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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.66:1
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • Additional footage - Short film 'Man of Straw'
  • Teaser trailer - Don's Plum, Italian for Beginners, Everynight Everynight
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Animated menus
  • Music video - CD Soundtrack Samples

Silent Partner (Rental)

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 81 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Originally based on a play of the same name, this film features beer, gambling and greyhounds. Yep, you guessed it... it's Australian. Two ockers and best buddies John (David Field) and Bill (Syd Brisbane) are down on their luck and have little positivity in their small lives. They enjoy gambling. They enjoy beer. They enjoy smoking. And no, this isn't your next-door neighbour. These two are really down on their luck. When offered a chance to race a greyhound, they jump at the idea and take it on full force. It is obvious that there is more to this idea than meets the eye. A greyhound given to them, and the profits start getting split among the three (the dog is a silent partner you know). But these two men, who suddenly have the world at their fingertips, both discount the idea that something is happening underneath the scheme.

Shot in seven days with a small crew of five (yes, five) this film gives a grimy example of Australian life, and shows a different point of view on Australian culture and values. That may be looking a little too deep, but to be able to take the audience out of their comfortable cushy couches and into another world is great - and into another realistic world is even better. It definitely isn't for everyone, but does have something for most people. If you come across a night when there is nothing to do, grab this one. Or if you have a thing for greyhounds, that's certainly another good reason.

  Video
Contract

The video is presented in a non-16x9 enhanced picture, framed at 1.66:1.

Throughout the film, the image is dull yet sharp, and has slightly muted colours. The few blacks that are present in the film are solid, and shadow detail is adequate for the small shadows visible. The dark palette of the film can easily be seen on this transfer, and the transfer remains true to the setting of the film. Skin tones are realistic and life-like, yet at times are slightly white. This is not a down side, just a cosmetic side.

Unfortunately grain can be seen throughout the transfer, but this is only mildly distracting. Minor film artefacts can be seen occasionally throughout the film but are not distracting whatsoever. No MPEG artefacts are visible during the feature.

For a quickly shot Australian film the image is very nice and the dim colours brilliantly compliment the setting for the film.

This single-layered disc misses out on a layer change, so this is no problem at all.

  Audio
Contract

There is only one audio track on this disc - a Dolby Digital 2.0 English soundtrack.

Dialogue levels are very good, yet some of the language is slightly hard to understand due to the characters' regular intoxication with a commonly known mind-altering, sense-losing beverage. But being a dialogue-driven film, the soundtrack is suitable and serves its purpose well.

Being a stereo soundtrack there is no surround channel or subwoofer usage. However, suitable parts of the soundtrack are richly detailed with great bass.

  Extras
Contract

The menu system has little animation, yet looks very nice. It is presented in the aspect of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced.

The Director's Commentary is fairly neat and focuses on specific scenes. It does provide some interesting information on the cast and settings. A CD Soundtrack page is provided which offers a listing of the Silent Partner soundtrack and uses song samples as background music. The Biographies are short and concise and feature information on Alkinos Tsilimidos, Daniel Keene, David Field, Syd Brisbane, Paul Kelly and Gerry Hale. The last two were responsible for music for the film.

The Man of Straw short film runs for 29 minutes and is Alkinos Tsilimidos's graduate film. A stash of trailers is also included featuring those for Silent Partner, plus Everynight... Everynight, Don's Plum and Italian for Beginners.

Surprisingly the pack of extra features are great for this small Australian film. They offer an interesting insight into the making of the film and the background of the director.

  Overall  
Contract

The film is reasonable, and may not be up everyone's alley. The video is good for the mood of the film, as is the stereo soundtrack. Surround channels were not missed in this dialogue-driven film. The extra features were surprising, and most welcome. It may be worth a hire, but again, may not be a film for everyone.


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      And I quote...
    "A film featuring beer, gambling and greyhounds... of course it's Australian!"
    - 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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