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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.66:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Music video

Studio 54

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 93 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Wow, the first DVD I've reviewed that's less than 15 years old and uses 5.1 channels of audio! Be still, my beating heart. Daddy is here, and no-one will hurt you.

It's a pity that I didn't enjoy the film very much. 54 tells the story of New York's hottest disco, Studio 54, THE place to be in the late 70s. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood, but the film came off as a second-rate Boogie Nights, with the same cliched rise and fall from grace story, but with less booty-shakin' music. Yes, there was the sex, the drugs, yada yada yada, but I just didn't get involved.

Mike Myers gives a brave performance as the drug-addled Steve Rubell, owner of the club, dispenser of the cocaine, and admirer of the young freaks-of-nature bartenders. Ryan Philippe fills the Mark Wahlberg role as Shane O'Shea, new member of staff at Studio 54, and would be more likeable if he didn't remind me so much of Chris O'Donnell.

Greg (Breckin Meyer) and Anita (Salma Hayek) play a young married couple that Shane lives with - problem is that he and Anita start getting the hots for each other. This was going an interesting way, but the film basically dropped the thread midway through, and it was left unresolved.

I had technical problems with this disc, as no matter what I did, the picture, and to a smaller extent the sound, stuttered noticeably all the way through the film. I noticed on another review site that the Pioneer 505 has trouble with audio sync on this disc, so possibly there is a problem with the mastering? I've had no problems with other discs from any region, so it's something to be aware of. Steve's Note: The technical problems can be attributed to the decoder card as a dvd-rom based system will always be prone to bus overflow from background processes which may affect performance.

  Video
Contract

The disc looks fine. Anamorphically enhanced in a 1.85:1 ratio, the colours are strong and vibrant without bleeding, shadows are detailed and there are no visible artifacts. The picture didn't grab me and draw me in like a reference DVD, but I put that down to the photography, and considering the previous credits for the cinematographer include the atrocious The Craft and Maximum Risk, I'm not surprised I wasn't moved...

  Audio
Contract

While the disco tunes that run throughout the disc are big and powerful, the actual sound design is technically only average. There is some noticeable ADR work and I noticed some wayward levels on dialogue at a couple of points. Normally I might not have noticed, but you tend to get picky when you're not captivated by the story.

Dialogue is always intelligible, even when music is pounding away in the background. It's also possible to play the film at reference level without wincing.

  Extras
Contract

The extras include filmographies for the main cast, a music video for 'If You Could Read My Mind' and the theatrical trailer, in mono for some reason? Apparently Roadshow promise a featurette on the cover, but my review copy (which came au naturel) had none.

  Overall  
Contract

You should already have picked up that I didn't enjoy this film much. While it's technically fine, it does absolutely nothing that we haven't seen in a dozen other films like this.

Unfortunately, due to the lack of extras and the technical problems I had with the disc, I can only cautiously recommend this DVD to fans of the film. Others should definitely rent before buying, or just watch Boogie Nights, which although also flawed, does at least have a guy with a very large penis.


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      And I quote...
    ""
    - Paul Dossett
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Rom:
          Pioneer 103(s)
    • MPEG Card:
          RealMagic Hollywood Plus
    • TV:
          Mitsubishi Diva 33
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha DSP-A1
    • Speakers:
          Richter Excalibur
    • Centre Speaker:
          Richter Unicorn
    • Surrounds:
          Richter Hydras
    • Audio Cables:
          Monster RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Monster s-video
      Recent Reviews:
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