Sister Act (1992)

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Released 9-Oct-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Music Video-If My Sister's In Trouble-Lady Soul
Music Video-I Will Follow Him-Deloris and the Sisters
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 96:06
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (66:09) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Emile Ardolino
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Whoopi Goldberg
Maggie Smith
Harvey Keitel
Kathy Najimy
Wendy Makkena
Bill Nunn
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Marc Shaiman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Spanish Titling
Smoking Yes, well, almost.
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, credits play over magazine & album covers

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

Plot Synopsis

    This is my favourite Whoopi Goldberg comedy. It's fun from beginning to end and perfect for watching when you just need a laugh or want to sit and and relax for 90-odd minutes. If you want to look deeper, then there's a not-too-hard-to-find message about getting out and living life and taking a chance rather than always choosing the safe alternative. There's also one about not being self-centred but rather being generous towards others. But you really don't have to worry too much about these - just sit down in your favourite chair and prepare to laugh.

    Sister Act is the story of  Deloris Van Cartier (Whoopi Goldberg) who is a cabaret singer and mistress of casino boss and gangster Vince LaRocca (Harvey Keitel). Unfortunately, Deloris doesn't know that he's a gangster until she walks in on him just as he's had someone executed for squealing on him to the cops. Vince decides that he doesn't want to risk Deloris reporting what she saw to the Police so he sends his two henchman, Joey (Robert Miranda) and Willy (Richard Portnow), after her with orders to "take care of it". Luckily, Deloris escapes and loses no time in telling all to Lieutenant Eddie Souther (Bill Nunn) who's been trying to get the goods on Vince for some time. Having had problems with witnesses against the gangster disappearing except for "a piece here and a piece there", Lieutenant Souther decides to hide her until the trial "in the last place on earth that Vince will ever look for you" - in a convent.

    The St. Katherine's Convent is run by a very conservative and rather stern Mother Superior (Maggie Smith) who informs Deloris that since none of the other sisters know why she is there she must pretend to be Sister Mary Clarence and live as the other sisters do. Deloris who is used to doing what she wants and is more than a bit egocentric has a hard time with the strict rules and Spartan conditions of the convent which results in her being constantly in trouble with the Mother Superior. After a particularly bad infraction against the rules, the Mother Superior is ready to kick Deloris out of the convent but relents and assigns her to sing in the choir instead. Now the choir, to put it politely, sounds like a litter of cats in pain. So, before long Sister Mary Clarence has taken over the choir and has them singing beautifully. The only problem is that her non-traditional approach both to singing and to helping the neighbourhood is just too much for the conservative Mother Superior. You get no prizes for guessing that just as things are starting to change for the better at the convent the gangsters find out where Deloris is hiding and set about carrying out their plans to do away with her.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The main problem with this transfer is the lack of 16x9 enhancement and some slight edge enhancement. That said, it's not too bad at all.

    The image is displayed in an aspect ratio of 1.75:1 which is close to, but not quite, the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. As already mentioned  this transfer is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Despite the lack of 16x9 enhancement, the image is quite sharp. Shadow detail is very good and there's no sign of low level noise with solid blacks being in display on all occasions.

    This movie utilises a full colour palette which is accurately rendered on this DVD. Skin tones appear natural. There was no sign of colour bleeding.

    I didn't detect any MPEG artefacts. Film artefacts were limited to a smattering of small marks, which although not infrequent, weren't particularly distracting, and some very fine film grain is visible if you look really closely. There is fair amount of aliasing which ranges from mild to moderate in intensity.

    There are plenty of subtitle languages available but I limited myself to the English and English For The Hearing Impaired options. Based on my 10 minute sample I'm happy to report that these are word perfect, well timed and displayed in easily readable text which is positioned at the bottom of the screen.

    This is an RSDL disc with the layer change occurring in Chapter 20 at 66:09. It is reasonably well placed but still noticeable.

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

Audio

    This is a good audio transfer but one which is devoid of any outstanding features.

    There are two Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks: English and Spanish. The desired track must be selected from an initial menu before the disc will play but can be selected from the setup menu as well. It can't be changed on-the-fly while the disc is playing. Since I don't speak any Spanish I listened exclusively to the English audio.

    The dialogue was generally clear and easy to understand throughout with the exception of  the odd word here and there. I didn't notice any problems with audio sync in this transfer.

    The music is a key element of this story with some fun renditions by the choir of  I Will Follow Him, My Guy (which got turned into My God), and Hail Holy Queen.

    While the surrounds were definitely in use, the sound level that issued from them at all times was so low as to not really contribute much to the soundfield.

    From my listening position, I was never aware of any sound emanating from the subwoofer.

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

Extras

    The extras on this disc are limited to two music videos.

Menu

    The menu is displayed in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced. There is no animation but Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded audio is provided as underscoring.

Music Video-If My Sister's In Trouble-Lady Soul(4:00)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, this music video has Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded audio.

Music Video-I Will Follow Him-Deloris and the Sisters (2:59)

    Similarly, this music video is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded audio. This has an extremely soft appearance and frankly the rendition of this song presented within the movie is better in every way that this version.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 and Region 1 discs appear to be essentially the same except for the inclusion, on the Region 1 disc, of a short featurette "Inside Sister Act" and the theatrical trailer. The Region 1 also substitutes our version's Dolby Digital 5.1 Spanish audio for Dolby Digital 2.0 French audio.

Summary

    Sister Act is a fun film that is sure to provide a few laughs, presented on a good DVD.

    The video quality is good despite the lack of 16x9 enhancement.

    The audio quality is good but doesn't have any outstanding aspects to it..

    The extras are of very limited value.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Cole (Surely you've got something better to do than read my bio)
Tuesday, October 29, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-995
SpeakersFront L&R - B&W DM603, Centre - B&W LCR6, Rear L&R - B&W DM602, Sub - Yamaha YST-SW300

Other Reviews
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region4dvd.net - Darren R (read my bio (fun for the whole family))

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