The Kid (2000)

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Released 4-Apr-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Featurette-A Kid Becomes The Kid (15:42)
Featurette-Spotlight on Jon Turtletaub (8:04)
Audio Commentary-Jon Turtletaub (Director) & Spencer Breslin (Actor)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 99:56
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (63:50) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jon Turteltaub
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Bruce Willis
Spencer Breslin
Emily Mortimer
Lily Tomlin
Chi McBride
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Marc Shaiman


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
English for the Hearing Impaired
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Icelandic
Swedish Audio Commentary
Norwegian Audio Commentary
Danish Audio Commentary
Finnish Audio Commentary
Icelandic Audio Commentary
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 Kid is a pleasant movie. No new ground is broken, but there's nothing wrong with that. OK, not all movies about an obnoxious 40 year-old having a mid-life crisis involve a confrontation with the 8 year-old version of the same person. It's an interesting plot device, and they have managed some clever twists.

    Russ Doritz (Bruce Willis) is a very successful image consultant - he tells celebrities how to project the image they want, and how to get out of PR disasters (there are some fun moments exploring this). He has a long-suffering secretary (Lily Tomlin is superb - why doesn't she make more movies?), and an assistant (Emily Mortimer) who loves him, even though he doesn't know it. He has done a good job of forgetting his childhood. On the eve of his 40th birthday he is confronted by the most tangible possible reminder of his childhood - himself at age 8 (Spencer Breslin), a fat kid with a bad haircut. At first he thinks that The Kid is here to learn something, but gradually it penetrates that The Kid is here to teach him.

    I must say, Bruce Willis had excellent help with his make-up and hair in this movie - he hasn't looked this young in a movie for some time now.

    I must also say that I didn't like Spencer Breslin. I'm not sure why. He has some irritating lines in the movie, but I don't think that's the reason. I hope my dislike of him has not coloured my assessment of the movie.

    Don't expect too much, and don't try to anticipate where the movie is going. Just enjoy the ride. This is a Disney movie, even though it is rated PG (for Adult Themes), and you know things will work out in the end.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    In short, the video transfer is good, verging on excellent, throughout. I was looking out for flaws, and I found very few indeed.

    The film is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced. This is very close to the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio of the film.

    The transfer is sharp and clear, with adequate shadow detail, and no visible noise. I could not pick out any edge enhancement, although the director has a penchant for back-lit shots, which tend to look edge-enhanced.

    There is a bright red plane running through the movie as a theme. That plane is shown as fully saturated red. With that one exception, there seem to be few really bright colours in the movie - I suspect this may have been a deliberate choice, intended to show Russ Doritz's life as a bit dull and drab. There is nothing wrong with the colour of the transfer (skin tones look good), although I initially thought it looked a bit undersaturated.

    There's a moment or two of faint aliasing on a shingle roof (37:28), and a street sign (78:20), but I mention them mainly because there were very few other flaws. There are no other defects to be seen - no marks on the film, no wobble, no MPEG artefacts. This transfer has been done well, using a very clean copy of the film.

    It is worth mentioning that there is one unusual feature with the subtitles - I have never seen a commentary rendered with Icelandic subtitles before. Quite clearly, all our Scandinavian friends should rush out and buy this disc in an attempt to encourage the studio to continue to do this.

    This disc is RSDL-formatted, with the layer change coming at 63:50. It is well-placed, at a cut between scenes, and it took me a while to locate it.

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

Audio

    There is nothing wrong with the audio in this transfer. My subwoofer and surrounds felt a bit left out, as they got very little work to do, but this is a dialogue-based movie - no gunshots, no explosions, and no loud music - so that's fine.

    There are only two soundtracks on this disc. There's an English Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the main soundtrack, and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mix for the audio commentary. I listened to both.

    Dialogue was clear, and I didn't notice any ADR work, although there's mention on the commentary that they re-recorded at least one piece of dialogue 2 months after shooting. There was no visible problem with audio sync.

    The music was unexceptional; so much so that I cannot remember any of it, but that is far better than music that draws attention to itself to the detriment of the film.

    I am unsure why they bothered to make the main soundtrack 5.1 - they didn't use the subwoofer or surrounds to any noticeable extent. The sound was, however, well spread across the front soundstage.

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

Extras

    There are some interesting extras on this disc - someone is definitely interested in the DVD market. The commentary is the jewel, though.

Menu

    The menus are static, and without sound, but they are functional, and 16x9 enhanced.

Featurette - A Kid Becomes The Kid

    This is a better-than-average promotional piece about the casting of The Kid. There is the usual Hollywood self-congratulation, but it is quite interesting to see the number of kids they auditioned, and some of the tests they put Spencer Breslin through. This featurette is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 - clearly intended for TV. Some of the footage is a bit grainy, and there's a distinct halo effect in one audition. Worth a watch, but perhaps they are a bit ambitious - they offer a chapter menu for this piece!

Featurette - Spotlight on Jon Turteltaub

    This is an 8 minute fluff piece about the director. Unusually, it includes footage of actors not in this particular movie - Sandra Bullock and John Travolta are included. While I'm sure they do respect the director, we learn very little about why.

Theatrical Trailer

    This is not presented as well as the movie. It is quite interesting to see how much difference there can be, especially when you have just watched the movie. The trailer is darker, with very little shadow detail. It is 1.85:1, but not 16x9 enhanced.

 Commentary - Jon Turteltaub (Director) and Spencer Breslin (Actor)

    This commentary is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. It has Jon Turteltaub mixed to the left, and Spencer Breslin mixed to the right. They were clearly recorded while watching the movie, because they make numerous comments about specific moments in the film (including commenting on their own credits).  The film's soundtrack is almost inaudible under their voices, which means that you cannot watch the movie for the first time with the commentary on. Once or twice, the level of the soundtrack is raised so they can make a comment on something that is said.

    This commentary was a bit different because some of the time Jon Turteltaub explains things to Spencer Breslin, including second unit photography. There are some highlights, including revelations about where some of the interiors were shot. There are a couple of lowlights, too, I'm afraid - I hate comments like "this bit's really funny".

    There is very little wasted space - they start the commentary during the opening credits, and they speak nearly continuously all the way through the movie to the closing credits (and even through those) - a fairly impressive effort, compared to those which tail off half-way through the movie.

    I would recommend this as an excellent introduction to the gentle art of commentaries.

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as I can tell, the R1 version has the same features as the R4, except that they get French and Spanish soundtracks, while we get a lot more subtitle options. As usual, I will award the win to the R4 on the basis of the PAL transfer, there being no other distinction.

Summary

    The Kid is a pleasant movie, well presented.

    The video quality is high.

    The audio quality is high, although with little surround use.

    The extras are good (especially the commentary), but you'll probably only watch the featurettes once.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, March 03, 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

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
R1 DVD is 1.85:1 - Ted F (If you're bored you can read my bio)