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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, Spanish, German, Italian, Hebrew, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Dutch, Arabic, Portuguese, Turkish, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hindi, Bulgarian
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Featurette
  • Photo gallery
  • Booklet

Oliver!

Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 147 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

OK, raise your hand if you haven't seen Oliver!. Exactly, no hands can be seen. Everyone should know what this is, and if you don't you are really missing out on something. Loosely based on Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist, this musical film swept the Oscars and placed new songs into the world. The film won six Academy Awards including 'Best Picture' and 'Best Score'. Simply wonderful!

The film has been on television numerous times, and has been on video for years. Songs include Food, Glorious Food, Oliver, Pick A Pocket or Two and Oom Pah Pah. This is one film that requires little introduction. It you haven't seen it, don't hire it, just buy it!

The story is based around an orphan boy named Oliver (really, we wouldn't have guessed!) who works in a workhouse. After asking, "please sir, may I have some more?" he is pushed out and sold to an undertaker. Young Oliver escapes and makes it to the big smoke, where, sadly, the first person he meets is Jack Dawkins. Jack introduces Oliver to Fagin, who makes boys steal for him (aka pick a pocket or two). On his first outing, Oliver gets caught and sent to live with a magistrate. This is a fairly brief introduction to the story, but with this genre of film there is no introductory idea, just a continous flow of events.

  Video
Contract

The video is presented in a widescreen aspect of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

Given the age of the film, the transfer is superb, with a clear picture throughout. The picture may not be terribly sharp in places, but the clarity of the picture makes up for that.

Colours are fairly dull, but that is the way the director intended it to be, after all 19th century England would have been a dull place with all that pollution. However, at the magistrate's the colours are bright and vibrant. There are no signs of bleeding, nor over-saturation. Blacks are fairly grey, but shadow detail is very clean.

There is little film grain throughout the film, and very few film artefacts - which are so small they are barely noticeable. There is some minor aliasing throughout the film though, but again, nothing overly distracting.

The layer change occurs at 83:13, which is at intermission. The change occurs completely in black and is a perfect transition.

  Audio
Contract

There are four audio tracks on this disc – all Dolby Digital in English, German, French and Dutch. The English is the primary language (surprise, surprise) and is a 5.1 track for some bizarre reason. A film of this age should be kept in its original format, or at the most stereo.

The film doesn’t use the surround channels for real effects, only to echo the front speakers. The front of the soundstage is fairly busy, with clear, crisp and audible dialogue coming from the centre speaker, and effects from the front left and right.

The subwoofer isn’t noticeable at all. The sound of the soundtrack is fairly thin, giving the impression of a stage show. The bass levels are fairly low, and the soundtrack is lacking in richness. Mind you, it still sounds great.

  Extras
Contract

The extras include a four minute theatrical trailer, a 7:17 featurette and 18 photos in a gallery. The trailer is in quite bad shape and suffers greatly from age. The featurette is a short piece that looks like a form of advertising for the film and the quality is quite low. The photos are high-quality images and include several poster images. For a film of its age, these features are superb. Compared to a film of today, the features are lacking - but give it a break, it is 34 years old after all.

  Overall  
Contract

This is a superb disc that all musical fans should own. It features a great soundtrack and superb video, with limited but nice extra features. The film is magical and just has to be seen. Go out and buy a copy today!


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1311
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      And I quote...
    ""Please sir, may I have some more?"
    Everyone knows these words, now everyone can own the magic of the film."
    - 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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