Best in Show (2000)

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Released 17-Oct-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Listing-Cast & Crew
Audio Commentary-Christopher Guest (Director/Actor) & Eugene Levy (Actor)
Deleted Scenes-17 +/- Director's commentary
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 86:28
RSDL / Flipper RSDL Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Christopher Guest
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Jennifer Coolidge
Christopher Guest
John Michael Higgins
Michael Hitchcock
Eugene Levy
Jane Lynch
Michael McKean
Catherine O'Hara
Parker Posey
Fred Willard
Case Amaray-Transparent-Dual
RPI $34.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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
German
French
English for the Hearing Impaired
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

Best In Show is a very funny 'documentary style' look at the eccentric people who bring their dogs to a very prestigious (fictitious) dog show. In general, the dogs are spoilt beyond comprehension but it is the owners who are the real focus of the film. The owners include the profoundly ordinary, such as the simple character of Harlan Peppar played by Christopher Guest, to the truly scary yuppie couple played by Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock. There are also many laughs to be had from a young woman married to a gentleman not long for the daises and from a devoted wife who, as the films continues, runs into some of her very, very many former lovers who keep reminding her (in front of her husband) what amazing sex they had with her. My favourite parts of the film were the hilarious scenes from the TV commentator during the judging finals. Played by Fred Willard, this commentary is one of a person who knows nothing about what he is talking of but fills the airtime with wisecracks of real quality.

    The film starts by showing us the background to the various contestants and then follows them as they travel across the country to the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. The film contains laughter throughout its relatively short 87 minutes and everyone will surely recognise some character traits in the dog lovers that they know.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

Best in Show is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 ratio and is 16x9 enhanced. It is a magnificent transfer.

The picture was very sharp throughout, although not quite in the leading edge category. Shadow detail was excellent and there was no low level noise encountered in the few dark passages in the film.

    Colours were strong, natural and very pleasing. There were absolutely no problems with this part of the transfer.

MPEG artefacts were vanishingly few and far between. This is an excellent transfer to video. There are still a number of film artefacts, more than I expected for such a recent film. Nevertheless, they were mostly small and not intrusive and in no way could be termed a problem.

The subtitles are accurate to the spoken word.

This is an RSDL-formatted disc, but I have yet to identify the change point. It could be that the feature is on one layer - it is short enough - and the extras were on the other. If the change was during the main feature, it sure was a smooth one.

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

Audio

The audio in this film is unspectacular. This is not a soundtrack-driven film.

Dialogue quality was never a problem. At all times, voices were very clear and natural-sounding. This of course is important for a dialogue-driven film. Audio sync was also not a problem.

There is almost no music during the film. It is a dialogue-driven one with the centre speaker having the vast majority of the work.

Although this film is nominally presented with a 5.1 soundtrack, the surround channels are used very sparingly. Only during some of the scenes during the final judging did things like crowd noise open up the soundstage and add some surround information.

There was nothing for the subwoofer to chew on.

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

Extras

    There are a moderate number of extras presented on this DVD.

Menu

The menus are not scored or animated but are 16x9 enhanced.

Listing-Cast & Crew

Audio Commentary-Christopher Guest (Director/Actor) & Eugene Levy (Actor)

    The feature length commentary by Christopher Guest and other cast members is a fairly solid one. It covers most of the topics pertaining to the feature, why cast members were chosen, and so forth, and they recall incidents that occurred while filming and what made them make the film in the style they did. As far as these things go, it is a solid if unspectacular commentary.

Deleted Scenes-17 +/- Director's commentary

    There are seventeen often quite lengthy additional scenes with optional commentary by the director. Some of them could have fitted into the film quite well and some were better left out. The director explains the choices well. The additional scenes are all in stereo and 1.85:1 but not 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

    In stereo and 16x9 enhanced.

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 appears to have the same extras as the local one. Both have great picture quality and by virtue of the cheaper price and extra resolution, I guess the R4 wins.

Summary

Best In Show is a beautifully transferred film and a very funny one as well. With a reasonable list of extras, it deserves to be popular. Its lack of dynamic sound is not a hindrance to its enjoyment.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Gavin Womersley (read my bio)
Thursday, October 18, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using Component output
DisplayToshiba 117cm widescreen rear projection TV. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-985 THX Ultra certified surround pre-amp.
AmplificationParasound HCA-2003 3x300w THX certified power amp, NAD 208THX 2x300w power amp.
SpeakersVelodyne HGS-18 1250w 18 servo-driven subwoofer, Celestion A3 front speakers, A2 rear speaker (full range) and A4c center channel speaker.

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Gavin T
Jeff K's Australian DVD Info Site - Kevin S
region4dvd.net - Darren R (read my bio (fun for the whole family))

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