Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie (1997)

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Released 8-Nov-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Biographies-Cast & Crew
Booklet
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 86
RSDL / Flipper Dual Sided Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Mel Smith
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Rowan Atkinson
Peter MacNicol
Pamela Reed
Harris Yulin
Burt Reynolds
Case Super Jewel
RPI $29.95 Music Howard Goodall


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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
English for the Hearing Impaired
German
German 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

    Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie stars Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean, who I am sure is familiar to you from the TV series of the same name. If you are not familiar with Mr Bean, he is a very flexible, near mute bumbling idiot who continually gets himself into outrageously funny situations. Mr Bean is very much a visual comedian.

    So how does Mr Bean translate from the small screen to the big one? Well, I have mixed feelings about this. I remember seeing this movie at the cinema and being quite unimpressed - I felt it was overlong, too Americanised, not funny enough, and Mr Bean spoke far too much for my liking. Second time around, on DVD, I found that I enjoyed it considerably more. I still only got a few chuckles out of it, but it dragged far less than in the cinema.

    The situation around which this comedy is hung is that Mr Bean is a security guard for a British art gallery. He is by far their worst employee, but the gallery is in a position where they cannot sack him. However, they are able to send him to America for three months to accompany the return of the painting of Whistler's Mother to an American gallery. Mr Bean gets into many, many unfortunate situations, some funnier than others, and the ending is too syrupy-sweet but overall I was moderately entertained.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this movie is excellent with only trivial faults to pick at.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The flip side of the DVD carries Full Frame version of the movie.

    The transfer was quite sharp and clear. Shadow detail was good in the few dark scenes.

    The colours were quite vivid and highly saturated throughout this transfer as a result of the production design. They are well rendered on the DVD, with never a trace of chroma noise or colour bleeding.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of trivial aliasing in a few scenes. Film artefacts were quite few and far between.

Audio

    There are two audio tracks to choose from on this DVD. The default is English Dolby Digital 5.1. This is the track that I listened to. The other track present is a German soundtrack in Dolby Digital 5.1.

    Dialogue was always clear and easily understood, however, this movie suffers from some very slipshod ADR work, with individual lines going in and out of sync, and sound quality changing from line to line. This significantly improved in the latter half of the movie.

    The music is a combination of suitable comedy music and old standards, and appropriately offsets the on-screen action.

     The surround channels were used for music and for some limited effects and ambience, creating a surprisingly enveloping soundfield. I really didn't expect much from the rear channels in this movie, and whilst there wasn't a lot, there was a lot more surround presence than I expected.

    The .1 channel was used to support the music and the odd special effect.

Extras

    There is a very limited selection of extras on this disc.

Menu

    The menu design on the disc is quite functional and attractive. It works intuitively. This is one area where Polygram have made progress in leaps and bounds since the first of their discs with the counter-intuitive menus. This menu works the best of any of their discs that I have seen to date and is a pleasure to use.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    Limited Cast & Crew biographies are the sum total of the extras on this disc.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;

    There is no contest here - the Region 4 is the version of choice by virtue of its 16x9 enhancement.

Summary

    Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie doesn't quite work. Mr Bean is best taken in small doses, which leaves you wanting more. After watching this movie, I was wanting less.

    The video quality is of high quality with only trivial problems.

    The audio quality is of acceptable quality, but the sloppy ADR work is disappointing with lines in-and-out of sync, especially in the first half of the movie.

    The extras are very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Tuesday, January 19, 1999
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderDenon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Amplification2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
SpeakersPhilips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer

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