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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
Out-Of-Towners, The (1999)

Out-Of-Towners, The (1999)

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Released 8-Jun-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 86:37
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (57:42) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By Sam Weisman

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Steve Martin
Goldie Hawn
Mark McKinney
John Cleese
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Marc Shaiman

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish 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 Greek
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    The Out-of-Towners was originally made in 1970, starring Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis. This remake was completed in 1999, and stars Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn, with John Cleese. I have not seen the original, so I cannot tell you that it was better. But I suspect that it was.

    Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn are a middle-aged couple, the Clarks, living in Ohio. Their children have grown up and left the family home. Nancy Clark is trying to re-interest her husband in her. He is upset because he has been fired and doesn't know how to tell her. He has a job interview in New York - a chance to prove himself. She decides to tag along because she feels lonely. Things start to go wrong when their flight cannot land in New York because of fog, and diverts to Boston. Their misfortunes do not stop there...

    I was concerned when I saw that it was "based on a screenplay by Neil Simon"; rather than "Screenplay by Neil Simon". Neil Simon is a talented man, and his scripts have made some of the funniest movies. This is not one of them. Oh, it isn't bad, but it isn't scintillatingly funny, either. It is just a bit ho-hum. Even John Cleese cannot rescue the film. He is playing a somewhat up-market Basil Fawlty, but without the raw edge that made Fawlty Towers brilliant.

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Transfer Quality


    The video transfer is only fair. It is dreadful for a movie made only a few years ago.

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is a little soft. Shadow detail is fine. There doesn't appear to be any low-level noise.

    Colour is fine. There aren't a lot of scenes where we see rich colours, so assessing the colour is made more difficult - most of the colours are a bit drab. Where there are strong colours, they do seem well saturated.

    There were plenty of tiny film artefacts, but nothing too objectionable. It was a little sad that the Paramount logo displayed numerous film artefacts in the form of spots and flecks. Aliasing was mostly minor, but there is major aliasing on the fence at 3:42. I didn't notice any MPEG artefacts.

    The disc is RSDL-formatted, with the layer change at 57:42. It is not an obtrusive layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    This disc offers 5.1 sound in English, Spanish, French, and Italian. I listened to the English soundtrack.

    Dialogue is quite clear and readily understood. This is a dialogue-driven movie, so that's important.

    The score starts with John Lennon's "Starting Over". It is quite apt, more so than we realise at first. The incidental music is nothing special, but it works. This is not an action movie or a thriller, so there's not a lot of strain on the composer - it shows.

    The surrounds were not noticeable - it is a 5.1 mix, but I can't say that I see why. The subwoofer was given little or nothing to do, which is understandable - there are no explosions, gunshots, or even loud music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu is silent and static.

Theatrical Trailer (2:21)

    The trailer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced, with DD2.0 sound.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 and Region 1 discs appear to offer the same features, except that we get Spanish and Italian soundtracks in addition to the French and English. Not much to choose between them, except the usual NTSC vs PAL.


    This DVD is a mediocre transfer of a fairly mundane film.

    The video quality is fair, but really not what we'd expected of a movie made so recently.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras are minimal.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Tuesday, June 26, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-737, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics matte white screen with a gain of 1.0 (280cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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