Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
|Year Of Production||1988|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (53:53)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Frank Oz|
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Auto Pan & Scan Encoded||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, credits roll over the end of the action|
Michael Caine plays Lawrence Jamieson, a suave British con-men, happily fleecing rich women in Beaumont sur Mer on the French Riviera, aided and abetted by the local police inspector Andre (played in a suitably awful French accent by Anton Rodgers, who is better known for his work in British sitcoms). Along comes Freddy Benson (Steve Martin in "loveable clown" mode - I prefer him in Roxanne or LA Story, this is more The Jerk, or perhaps Father of the Bride), an American con-man, with no style, no panache, no class. Lawrence Jamieson looks down on Benson, and does his best to convince him to go elsewhere, but he fails. Benson demands lessons in the art from Jamieson, and Jamieson agrees, if only to control him before disposing of him.
When Freddy decides that he can go it alone, he challenges Lawrence to a bet, the loser to leave Beaumont sur Mer so the winner can operate without interference. The bet is simple - the first to extract $50000 from a chosen woman will win. The woman chosen is Janet Colgate (Glenn Headley), the US Soap Queen.
The plot has plenty of dirty tricks as the two try to outdo one another, and a couple of interesting twists, too.
Yup, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is heavy-handed. But it is still funny. I lament what it could have been, but I enjoyed what it is.
This disc is presented in an aspect ratio of about 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
The picture is fairly sharp, with rather good shadow detail, and no low-level noise.
Colour is fine - well-saturated, without the slightest trace of colour bleed.
There are few visible film artefacts - what artefacts there are are so tiny as to be invisible on any normal TV screen (excepting a faint blob on the wheelchair at 60:41). There is almost no aliasing to be seen. There are no visible MPEG artefacts.
The subtitles are available in nine languages, including English. They are easy to read, in a clear simple font. The content is accurate and well-timed. It includes some indication of sound effects.
The disc is single sided and RSDL-formatted. The layer change is at 53:53, exactly in between scenes, making it almost invisible.
There are five soundtracks, one in English (which I listened to). The English soundtrack is in Dolby Digital 5.1. The closing credits list Dolby Stereo, so the 5.1 soundtrack must be a remastering.
This being a dialogue-driven movie, it is vital that the dialogue is clear and easy to understand. It is, with very few exceptions. There are no visible audio sync problems.
The score is rather good, although a few of the songs chosen as background are a little clichéd: the worst example is the use of Puttin' On The Ritz while Freddy is being dressed in classy clothes. This may, in fact, be a deliberate choice, as part of a subtle joke.
The surrounds are not used to any significant extent. The subwoofer is well-integrated into the soundtrack, supporting the lower octave unobtrusively.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menus are static and silent.
This is a brief trailer, presented in 1.33:1, not 16x9 enhanced. Nothing special.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 disc is missing:
The Region 1 disc is missing:
I don't think we can get much more clear-cut than that, right?
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a pleasant-enough film, presented well on DVD.
The video quality is rather good.
The audio quality is good.
The extra is rudimentary.
|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|