|Category||Drama||Main Menu Audio
Cast & Crew Interviews
Cast & Crew Biographies
Universal Pictures Video
Steve Le Marquand
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 320Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||?1.85:1||
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Annoying Product Placement||Yes, mildly|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Jimmy (Heath Ledger) is a child of King's Cross. His background is not really spelled out for us, but we know he has a brother who was brutally murdered because of an unpaid debt and he works as a bouncer for a sleazy strip joint. We also know that he is handy in a fist-fight. Pando (Bryan Brown) is the hoodlum king of King's Cross, involved in numerous shady dealings, and most definitely extremely villainous and dangerous. Everybody wants to work for Pando, as he is their ticket out of the sleaze into the high life.
Jimmy is given a job to do; deliver $10,000 across town, no questions asked. Unfortunately, circumstances intervene, with a series of unfortunate (and often wryly funny) incidents resulting in him losing the $10,000. Clearly, Pando will not be pleased with this turn of events, so Jimmy desperately seeks a way to acquire $10,000. The most logical way for him to do this is to rob a bank, which he duly does. I never thought a bank robbery could be both dramatic and funny at the same time, but this one is.
Complicating matters somewhat is Alex (Rose Byrne), who has recently moved to Sydney from the country, and who forms an instant attraction to Jimmy (and vice versa).
Two Hands has it all; action, drama, humour, unfortunate co-incidences, the para-normal, and some stunningly violent moments that catch you completely unawares. This is a great Australian movie. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it, although be aware that it is MA-rated and earns this rating with copious swearing and glimpses of some really nasty violence at times, so it definitely isn't one for the kiddies.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of exactly 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The image is uniformly sharp and clear throughout, although some of the rapid motion camerawork taxed the quality of the image to its limits. Shadow detail is generally good. The early part of the movie is a tad dark, but this seems to be inherent in the source material. I would strongly recommend watching this DVD in an environment with strongly controlled lighting conditions for best results because large portions of it are set in darker locales. There is no low level noise.
Colours are accurately rendered, and even vibrant at times, although the great majority of the movie shows the gritty colouration of this seedy part of town. Gaudy splashes of colour, such as in neon signs, were immaculately rendered with no colour bleeding or smearing, and were a highlight of this transfer.
No significant MPEG artefacts were seen. If you paused
the image on some of the more rapidly moving scenes, you could see a hint
of background pixelization, but this was invisible at normal playback speed.
Aliasing was remarkably absent from this transfer, despite frequent images
of objects that are aliasing-prone on show, particular cars with copious
amounts of chrome. Film artefacts were also remarkably absent from this
transfer, and I can say that I did not notice a single one.
Dialogue was beautifully captured by this soundtrack and was clearly audible at all times, other than the odd highly-accented phrase from Jimmy's elderly neighbour which I had a little trouble understanding.
Audio sync was marginal for the first 10 minutes or so of the movie, but after that settled down to be excellent for the rest of the movie.
The music was composed by Cezary Skubiszewski, and perfectly suited the movie in conjunction with the numerous contemporary pieces of music.
The surround channel was used remarkably well by this soundtrack, with frequent ambient sounds being placed in the rear, creating an excellent surrounding soundfield. Action sequences were aggressively mixed into the rears, and even dialogue-only scenes tended to have enough surround activity to not collapse into mono. All-in-all, this is one of the better matrix soundtracks that I have had the pleasure of listening to.
The .1 channel was not specifically encoded, but
plenty of redirected bass appropriately made it to the subwoofer.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Michael Demtschyna
(read my bio)
3rd November 2000
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the RGB input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Denon AVD-1000 DTS AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials and the NTSC DVD version of The Ultimate DVD Demo Disc.|
|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; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer|