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  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  • None
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Animated menus
Perfume (Rental)
Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 102 mins . MA15+ . PAL


Carmen Electra... Michelle Williams... Peter Gallagher... Jeff Goldblum... what appears to be a great cast struggle with a script that is below half decent. Maybe it’s just a guy thing, but this film simply stinks, just like some of those so called 'designer' fragrances. The duration is 102 minutes, which is at least 30 minutes too long. The pace of the film is laborious and painful, while watching the actors unemotionally recite their lines is just boring. Even watching this film during the day nearly made me fall asleep, and that is something that very very rarely happens.

Dany Cooper’s editing is attention-grabbing, with some cuts during scenes where instead of a smooth pan the actual ‘pan’ part has been cut out, making a faster switch. This is appealing, as it adds a different feel to the film, a more edited and fabricated world, like the world of fashion.

Similar, once again, to Hick’s Hearts In Atlantis, this is a film that is hard to summarise. There are so many little subplots running throughout the film that makes it hard to sum up without telling the whole story. But I can tell you that it is based around the world of fashion in New York City. This drama has been marketed as a comedy through the trailer, but there is no suitable position to laugh. It is best for you to hire this title and make your own mind up.


The video is presented in a widescreen aspect of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. On a whole the video transfer is very nice, except for a few minor details.

The image appears very soft, and muted with little depth to it. This is an incredibly minor point, sure, but still it isn’t pleasing to the eye.

Shadow detail is superb. During the opening few scenes there are a large amount of darkly lit scenes all with solid black blacks and superb shadow detail. This would be one of the nicest points of this transfer. There is no sign of low level noise on the darker areas and the rest of the colours are mastered beautifully. The golden yellows are so rich and vibrant, the reds are also bright, yet not as rich. Skin tones are very nicely rendered, with realistic tones throughout the feature.

There is very minimal film grain and artefacts, but there are a few small MPEG artefacts. All three are very minor and are over in the blink of an eye, so are not distracting. To accompany these minor defects is some slight edge enhancement, but this is unobtrusive and harder to spot.

Unfortunately there are no subtitles available on this disc. This is a problem because at times the dialogue is coming from so many people that it sounds very crowded and everyone drowns everyone else out. The two audio tracks on this disc are English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0 Pro-Logic enhanced. This clutteredness from the centre channel for the dialogue makes it very hard to interpret, and subtitles would help dramatically at these common moments.

On the 5.1 track, dialogue is located in the centre channel only, and effects and music sporadically occur in the surrounds and front left and right channels. Hang on a minute, I thought this was a 5.1 track... where's the subwoofer? It barely raised its head, and is not at all present for the majority of the film. For the genre it's expected, but still it's the thought that counts.

On the Pro-Logic track, the sound is nearly identical except it is slightly muffled. The depth on the 5.1 track doesn’t sound great until you hear the flatness of the Pro-Logic track. Sound comes from a wall at the front, with little ambience from the surrounds. The 5.1 track surprisingly envelopes the audience, but only with the score or occasional effects.

Extras... hmm I couldn’t find any on this disc... oh that’s right, apparently it’s a trailer and an animated menu. Hmm not very special. One mark just for trying.

Transfer-wise the disc isn’t too bad, but the feature is simply appalling. The pace of the film is incredibly slow and the plot sometimes confusing. This film is worth a hire to see if you like it, but it isn’t what it is being marketed to be. It’s not funny. It’s not moving. It’s just a drag.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1228
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  •   And I quote...
    "And I thought real perfume stank..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nowa DS-8318
    • TV:
          TEAC 68cm CTV
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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