See Spot Run (2001)

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Released 5-Dec-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Train
Filmographies-Cast
Listing-Crew
Audio Commentary-John Whitesell (Director)
Music Video-As Long As You're Loving Me-Vitamin C
Featurette-Spot's Silly Dog Tricks Contest Winners
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 93:04
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (65:19) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By John Whitesell
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring David Arquette
Michael Clarke Duncan
Leslie Bibb
Joe Viterelli
Angus T. Jones
Anthony Anderson
Paul Sorvino
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $31.95 Music John Debney


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English 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 for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, Breakfast cereals abound!
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    See Spot Run is possibly one of the silliest movies I've seen this year, but also one of the most sumptuous, both aurally and visually (isn't it always the way). This is supposed to be a film for the whole family, and there are some decent moments in the movie if you like comedy about dog poo or farting, or the biting off of a testicle tickles your fancy but I must admit that over the whole 90-odd minutes this did get a little worn. For kids, maybe this will sit a lot better - there are some definately amusing moments, but I think this type of movie has been done to death. One thing I most certainly can't complain about is the quality of the DVD.

    Gordon (David Arquette) is a mailman with a phobia about dogs. Every day he employs guerrilla tactics to deliver the mail, outsmarting and outthinking the four-legged mutts in the pursuit of his job, but Gordon has a problem. He's got the hots for his next door neighbour Stephanie (Leslie Bibb) who sees him as a no-hoper and doesn't want a bar of him. This is compounded by Benny Benny (Anthony Anderson), his only friend and a fellow mailman who delights in taking him down a peg or two and playing on his dog phobia.

    In another part of town, a drug bust is taking place and mob boss Sonny Talia (Paul Sorvino) is being busted. During the arrest he manages to wiggle free but Agent 11, the FBI's best trained pooch puts the bite on him, causing him considerable inconvenience. After treatment, and the loss of a testicle, Sonny decides to get even with the dog and puts out a hit on him, calling in his two best hitmen, Gino (Joe Vitarelli) and Arliss (Steven R. Schirripa) to put the mutt out of his misery. When this becomes known to the FBI, they decide to put Agent 11 into a witness protection program much to the chagrin of his handler and partner Murdock (Michael Clarke Duncan).

    While all this is going on, Stephanie has to fly interstate and the baby-sitter is late to take care of her son James (Angus T. Jones), causing much consternation. Offering to assist, Gordon agrees to look after James until the baby-sitter arrives (she suffers food-poisoning just after Stephanie leaves, leaving Gordon 'holding the baby' so to speak) so Stephanie heads off to the airport.

    From here on in, suspend your disbelief and just enjoy because it does get a little better after the first thirty or so minutes (at least I found it more amusing). This is definitely lightweight entertainment at its best with the better acting coming from the dogs.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    It's one of the great mysteries of life why such movies receive such fabulous treatment in all respects. This was an absolute delight to review simply because the number of problems could be counted on the fingers of one hand and for the most part they are nitpicking at best. This is a 5 star transfer through and through.

    The original theatrical aspect ratio is noted at 1.85:1 whereas this is presented at 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness of this transfer is exemplary. This is as crisp and clean as I've seen and although there was some minor edge enhancement noticed (eg: 7:28 on Anthony Anderson's profile) this was more the exception than the rule. Shadow detail was likewise excellent with detail seen even in the darkest recesses of the picture, except where deliberately blurred out. Fine detail was also a delight. Grain was sufficiently light to be unnoticeable throughout the entire movie and there was no blooming in the blacks.

    The brightness and colour were a treat. The palette wasn't vast but sufficient for the movie. At no stage was there any hint of oversaturation or colour bleed and skin tones were superb.

    No MPEG artefacts were noticed during the movie. The same can be said for film artefacts, flecks, dirt or other markings of any kind, making this a delight to watch. There were a couple of minor incidents of aliasing at 8:38 (on a newspaper) and 15:00 (on a blind) during the movie, but most were so slight as to be irrelevant. There was one moiré effect at 61:47 on a dog cage and that's it. Apart from those minor blemishes, this sparkled!

