Nothing in Common (1986)

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Released 18-Sep-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-Sleepless In Seattle; Philadelphia
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1986
Running Time 114:04
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Garry Marshall

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Tom Hanks
Jackie Gleason
Eva Marie Saint
Sela Ward
Hector Elizondo
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Danny Bramson

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.15:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Advertising is one of the themes
Action In or After Credits Yes, During end credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Before he started playing the bad guy (oh...that's a recent thing), and well before he was the super-serious thinking type of guy, Tom Hanks was a bit of a comedian. Roles in Bachelor Party and Big immediately spring to mind. Somewhere in the same era, he also made this film, co-starring with another comedian, the late Jackie Gleason. Hanks is David Basner, a recently promoted young advertising executive who has, it seems, pretty much everything. He has a flash apartment, a Jeep (it was cool in the 80s, OK), and somehow manages to get all manner of different women into bed with him without even trying (that's still cool). But his all-too-confident world is shaken up when his mother leaves his father after thirty-odd years of marriage. David is affected more than he would have imagined and finds himself torn between the two, and unwittingly moving closer to both of them even though he considered for many years that they had very little in common. As a side plot, he is also beginning to seriously fall for the beautiful Cheryl-Ann Wayne (Sela Ward), who is the media director for Colonial Airlines. The airline is looking for a new advertising company and David and his boss (Hector Elizondo) literally fall over themselves and tear their hair out (a bad it and see) to win the client. Unfortunately for David, Cheryl-Ann just happens to also be the daughter of the airline's owner. So he'd better be careful in more ways than one.

    Directed by Garry Marshall (who also made Pretty Woman), this is fairly stock-standard 1980s schmaltz. Bad hair, bad fashions including tonnes of polyester and leather, and cheesy music - it's got the lot. The story won't offend anyone, it's that bland. Dare I say it, but in this day and age, Nothing in Common has very little in common with reality.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    I wasn't expecting great things from this transfer, given the quality of some of the other similar titles I have seen from the same era. I was a little surprised by the overall quality on offer. Not superb, but more than adequate.

    The original aspect ratio of 1.85 is presented here, complete with 16x9 enhancement.

    The transfer is not super sharp, with some scenes being quite soft, and edge enhancement pops up in many scenes. There are no problems with shadow detail, though grain is somewhat problematic, especially early on. There is no low level noise. Colours are fairly well saturated with no real problems. Skin tones are defined well and blacks are solid.

    There are no MPEG artefacts. In the first five minutes the print is quite grubby, with plenty of really obvious and quite large film artefacts present. These thankfully clear up after the initial scenes and from this point on are only evident in small numbers.

    A substantial total of nineteen subtitle options are present. I watched with the English flavour switched on and found them not overly accurate with many words dropped and the subtleties of some lines completely missing.

    This is a dual layered disc, with RSDL formatting. The layer change was not noticeable.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    All the glory of mono!

    There are five soundtracks on this disc, all Dolby Digital 2.0 mono efforts in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. I naturally enough only listened to the English soundtrack.

    This is a fairly typical harsh mono effort, with little dynamic range and is quite lifeless and drab in its performance. It is certainly nothing to get excited over. Dialogue is clear, though is also quite grating at times. There is some really obvious ADR at certain points that is highlighted by a distinct lack of audio sync at these times.

    The soundtrack consists of some truly dated synth-driven 80s songs that are quite obscure titles. The love theme by Christopher Cross is drum machine and synthesiser-heavy and is really quite cheesy. The title song Nothing In Common by The Thompson Twins is marginally better, though not one of their more memorable hits. All up, the soundtrack is almost as dated as the polyester fashions.

    There is no surround nor subwoofer use.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Theatrical Trailer

    Running for 2:50 minutes, this pan and scan effort sees rather poor quality video coupled with mono sound, American voiceover and plot spoilers throughout. Avoid is the best recommendation.


    Bonus trailers for two of the more successful nice-guy Tom Hanks films; Sleepless In Seattle and Philadelphia. Both trailers are rather ordinary pan and scan efforts with Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks. The latter sees some of the worst edge enhancement I have ever encountered.

R4 vs R1

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 disc only has English and French mono soundtracks, so the Region 4 wins out in that respect. Other than NTSC/PAL formatting they are identical. I'd favour the Region 4 version as a result.


    Nothing In Common would certainly fall into the bottom five films if Tom Hanks were to list his work in order of quality. There are a couple of funny and well delivered scenes that genuinely crack a smile, but the overall story is really quite tame and lifeless.

    The video quality far exceeded what I was expecting. It is not perfect, but is certainly sharper, more colourful, and more artefact free than many similar vintage films.

    The audio is harsh and drab. Mono in all its glory and really nothing at all to get excited over. We've come a long, long way in 18 years.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Saturday, October 19, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

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