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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Pan&Scan
  • Dual Sided
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital Surround
  Subtitles
    English, French
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer

Forget Paris

Warner Bros./Warner Home Video . R4 . COLOR . 101 mins . M15+ . NTSC

  Feature
Contract

While not the perfect romantic comedy, and nowhere near the standard of Pretty Woman, Forget Paris still stands up as one of the more credible entries in the genre, and is a darn sight better than some of the crud they produce today that's apparently “funny” as well as “romantic.” Not all of us are mindless drones... anyway...

The film is held together by an ensemble cast lead by comedian Billy Crystal (yes, he’s the little green guy from Monsters, Inc., well the voice at least; City Slickers) and Debra Winger (An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment). The backup cast include great performances from Joe Mantegna (Andy, his best friend), Cynthia Stevenson (Liz, Andy’s fiancée), Cathy Moriarty (Casper), John Spencer (The West Wing, The Rock), Richard Masur (My Girl), Julie Kavner (of The Simpsons variety) and Robert Costanzo (North).

The story is fairly simple and is told in fragments. “OK,” you all say, “what’s so different about that?” Well, in this case, the story is told by the backup cast to Liz, who doesn’t know anything about Mickey (Crystal) and Ellen (Winger). How they met is first told, which is because the French airline lost Mickey’s father’s body (yes, it was in a coffin), and Mickey was passed into the hands (and later the arms) of Ellen who worked for the airline. Then after this blissfully romantic tale is told, the story deepens and the plot thickens around Mickey and Ellen’s love and marriage. Not much more can be said without blabbing the entire plot of the film.

The film reaches a point at the end, but reaches it in such an overly simplified way that it makes life look easy. At times the film is lost in its own wafty subject matter which tries that little bit to reach deeper ideas and at times sinks beneath the surface rather than holding the serious subject matter up. Billy Crystal is very funny, yet his try-hard comedic lines are too scripted, rehearsed and static, which makes him annoying at times to watch. Winger is great as the desperately confused Ellen, and her appearance suits her character. The superb backup cast support these two actors and the ensemble as a whole really hold the piece together.

  Video
Contract

Firstly, NTSC. C’mon the joke is over now, why keep spitting out these NTSC discs in a PAL region? Mind you, this is one of the nicer looking NTSC transfers that Warner have produced...

The disc is dual-sided, with one side hosting a full frame version of the film, and the other side hosting a widescreen version in the aspect of 1.78:1, which is also 16x9 enhanced. The full frame version is just a cropped version of the widescreen version, and is (obviously) lacking the 16x9 enhancement.

The clarity of the picture is reasonable, but is just limited by the lower resolution of the NTSC picture. At times, edges of faces and objects appear slightly fuzzy and lack definition. Sharpness is reasonable, but again limited by the fact that this is an inferior NTSC transfer.

Colours look remarkable (again, for an NTSC picture), with absolutely no colour bleeding. Colours are solid and rich, yet lack the depth and realism that other PAL transfers offer, but this is also due to the lack of clarity that this transfer hosts.

Blacks are solid, yet appear ever-so-slightly blue. This isn’t annoying, but just visible in one or two scenes. Shadow definition is messy in the dark scenes, and clearer in the lighter scenes, yet still acceptable given the genre of film and the few serious shadows in the film.

Film artefacts are quite visible and look at times simply atrocious. Not only are we shown lovely black specks flinging past on the screen, we also have the pleasure of watching hairs, white specks, red specks and scratches. These occur sporadically and vary in annoyance-factors from ten being high to zero being none at all. Grain isn’t a problem at all (the film artefacts make up for that one though), and MPEG artefacts are nowhere to be seen.

There are two subtitle tracks, in either English or French. The English subtitles are easy to read, and accurate too. The French ones are very... French. Their accuracy is not quite known to this reviewer.

  Audio
Contract

There are two audio tracks on the disc, both surround-encoded - one in English 2.0, the other in French 2.0.

The English track will likely be the best listening option for this film for most, and is identical on each side of the disc. The sound is superb for a 2.0 track, with a great enveloping quality.

Dialogue is clear throughout with a rich tone. Bass levels are suitable for the genre of film, and there is no discrete subwoofer action. The surrounds are mainly used to carry the score, but are also used to carry basketball audience noises and crowd sounds.

This is one of the finer examples of a 2.0 surround-encoded track available.

  Extras
Contract

There's nothing terribly ‘extra’ about these features at all, the usual 16x9 enhanced still menus with background audio, as well as a full frame theatrical trailer which runs for 1:55. See, nothing terribly special here... Sure, given the age of the film it can be expected, but even cast biographies would have been nice.

  Overall  
Contract

The film starts out as a quirky romantic comedy and tries to hit some serious tones, but seems to flounder in itself rather than make a point with them. The video is reasonable given it is an evil NTSC transfer, and the audio is sufficient for the film. The extras are not even worth mentioning. Add this one to your collection if you are a fan, or at least rent it once if you haven’t seen it... it should make you laugh at least once.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=1600
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      And I quote...
    "...one of the nicer looking NTSC transfers that Warner have produced..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Philips DVD 736K
    • TV:
          TEAC EU68-ST
    • 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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