Simon Sez

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Details At A Glance

Category Action Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - 1.78:1 (16x9 Enhanced), Dolby Digital 2.0
Rating m.gif (1166 bytes) Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City
Year Released 1999 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 82:05 Minutes  Other Extras Dennis Rodman Talent File (are they serious?)
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 2,4 Director Kevin Elders
Independent Artists 
Columbia TriStar
Starring Dennis Rodman
Dane Cook
Ricky Harris
John Pinette
Filip Nikolitch
Case Transparent Amaray
RRP $39.95 Music Brian Tyler

Pan & Scan/Full Frame None MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9Yes.jpg (4536 bytes)
Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

Plot Synopsis

    A quick pointer about the state of literacy and cinematic art in the Western World: when you see a title that uses a z in place of an s, or in this case an ez in place of an ays, you must run in the opposite direction as fast as your legs can carry you. The Internet Movie Database certainly doesn't dispute that with me, ranking Simon Sez at a three-point-four out of ten, which is certainly a higher rating than what I would have afforded it. Anyway, the first question I'm obviously inclined to ask about a film like this is why it has received a transfer to our beloved disc format in preference to a million other films that are far higher in both quality and consumer interest. If you need to bring out a recent film, then at least be kind enough to bring us one which has a plot that isn't being bashed left and right on the Internet.

    Dennis Rodman stars in this film as Simon, an undercover Interpol agent, and I am pretty damned sure that I cannot be the only one who has a problem with the believability factor of that plot point. Let's ignore for a second that Simon would have to qualify as the most conspicuous undercover agent in history, and that he wouldn't be able to walk into the lobby of an airport without a million sirens going off, because these are small considerations compared to the fact that he just can't act his way out of a wet paper bag. As I said, Simon (Dennis Rodman) is an Interpol agent who protects various important people from attacks by international terrorists and generally nasty people. It is worth noting that Rodman actually delivers a restrained performance compared with Double Team, and some people have stated in one forum or another that it makes his attempts at acting somewhat more tolerable. In any case, the beginning of Simon Sez sees Simon protecting a treacherous Colonel by the name of Jacques Telore (Igor De Savitch), with the help of Macro (John Pinette), Micro (Ricky Harris), and some high-tech gadgetry. After rescuing the Colonel from an arms deal gone sour with a group of terrorists, Simon takes some time off in France, and runs into Nick (Dane Cook), a rather squirmy little hustler that Simon used to deal with at some unspecified point before the film's events. This is a rather pathetic attempt at bringing comic relief into a film where the story and star provide it without even trying.

    I really won't go into divulging more of this film's plot, because there really isn't any to speak of, other than what is required to fill out the eighty-two minutes. After Nick and Simon attempt to exchange a briefcase for the lives of two people who happen to be related to a member of the government, they discover that the case contains a pair of bricks and a compact disc full of classified information. After this, the film becomes little more than an excuse to move Dennis Rodman from one action scene to another, and an especially poor one at that. Strictly a rental piece, friends and neighbours.

Transfer Quality


    The video transfer lends credibility to the theory that a film with next to no plot will get an impeccable transfer. The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, complete with 16x9 enhancement and a highly variable transfer rate to accommodate all of the video information to a single layer. The transfer is consistently sharp from start to finish, although some backgrounds tend to be a little blurred due to photographic limitations rather than the MPEG encoding. The shadow detail is excellent, with plenty of discernible details making themselves clear in low lighting conditions. No low-level noise was apparent at any time. The colour saturation was perfect, with the wild colour scheme in the film's locations being accurate and even.

    MPEG artefacts did not appear at any moment, although the overall needs of most of the imagery would not really be that high compared with the amount of space available to the film. Film-to-video artefacts went unnoticed, although there was a considerable amount of wobble in the picture that seemed to have been introduced by the camera mechanism, and it would not surprise me to learn that the action sequences were simply shot with a shoulder-mounted camera. Film artefacts were more or less completely absent from the presentation, reflecting the youth of the film and the minimal number of times that anyone would have paid to see this dreck at the flicks. Now, you would think that these factors would result in a great, wonderful picture that is pleasant to look at, but in a nutshell, the cinematography is utter crap that should never have seen the daylight. None of the shots during the main feature make any sense from a detail point of view, and the aforementioned camera wobble makes it all the worse. The obviously fake computer-generated flame effects that occur seventy-five minutes into the film certainly don't help matters any.


    The audio transfer is a shining example of how a typical action film should sound, with enough surround effects and subwoofer activity to keep any audiophile happy for a good hour. The transfer is presented in two languages, both of them encoded in Dolby Digital 5.1: the original English dialogue, with a dub in German for good measure. I listened to both languages, but the only real difference between the two mixes is a slight problem with syncing the German translation with the English lip-movements. The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, in direct contrast to the photography, and even Dennis Rodman's dialogue failed to present any serious problems at any point in the transfer other than sheer banality. The audio sync seemed to be perfectly spot-on.

    The music is credited to one Brian Tyler, and does nothing to separate itself from the typical collection of action-film cues that appear in films such as this with great regularity. Having said that much, the score music is appropriately dramatic, fast-paced, and exciting, which lends a more enjoyable feel to the musical point of the film than any of the acting. The best thing about the music of this film is that there was none of the pathetic rap "songs" that normally accompany films that star the likes of Rodman.

    The surround presence is basically the same as many a B-grade action film, with the action scenes basically receiving a 5.1 mix that made excessive use of the surround channels, and the dialogue receiving what sounded like straight stereo. Not that this is necessarily bad, but it isn't the greatest of arrangements compared to some other discs that have made their way through my player recently. The rears received a fair amount of use to support the music, but were otherwise only called upon to add some presence to the action sequences. The subwoofer was used to support the music and action sequences, without calling any specific attention to itself.


    Forty dollars for this film, presented with so few extras? I don't think so. The Dolby Digital City trailer can be found on this disc.


    The menu lacks any audio or animation, but it is 16x9 Enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

    Clocking in at one minute and fifty seconds, this trailer is basically the best two minutes of the film, served in a ratio of 1.78:1 with 16x9 enhancement and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Dennis Rodman Talent File

    I kid you not - this is the header it is given in this menu. Read about all the idiotic films that Rodman has starred in, with a few useless facts about the man himself thrown in for a good laugh.

R4 vs R1

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     I'm going to keep telling you this until it sinks in, distributors everywhere: I do not want dual-sided discs. They are a pain in the extremities to keep clean, they cause all sorts of problems to appear with the encoding of features, and the use of this format to provide an alternate version of the film when this can be provided on a single-sided disc with some extra code is not on. Stick with the Region 4 version if you really must have this turkey.


    Simon Sez. Starring Dennis Rodman. Need I say more?

    The video quality is fine, although some definition seems to be lost in backgrounds at times.

    The audio quality is superb.

    The extras are very light for a forty-dollar disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

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© Dean McIntosh (my bio sucks... read it anyway)
May 19, 2000 
Review Equipment
DVD Grundig GDV 100 D, using composite output; Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output
Display Panasonic TC-29R20 (68 cm), 4:3 mode, using composite input; Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), 16:9 mode/4:3 mode, using composite and S-video inputs
Audio Decoder Built In (Amplifier)
Amplification Sony STR-DE835
Speakers Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Philips PH931SSS Rear Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer