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Details At A Glance

Category Comedy Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1988 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 102:24 minutes Other Extras Cast & Crew Biographies
Production Notes
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 4 Director Ivan Reitman

Columbia Tristar
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger
Danny DeVito
Kelly Preston
Chloe Webb
Bonnie Bartlett
Case Transparent Amaray
RRP $34.95 Music Georges Delerue
Randy Edelman

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Yes MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None Dolby Digital 2.0
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
Macrovision Yes
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes

Plot Synopsis

    Twins begins with the unlikely premise of a government genetic experiment to create a better human being. Julius Benedict (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is the outcome. Unexpectedly, Vincent Benedict (Danny DeVito) is also the outcome, since their mother gives birth to twins. The babies are taken away and the mother is told that her baby has died (apparently she can't count).

    There are some huge scientific errors here. Firstly, it is claimed that six fathers combined their sperm to create these children. Bzzt. Bad Science alert. Only one sperm fertilizes one egg. Secondly, it is claimed that there was one egg which split into two - all the 'good' DNA went to Julius and all the 'bad' DNA went to Vincent. Bzzt. Another Bad Science alert. An embryo that splits in two after fertilization leads to identical twins. But, enough of the technical nitpicking - this is Hollywood, after all.

    Julius is taken away to be raised on a secluded tropical island, and educated. Vincent is left at an orphanage to fend for himself. One day, Julius finds out about his brother and decides to find him. He does. They then go on a cross country jaunt to find their mother (Bonnie Bartlett) and on a side trip for Vincent to make a lot of money.

    Twins just didn't do it for me. It is tired and stale. Much of the movie comes across as if the actors are simply going through the motions. There are some funny bits, but they are few and far between.

Transfer Quality


    This is a very tired and stale transfer, even for a 10 year old movie. The word lacklustre is probably the most apt description of this transfer.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4:3), which is modified from the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It appears to have been Panned & Scanned rather than transferred Open Matte, but in the absence of a correctly framed widescreen version, this remains unclear.

    The transfer was quite grainy and indistinct throughout. It clearly showed its age. Shadow detail was unremarkable, but at least no low level noise marred the picture.

    The colours were washed out and pale, and certainly not the vibrant shades that are expected from current transfers.

    There were some MPEG artefacts seen, mainly in the backgrounds, but occasionally in the foreground. At times, faces lost some definition as they moved. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of marked amounts of aliasing, far more than I would consider acceptable, and also of quite considerable telecine wobble, which was very distracting, especially during the opening credits. Film artefacts were frequently present.


    There are four audio tracks on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 2.0, and Italian Dolby Digital 2.0. The packaging credits these soundtracks as surround-encoded, but they sounded more like plain stereo to me. You cannot select the audio tracks on the fly and must instead return to the main menu to change audio options.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.

    There were no audio sync problems.

    The score by Georges Delerue and Randy Edelman is very much stock standard fare.

    The surround channel appeared to be unused, except incidentally for music, which indicates to me that this soundtrack is merely stereo rather than surround-encoded.

    The .1 channel received some signal from my processor when music was playing but was otherwise dormant.


    Only a limited number of extras are present on this disc.

What's Missing / What's Extra

    The Region 1 version of this disc is identical to the Region 4 version of this disc (and apparently just as bad).


    The menu design is unremarkable. It is not 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

    Interestingly, this is presented at an aspect ratio of 1:78:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 1.0 sound.

Cast & Crew Biographies

    These are well presented, and particularly easy to read.

Production Notes

    These are quite detailed and informative and are well worth the read, especially given that they, too, are easy to read.


    Twins is worth a rental only.

    The video quality is tired and dated.

    The audio quality is unremarkable.

    The extras are limited, but what is there is nicely presented.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
10th July 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
Amplification 2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
Speakers Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer