:40 then all of a sudden they are far more noticeable. The sounds of Clyde trashing the Cadillac and the whooshing of scrap metal flying through the air really call attention to the rears. From then on you'll notice them more and more adding a much needed encompassing element to the overall soundtrack.

    The subwoofer was fairly unnoticeable throughout the movie. To be fair there wasn't a whole lot for it to do, although it is working, just on a very low level.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    An overlay of the movie soundtrack accompanying a static picture.

Filmographies-Cast

    There is one filmography, that of Clint Eastwood. Since he's so well known there is nothing new of note.

Listing-Cast & Crew

    Since this is part of the filmography page (basically you select the only option on this page for Clint's filmography) calling it an extra is like calling petrol an option on a motor car!

Production Notes

    Four pages of information about the making of the movie.

Theatrical Trailer

    With a running time of 2:35 this is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. Fairly standard trailer.

R4 vs R1

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

    From the looks of it the differences between the Region 1 version of this disc and the Region 4 version comes down to one extra, the four pages of Behind the Scenes. Since this is the NTSC version of the movie, it's quite probable that this and the Region 1 version are one and the same. Given this, the locally released version will probably be the best choice based on price.

Summary

    If you liked the original movie, or you are a big fan of Clint Eastwood, you'll probably enjoy this movie too. Personally I admit I like this sequel better than the original, but then I always enjoy a good stoush. The humour is again very minimal, but it's an easy movie to watch and while away a couple of hours.

    The video is good and easy on the eye. No dramas or major glitches to spoil the visuals, although it does look a little washed out and dated at times.

    The audio is adequate with the 5.1 only being put to the test occasionally. For the most part this is based in the front channels with only minimal surround work noticeable.

    As for the extras, well they are minimal in the extreme.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD5300, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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