Something to Talk About (1995)

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Released 13-Jun-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romantic Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 100:48
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (65:33) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Lasse Hallstrom
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Julia Roberts
Robert Duvall
Gena Rowlands
Kyra Sedgwick
Dennis Quaid
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Hans Zimmer


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Arabic
Spanish
Portuguese
German
Romanian
Bulgarian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Something To Talk About concerns itself with the age-old problem of a man cheating on a woman, and one of two possible ways to resolve the problem - either call it quits, or try and somehow save the relationship. In this story, Eddie (played by the likable Dennis Quad) is caught meeting another woman at lunch by his wife Grace (Julia Roberts), who then finds that this is not the first of his infidelities. Given that they have a daughter and what used to be a strong love for each other, by the end of the movie they are back together, nice and neat and with very little difficulty.

    To try and offer something more, there is a subplot involving the whole family led by Robert Duvall who breeds champion horses. Through the course of the film, it is revealed that he also has been unfaithful to his wife. So now it's a family problem, though again it all works out for the best in the end. Isn't Hollywood just dreamy, and totally out of touch with the real world? Oh, yes.

    I personally didn't find this movie nearly compelling enough; the characters are shallow, with almost no development, and they struggle with what is at times very forced dialogue. Julia Roberts seemed to be just going through the motions, and Robert Duvall confirmed to me that he is nothing more than an average, though over-rated, character actor. The movie as a whole just didn't gel, and I don't expect that I will return to it soon. Perhaps the only redemption was Dennis Quaid, who manages to salvage the plot with his refreshingly effortless acting.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Whilst having a typical Warner film-like look and feel to the transfer, this is indeed a very sharp and pleasing picture most of the time, and sharper than much of their work. There is plenty of fine detail in close shots, though long shots often do not look quite as finely rendered with some edge enhancement noticed. Grain is ever so subtly present in some shots, and absent in others, especially day time scenes which are as clean as a whistle. There is no low level noise in the transfer.

    Colours are slightly understated due to what appears to be a slight luminance over-saturation of the image, evident in the opening credits and some day shots. Regardless, skin tones are natural enough looking and the primary colours come through unscathed with no chroma noise evident.

    Spread across two layers and with no extras, the transfer clearly benefits with no MPEG artefacting of any kind due to compression. Film-to-video artefacts are minor, consisting of slight luminance oversaturation and occasional minor weave. I noticed only a handful of very minor film artefacts throughout.

    The disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change occurring during Chapter 21 at 64:33 minutes. It was not disruptive, however it was noticeable.

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

Audio

    There are three 384Kb/sec Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks; English, French and Italian.

    Dialogue was almost always very odd-sounding, with poor fidelity and almost no integration into the soundfield or environment. Whilst what was being said was always understandable, the poor vocal quality did at times become fatiguing, especially when voices were raised. There were no sync problems.

    The soundtrack is unremarkable, though recorded well enough. Indeed, at times it was a godsend to just listen to music instead of badly done vocals.

    Surround channel usage was minimal, and indeed the only time they were used was to pull the soundtrack back a bit from the front. A reference modern soundtrack this is not.

    The subwoofer had very little to do, though when it was called upon it was used well.

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

Extras

Theatrical Trailer

    Presented in 16x9 and in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround, the trailer is above normal in terms of transfer quality, though only average in content.

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 release misses out on:

    The Region 1 release misses out on:

    There is no compelling reason to choose a full-screen version of this movie. Indeed, given that both versions are squeezed on the single disc on the R1 version, I dare say we will have a better quality transfer, but that is only conjecture.

Summary

    Something To Talk About is an average movie with a rather vacuous Hollywood look on life which I found tedious. The video is extremely good, almost reference quality. The audio is rather unfortunate due to very poor dialogue. I would certainly rent first.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Cordingley (bio)
Friday, August 03, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic A-360, using S-Video output
DisplayPioneer SD-T43W1 16:9 RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationSony STR DB-930
SpeakersFront - B&W 603 Series II, Centre - B&W LCR6 Series II, Rears - B&W 603 Series II, Subwoofer - B&W ASW500 Active

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