    There isn't much of a selection to the subtitles, seeing as there was only English for the Hard of Hearing to choose from. They were actually a bit hard to read at times, primarily because the picture was so bright and clear that the subtitles themselves looked a bit shabby. They had a frayed look to them. They were very accurate to the movie from what I saw, including notations of bodily functions.

    The layer change occurred at 65:19 and is very noticeable. Although it occurs during a scene change, my player took almost 2 seconds to recommence playback on the alternate layer. Still, it was well placed for all that.

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

Audio

    You only have one choice on this disc, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at the acceptable bitrate of 384 kilobits per second. There is also an Audio Commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 at 192 kilobits per second. I stuck with the default naturally. This is an amazingly solid soundtrack. There isn't huge usage of the subwoofer, but the surrounds really do have a field day and there is a real tonal quality about this audio. For the most part, your attention will be focused on the fronts for the dialogue, but every now and again you'll be pleasantly surprised at the overall envelope being developed, especially with some of the music on offer.

    Apart from my inability to understand the young boy at times, there was no problem with the dialogue or the audio sync on this disc.

    The music is credited to John Debney who has an impressive list of movie credits to his name and he actually manages to make the music the best part of this movie. There is a real quality to the music and occasionally when it breaks out and dominates the movie it actually made it that little bit more enjoyable. There is some good incidental music added into the mix for a decent experience overall.

    What can I say? Rock on, surrounds! The best part of the movie for me was the constant use of the surrounds to support the music and add elemental effects to the movie. At no time are they silent (or so it seemed) and occasionally they got to rock the house.

    Utilised a little less commonly than the surrounds, the subwoofer was at least active at times adding to the bass effect. Although definitely not as good as the surrounds, it really hit the mark during the bus sliding over the cliff at 49:05. Overall, this was a nice use of the .1 channel to add a solid underlay to the whole movie.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

    Taken from the movie it accompanies a static picture with four options.

Dolby Digital Trailer

    Standard fare

Filmographies-Cast

    David Arquette, Michael Clarke Duncan, Anthony Anderson and Paul Sorvino.

Listing-Crew

Audio Commentary

    This is very screen-specific as director John Whitesell explains various aspects of the movie. Most of his comments are directed at how he constructed the movie in terms of the screenplay. There isn't a lot of technical detail and as the movie develops he becomes silent at times. For the most part he is an entertaining talker who obviously had fun making the movie and it shows. Decent addition although light on for detail in many respects.

Music Video - As Long As You're Loving Me by Vitamin C

    Has a running time of 4:19 in 1.33:1 with the clip letterboxed at 1.85:1 and not 16x9 enhanced. Surprisingly presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 this is overly bright to the point where the whites bloom. It is a very clean clip, much like the movie with low grain and it's not bad if you like this sort of music.

Featurette

    Possibly the most pointless and useless addition to a DVD I've seen so far, although some may find it amusing. This is named "Spot's Silly Dog Contest", and these are the contest winners;

Theatrical Trailer

    With a running time of 1:58 it is in 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced and presented with 5.1 sound which was a pleasant surprise.

R4 vs R1

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

    The only difference between the Region 1 and Region 4 release that I can determine is the presence of 2 additional subtitle tracks on the Region 1 version (French and Spanish). Given this amazing difference, I'd opt for the Region 4 due to the superiority of PAL encoding over NTSC.

Summary

    This is a very lightweight movie aimed at the 7-11 year olds. Some of the movie is fairly silly, but there are some mildly amusing moments which will probably keep you and the kids reasonably happy. It has virtually no bad language or violence except in the most slapstick of modes. This won't win any awards but is a prime example of how DVDs should and will look on more and more releases.

    The video is absolutely sumptuous.

    The audio is also worthy of note

    The extras are adequate without being over-the-top.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Monday, November 19, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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