The Secret of My Success (1987)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1987|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (57:10)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Herbert Ross|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Michael J. Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, closing credits over action|
No, this is somewhat hackneyed farce, made a little more tolerable by the chemistry between Michael J Fox and Helen Slater. I think that Working Girl did a much better job with pretty much the same material. Sure, Melanie Griffith is not as gorgeous as Helen Slater, and Harrison Ford cannot compete with Michael J Fox when it comes to looking young, but I think that makes their effort even more admirable - Working Girl's climax is much more credible, and far less deus ex machina. Even so, The Secret of My Success is not a bad film.
OK, I've told you it's not great. What else should I tell you? Well, let's start at the beginning. Brantley Foster (Michael J Fox) is a bright young kid who moves from rural Kansas to big city New York to be a success. He has a job lined up, but reports to work to discover that the job is gone because the company has been taken over. He has no intention of returning home immediately, so he starts looking for work. Eventually he gets a job in the mailroom of a large company run by his uncle. From here he plots how he might make his mark and advance to a better position in the company. No, this is not How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying - that's a musical starring Robert Morse, and considerably funnier. Look, when it comes down to it, this is an old-fashioned bedroom farce, and there are several of those done rather better than this.
I'm sorry, I know there are people who really like Michael J Fox and his movies. If you really want to see him do "smart kid with big plans makes good", then get The Concierge - it is a better movie.
This disc starts with a new Universal logo, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and 16x9 enhanced - beautifully crisp and clear. It is a shame that that is the only 16x9 enhanced footage on the disc. Following this, we get an older Universal logo, and the movie starts, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and not 16x9 enhanced. 16x9 enhancement might have helped the image.
The picture is not overly sharp, but at least there's no edge enhancement to be seen. Shadow detail is not strong, especially in scenes with lower light. There is only one scene exhibiting low level noise, and even there it is minimal.
Colour is somewhat washed out. There are colours that should be fully saturated, but aren't.
There are no visible film artefacts, which is nice, but there is a ton of aliasing. Virtually every shot has aliasing, shimmer, or moire in some way or another. Some of the aliasing affects quite large portions of the screen. Venetian blinds produce some of the worst (see 34:48, for example), but there are hard diagonal edges on much of the architecture that contribute their fair share.
The subtitles are available in fourteen languages, including English. The subtitles are clear and easy to read, in a large simple font, in white with a black border. Quite accurate and not overly abbreviated.
The disc is RSDL formatted. The layer change is at 57:10, on a still scene, making it virtually invisible. Layer changes are getting better all the time.
There are five soundtracks, but only one is English, so that's all I listened to. It is Dolby Digital 2.0, surround encoded. The closing credits mention Dolby Stereo, so I suspect this is the original soundtrack.
Dialogue is clear and mostly easy to understand
The score uses a number of pop songs in clichéd ways. David Foster can hardly be proud of his work on this film.
This is a surround soundtrack, but you can't tell without looking at the flags in the soundstream - the surrounds were given nothing significant to do, and the subwoofer slept through the movie. That's OK, because this is a dialogue-driven movie.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menus are static and silent.
Ten pages of text, telling the story of the production of this movie.
Brief bios and filmographies for:
The filmographies stop in 1994 / 1995 - did the people stop making movies? Or did someone get lazy?
This is a brief trailer, presented in 1.78:1, and not 16x9 enhanced. The quality is fair, but the contrast seems excessive.
Without a DVD-ROM drive, this displays just the basic web link for Universal: http://www.universalstudios.com/home
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 and Region 4 discs have identical content.
The Secret Of My Success is a mediocre film, presented on a mediocre DVD.
The video quality is acceptable.
The audio quality is reasonable.
The extras are not exciting.
|DVD||Arcam DV88, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|