Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)

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Released 4-Dec-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1987
Running Time 90:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Howard Deutch
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Eric Stoltz
Mary Stuart Masterson
Craig Sheffer
Lea Thompson
Case ?
RPI $24.95 Music Stephen Hague
John Musser


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Italian
Spanish
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

    Keith (Eric Stoltz) is an amiable but not too ambitious high school student. He is definitely not in the "in" crowd at school, mainly because he looks a bit geeky and spends his spare time hanging out with his best friend, a tomboy called Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson). That is, when he's not working in a part time job as a service station mechanic.

    He has a crush on Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson), a pretty girl who is definitely in the "in" crowd. Unfortunately, there is one slight problem (apart from the fact that Amanda doesn't even know Keith exists): Amanda already has a boyfriend called Hardy Jenns (Craig Sheffer) who seems to have it all: money, looks and attitude.

    Hardy's boorish ways soon gets Amanda upset, and she accepts Keith's request for a date on the rebound. Hardy will stop at nothing at winning Amanda back - including setting Keith up for a bashing. However, Keith may have a few surprises and help from unexpected quarters, not least of which is from his friend Watts whose feelings for Keith may be deeper than either of them suspect.

    This is a very watchable teen romantic drama, with characters that are more than just 2D stereotypes and with a plot that has some depth in it. Towards the end, we realise that each of the major characters is using one another for their own reasons, and the ending is certainly not a foregone conclusion. I found the ending just a bit too tidy and convenient - perhaps it might have been better to leave it unresolved.

    Incidentally, this film features a lot of actors that you will recognise from other films such as Fried Green Tomatoes, Back To The Future and even Beverly Hills Cop (John Ashton - "Taggart" - plays Keith's father).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is in widescreen 1.78:1, with 16x9 enhancement, based on a 35mm film print with an intended aspect ratio of 1.85:1.

    This is not an exciting transfer, looking somewhat soft and grainy with faded colours. There are a few film marks (mainly the occasional black marks or white scratches).

    Fortunately, I did not notice any compression artefacts.

    There are a number of subtitle tracks, including both English and English for the Hearing Impaired. I turned both of them on and did not notice much difference between the two - except the latter transcribes the occasional non-dialogue vocal utterances, plus lyrics and titles of background music.

    This is a single sided single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There are a number of audio tracks present: English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s), and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). I listened to the English audio track.

    Although the audio track has been remixed to Dolby Digital 5.1 (the film print had Dolby Stereo), there isn't a lot of activity in the rear speakers apart from music ambience. Panning seems to be mainly restricted to front left and right and much of the film is dialogue focused.

    The overall sound is rather boomy in the mid range and lacking in extreme low and high frequency content.

    The subwoofer switched off part-way through the film, so the LFE track is pretty empty.

    I did not have any issues with the dialogue clarity or audio synchronization.

    The background music mainly consists of vaguely 80s-era pop-sounding songs, performed by people I have never heard of, apart from "Miss Amanda Jones" :-) by the Rolling Stones and a song by Billy Idol. Did we really listen to this kind of music in the late 80s?

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

Extras

    There are no extras present on this disc.

Menu

    The menus are static but 16x9 enhanced.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

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 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Both versions are equally bare bones which is a real disappointment.

Summary

    Some Kind Of Wonderful is a classic teen romantic drama that is more intelligent than most.

    The video transfer is mediocre and on the grainy side.

    The audio transfer has been remixed to Dolby Digital 5.1 but is also mediocre.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Sunday, December 15, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDCustom HTPC (Asus A7N266-VM, Athlon XP 1800+, 512MB, Pioneer DVD-103S, WinXP, PowerDVD 4.0 XP), using RGB output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE (upgraded)
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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Comments (Add)
kick the can! - orangecat (my kingdom for a decent bio)
Special Edition - Wonderful Fan
Additional - Anonymous
Re: Special Edition - Rodda (This... is my *bioom* stick!)