Private Benjamin (1980)
|Year Of Production||1980|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Howard Zieff|
Warner Home Video
Mary Kay Place
Harry Dean Stanton
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, during credits|
Private Benjamin is the story of Judy Benjamin - a classic Jewish American Princess who is conned into joining the army after the death of her second husband on their wedding night. We follow her through basic training, an abortive attempt to join an elite paratroop corps, through her "ideal job" (purchasing), to her final realization of what she really wants. There is nothing particularly deep and meaningful about this movie, and it is probably bereft of social implications, but it is moderately entertaining, and will do you no harm. Goldie Hawn is probably the best actress for a waif (although I do like Audrey Hepburn), and this script calls for what she does best.
The transfer is described on the DVD's cover as 1.85:1, 4:3. This is incorrect - it is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. I prefer it when the disc has better specs than the cover promises. Ed. I prefer it when the cover doesn't have errors.
As I mentioned, the start of the film is a bit soft, with a moment or two of visible edge enhancement, but it sharpens up and the remainder of the movie is rather good. There some fairly grainy aerial footage of Brussels at around 76:08, but that didn't bother me - you don't need to pick out the buildings. Shadow detail is never all that strong, but most of the film takes place in brightly-lit places, so that's not a big issue. Low level noise is never a problem.
Colours are fine, neither under- nor over-saturated.
I saw no MPEG artefacts, and few film artefacts - this was transferred from a very clean print. There are a couple of instances of telecine wobble, but they shouldn't trouble you unless you're looking quite hard.
Dialogue was mostly clear and readily understood. The exception was a few lines from Armand Assante, who was playing a strong French accent - those lines were a little too quiet to be understood.
I saw no audio sync problems.
The music, by Bill Conti, was reasonable - not one of his finest efforts, but perfectly acceptable, if a little predictable.
Given the Dolby Digital 1.0 soundtrack, I was unsurprised that my surrounds and subwoofer took the night off.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video starts out soft, but improves.
The audio is the original theatrical mono soundtrack.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-737, using Component output|
|Display||Sony 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|