How High (2001)
Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Method Man & Redman
Easter Egg-Hide The Stash
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Trailer-Ali G Indahouse
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (68:31)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Jesse Dylan|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
This is basically a Cheech And Chong take on a traditional ‘fish out of water’ story that is very formulaic and predictable, with a few gags thrown in along the way for good measure. But does it work?
Well, it took me about half an hour to even conjure up a face movement that even remotely resembled a smile, let alone laugh at the lame unoriginal and unimaginative comedy in the film, leaving me almost bored at one stage. While I admit that it definitely got better as it went on, and there were maybe half a dozen times I laughed throughout, it just wasn’t very funny at all. Not only that, but it was also not a very good film. So void of originality and inspiration, I almost feel embarrassed for its stars, who should probably stick to their day jobs. That’s not to say they are no good in movies, but they are definitely not comedians. Joining Method Man and Redman are a decent cast for such a poor film including Mike Epps, Jeffrey Jones, Fred Willard, and Obba Babatundé. And if there is any moral to the film’s outcome, it is that if you can get your teachers high, and hook them up with chicks, you’re sure to get top marks! Great one for the kids.
As the two main protagonists state in their audio commentary, and you might enjoy the film more by doing so (not that I condone it), they recommend that you should turn the lights down and kick back and enjoy, and smoke a fat one wit’ ya boyz…
Well, if there is any reason to revisit this film, it is the A/V presentation. The video transfer is excellent, and is close to reference quality. Only a few slight problems kept the score down, none of which are extreme, but which must be mentioned.
How High is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness was not perfect, given the age of the film, resulting in a slightly soft image at times which is never distracting. Shadow detail was fairly strong, and the blacks were almost as black as can be, but perhaps not as perfect as other recent transfers. Grain and low level noise were non-existent, which was one of the better aspects of the transfer.
Colours seemed a tad muted, which could be due to the original intent of the filmmakers, or the quality of the print, but the colours were not as vibrant as I have seen in recent PAL transfers.
MPEG artefacts were non existent, but I did notice some slight aliasing at 16.16 and 66.01, but that is just nitpicking, and is hardly worth marking the transfer down for. The print was also free from any film or video artefacts, which is to be expected for a recent film, although not always the case.
The layer change occurs at 68.31, and is unfortunately in the middle of a song, making it bleedingly obvious.
Overall, this is an excellent transfer that is only marred by a few problems that are only very slight.
To go along with that nice video transfer we get what is one of the better comedy soundtracks I’ve heard in a while. While again not reference quality, this transfer is very good, and helps make the film worth watching.
We are given a few options for listening to How High, which include English dts 5.1, English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0. The better of the three is the louder dts track, which is as is to be expected. More bass and slightly clearer sound tip it over the edge, ahead of the Dolby Digital 5.1 mix.
Dialogue was clear on all three audio tracks, never becoming unintelligible or distorted. Audio sync was spot-on throughout on the dts track, and there were no problems on the other two tracks when I switched over.
The score by Rockwilder was supported by a hip-hop soundtrack featuring artists such as DMX, Ludacris, Cypress Hill and of course Method Man and Redman. The film’s music is perhaps its main highlight, and the dts track outshone the Dolby Digital 5.1 track here due to its increased bass and clarity.
Surround channel usage was strong for a comedy, with split directionality support for sound effects and ambience. Whether it's passing buses, classroom voices, or birds chirping in the background, the surrounds come into play whenever they're needed. In most comedies, the surrounds are subdued, but that is definitely not the case here. Whilst not as active as an action film, this is definitely one of the most active mixes for a comedy I’ve heard in a while. No major difference here between dts and Dolby Digital, apart from the increase in volume.
The subwoofer was also very active, mainly to support the film’s hip-hop soundtrack, but also with a few sound effects here and there. The dts track wins hands down when it comes to bass, but the Dolby Digital mix is still quite good.
|Surround Channel Use|
This is just a static poster-type shot of the film, with ‘How High’ by Method Man and Redman playing.
Presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0, this lengthy promotional featurette is the usual kind – interviews with the main players, intercut with clips from the film. It’s interesting to see an understandably uncomfortable looking Danny DeVito trying to sell the film to the viewer here. Overall, a decent piece of fluff, in that you get to see everyone speak about the film, even if it never goes into too much depth (which is probably a good thing).
This relatively screen-specific track features none other than Method Man and Redman talking us through the film. Never getting technical, or particularly informative, fans will be satisfied to just listen to the boys ramble on a bit about the film. There are a few silent gaps here and there, but it was at least as enjoyable as the film – I don’t know whether that’s a compliment or a criticism.
Wow, if a sweet transfer, dts track, decent featurette and an audio commentary wasn’t already enough, twenty-two minutes of deleted scenes are included on the disc. It must have been hard for the editor, because these scenes were just as bad/good as the rest of the film, and were only cut due to the film’s running time. Anyway, they’re here, and they’re presented in non 16x9 enhanced 1.85:1 widescreen, with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.
Most of theses are shown during the film’s closing credits, and are not that funny at all – which fits the film I guess.
Highlight over the next few lines if you want to know what the egg is. (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) This is interesting, because there are actually a few scattered eggs on the disc, but only one of them is the correct one. After a thirty-three second intro from the two rappers telling us to search the DVD for the stash, I found a few scattered eggs. I found the correct one after only my third try. It’s only a nineteen second clip of the boys telling me to roll it, light it and smoke it now that I have found it. I felt like telling them what to do with it afterwards, as it was probably the most useless egg I have ever seen.
This is interesting, because there are actually a few scattered eggs on the disc, but only one of them is the correct one. After a thirty-three second intro from the two rappers telling us to search the DVD for the stash, I found a few scattered eggs. I found the correct one after only my third try. It’s only a nineteen second clip of the boys telling me to roll it, light it and smoke it now that I have found it. I felt like telling them what to do with it afterwards, as it was probably the most useless egg I have ever seen.
By Method Man, Redman and featuring Toni Braxton, presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0.
Presented in non 16x9 enhanced 1.85:1 widescreen.
Nothing really worth reading here, just four pages of text that is hardly informative.
Biographies for director Jesse Dylan and cast members Method Man, Redman, Mike Epps, Jeffrey Jones, Fred Willard, and Obba Babatundé.
I don’t know why this trailer is included, and it runs for longer than the one for How High.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
I’d stick with the Region 4 disc, as I’d take a PAL transfer over those extras any day.
The video transfer is excellent, and is close to reference quality.
The audio transfer is also excellent, especially for a comedy, with the dts track being the clear winner.
The extra features are also quite good, perhaps in quantity over quality, but there’s certainly nothing to complain about here, either.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-525, using Component output|
|Display||Teac 82cm 16x9. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||5 Sony speakers; Sherwood 12" 100w Powered Subwoofer|