The Odd Couple II (Neil Simon's) (1998)

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Released 11-Oct-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 92:24
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (53:18) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Howard Deutch
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Jack Lemmon
Walter Matthau
Richard Riehle
Jonathan Silverman
Lisa Waltz
Mary Beth Peil
Christine Baranski
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Alan Silvestri


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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
German
Spanish
French
Italian
Danish
Dutch
Norwegian
Swedish
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    In 1968, The Odd Couple was released. Thirty years later, in 1998, came the sequel - The Odd Couple II. Everyone likes different things and this is a classic example. For me, the second film was funnier than the first but the scores on the IMDB do not follow my thinking at all. In fact, they are the other way round.

    I think as a sequel it works very well. I like the introduction of the road trip concept into the buddy film that we had in the first film. Felix and Oscar, by the strange and sometimes downright inimical hand of fate, are off to their children's wedding. The fact that they are going to the same wedding is where fate has dealt the cards from a loaded deck.

    The two actors have aged but have not lost one iota of their wit and acting ability. If anything, it has been sharpened by the passage of time. The film does rely heavily on the age gags and on reflected humour from the first film, such as where Felix is still clearing his sinuses the same way even thirty years on. Having only recently reviewed the original film, everything was fresh in my mind and this may have made the references a little clearer. This is probably the way to view these films - about two weeks apart.

    Our two friends/antagonists are off on a car trip to an obscure little town somewhere near San something or other. Along the way, fate and their own actions combine to leave them stranded, arrested, kidnapped, and so on through an enjoyable 92 odd minutes.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     This is a somewhat disappointing transfer, with subtle signs of over-compression throughout the transfer.

    The transfer is presented at 2.31:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness is good most of the time, but fast moving objects do lose definition. An example is seen at 0:27, a scene with a baseball pitcher. Black levels and shadow detail are both good, and there are only very minor levels of low level noise.

    The colours are very good. They are bright and free of noise.

    There are subtle MPEG artefacts throughout the transfer. At 12:30 the background exhibits blocking around the scene change. Another example of this is at 45:22. There is also some edge enhancement such as at 5:22 and 24:32. There are only minor film artefacts present.

    The subtitles are reasonably accurate, though they do occasionally miss some dialogue. There are also English for the Hearing Impaired titles that include some audio cues.

    The layer change occurs at 52:18 and is not too distracting.

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

Audio

    Despite being a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack there is little other than the music in the surrounds and the sub only had one minor occasion to sound off.

    There are English, French, German Spanish and Italian soundtracks on this DVD, all in Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to the English track.

    There are no problems with the dialogue nor with the audio sync.

    The music worked well within the film and made excellent use of the famous theme song.

    Other than music, there was little surround activity. The subwoofer only came to life during a single car explosion.

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

Extras

Menu

    A static picture menu with no audio.

Theatrical Trailer (2:21)

    Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The quality is the same as the main feature.

R4 vs R1

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

    The discs appear identical across the planet with R2 and R1 the same as ours. Not having personally seen the transfer in other countries I cannot comment on the quality so will give R4 the nod on personal preference for a PAL transfer.

Summary

    I almost seem to be alone in liking this film. Admittedly, it is not great cinema but it makes for a nice Rainy Saturday Afternoon watch.

    The video is a bit disappointing.

    The audio is front-heavy.

    A trailer does not make a big impression as the total of the extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

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