The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer-1.33:1 non-16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono)
|Year Of Production||1988|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (66:00)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Terry Gilliam|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German 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||1.66:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Baron Munchausen (John Neville) is an outlandishly extravagant character in deed, and yet charming in character. His fantastically unbelievable exploits include travelling to all manner of strange and mystical places and having to contend with the exotic inhabitants. His loyal band of followers include a man who runs like the wind, played by Eric Idle, a long friend of Terry Gilliam from the Monty Python years; a man with perfect vision; another with incredible strength; and yet another with superhuman hearing. This unlikely team meets the goddess Venus, played by a young Uma Thurman and also fly to the moon to be confronted by Robin Williams in one of his less memorable roles.
The sets which make up this make-believe world are incredible and richly detailed, and a great deal of effort has been put into this movie. The main problem however is that the movie just goes on for too long. At a shade over two hours it tended to drag on. I belive a trim of half-an-hour would have greatly benefited the flow of the movie and made it much more enjoyable. However, there is much to enjoy, and those who are young or young at heart should be well catered for.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. Interestingly, the movie appears to have been theatrically released with a ratio of only 1.66:1, which means that we are losing a slight bit of the top and bottom of the frame, although this had no noticeable effect on the presentation.
The picture is a typical Columbia Tristar affair, and is very film-like in appearance. Most of the movie, with some exceptions, is richly detailed and a treat to behold. Shadow detail is very good. There was little low-level noise in the presentation. The only exceptions occur with many of the effects shots, where low-level noise becomes apparent. Many effects scenes looked quite poor by today's standards, and suffered as a result. These scenes can be forgiven given the age of the movie.
The colours are nicely presented, and have a very natural appearance, however a stronger palette would not have gone amiss given the nature of the world in which this movie inhabits. What colour there is, though, is nicely balanced and well controlled.
There were no MPEG artefacts of any kind during this movie.
I was surprised to notice an almost complete lack of film artefacts, which gave the presentation a very contemporary feel.
This disc is an RSDL disc with the layer change placed between chapters 14 and 15, at 66:00. It is placed nicely between scenes, and is therefore not disruptive to the flow of the movie at all. The packaging of this disc erroneously describes this disc as being single-layered.
(Ed: Addendum 25th November 1999: Columbia Tristar have advised that this error will be corrected on future printings of the slick for this DVD.)
There are four audio tracks on this DVD: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, French Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround, German Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono. Interestingly, the packaging states that only the German soundtrack is surround encoded. This is untrue. All apart from the Spanish were identically surround encoded, the latter being mono only. I listened to the default English soundtrack.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times, apart from the all-too-common screams of the young girl, which were at times quite shrill.
There were no problems at all with audio sync during the movie.
The musical score by Michael Kamen is wonderful and complements the onscreen action perfectly. It does a great deal to convey the sense of fantasy and adventure, being at times whimsical and other times quite powerful, but never taking itself too seriously.
The audio presentation is very frontal, with little use of the surrounds. Music does make its way into the surround channel at times, as do some explosions and effects during loud passages, but on the whole there could have been much more use of the surrounds.
The subwoofer got used only a handful of times during the entire movie.
The video quality is very good.
The audio is very ordinary.
No extras to speak of, which is always a shame.
|DVD||Panasonic A-350A, using S-Video output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 (125cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-525 5x100 watts Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver; 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ|
|Speakers||Centre: Sony SS-CN35 100 watt; Main & Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders; Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive|