Milo (1998)

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Sell-Through Release Status Unknown
Available for Rent

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Biographies-Cast
DVD Credits
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 90:20
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Pascal Franchot
Studio
Distributor

Imagine Entertainment
Starring Paula Cale
Antonio Fargas
Jennifer Jostyn
Rae'ven Kelly
Case Click
RPI Rental Music Kevin Manthei


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    The front cover of Milo contains the bold proclamation that it is "from the creator of Anaconda", so you know you're not in for a plausible or even vaguely intelligent horror film.

    The story begins with five little girls being led out to a little house by one Milo Jeeder (Asher Metchik), the son of a gynaecologist named Matthew (Vincent Schiavelli), who keeps old foetuses in glass jars. Never mind that the foetuses look developed enough that they would have to at least be starting the third trimester, this is half-explained away later in the film by Jeeder senior being into some weird kind of experimentation. Anyway, young Milo talks one of the little girls into lying on an examination table while he plays "doctor", a stunt that ends with one girl being killed and another being seriously maimed.

    Fast forward about twenty years, and Claire Mullins (Jennifer Jostyn) is now a high-school teacher who looks nothing like her younger counterpart (played by Christel Khaul). Truth be told, the makeup used to represent the scar tissue at the top of one of her breasts is more convincing than she is, and it is also more convincing than the reason this film was rated MA - I've seen more blood and violence than this in many an M-rated feature. Anyway, after a particularly bad day at work, Claire receives a notice in the mail that one of her old friends is getting married, along with a plane ticket. Upon returning to her old neighbourhood, however, she learns that her friend, Ruth (played as a little girl by Ashley Nation) has been killed in a car accident.

    Claire takes over teaching Ruth's old elementary school class after meeting, and discussing old times, with her surviving friends, Marian (Paula Cale) and Abigail (Maya McLaughlin). Things are going swimmingly until an apparition who bears a striking resemblance to Milo starts buzzing around and talking to some of Claire's students. As Claire gets more and more rattled, she begins trying to investigate what really happened to Milo, with the disbelief of a police officer named Tibits (David Robinson) and the aid of a janitor called Kelso (Antonio Fargas). There's a few twists and turns in this plot, but ultimately, it is really like opening a series of boxes only to find there is nothing at all inside.

    I can't entirely blame the actors for the lack of convincing performances, either, as they do the best they can with a rather lousy script and very coy direction. In the end, there are so many missed opportunities and underdeveloped tangents that one cannot help but feel this could have been a much better product with six months more development, and maybe someone like Wes Craven doing the writing and directing.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Milo is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and it is not 16x9 Enhanced. This does not look like the correct ratio - some shots suggest that this is an open-matte presentation, but the majority suggest it was cropped from 1.85:1 or even 1.66:1, at a rough guess.

    The sharpness of the transfer is pretty good, all things considered. There are a few shots that appear slightly out-of-focus, but I feel that overall, this transfer is a very accurate reflection of the original negatives. The shadow detail is a little limited, reflecting the low budget of the film and the stock it was shot on, but acceptable given that few scenes really call for it. There was no low-level noise.

    The colours in this transfer appear slightly faded, but there are no composite artefacts or instances of smearing to worry about unless you count the old reels that two of the characters watch during Chapter 6, and these would have been deliberately aged to look that way.

    MPEG artefacts were not apparent in this transfer. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of minor aliasing on cars such as at 25:10 or 30:37, door frames at 47:23, and on horizontal blinds at 53:51. Film artefacts consisted of the occasional small black mark on the picture, such as at 20:56 or 28:36.

    No subtitles are available on this DVD.

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

Audio

    There is one soundtrack on this DVD - the original English dialogue, recorded in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo at 224 kilobits per second.

    The dialogue is generally clear and easy to understand at all times. The audio sync appears to be accurate.

    The score music in this film is credited to Kevin Manthei. It is predominantly based around piano motifs, and far better than what the film deserves, given that it sets quite a haunting and effective mood.

    The surround channels were not used by this soundtrack. They were occasionally missed, especially during any action that takes place around the Jeeder residence.

    The subwoofer was not specifically encoded into this soundtrack, although there were some moments, especially late in the film, when my receiver redirected some signal to it.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is animated, based around scenes from the film, and accompanied by Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio. It is not 16x9 Enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

    This one minute and forty-two second trailer is presented in the same manner as the film - in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Cast Biographies

    Biographies for Antonio Fargas, Jennifer Jostyn, Rae'van Kelly, Vincent Schiavelli, and Walter Olkewicz are presented under this menu. They are merely one page in length before listing filmographies, and thus not very comprehensive.

R4 vs R1

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

    There is a Region 1 version of this title available from Sterling Home Entertainment. It is also presented in Pan & Scan, with the only differences being a surround-encoded English soundtrack and Spanish subtitles. I'd recommend waiting to see if a widescreen version of this title becomes available.

Summary

    Milo is a pretty ordinary film, no matter which way you look at it. I guess this is what happens when you forget to tell some directors or writers that the slasher genre has died.

    The video transfer is pretty good.

    The audio transfer is (barely) stereo.

    The extras are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Dean McIntosh (Don't talk about my bio. We don't wanna know.)
Sunday, December 15, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySamsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony STR DE-835
SpeakersYamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer

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