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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Czech: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Polish: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, French, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • Teaser trailer
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - with director Bryan Levant
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Featurette - opening sequence comparison between the cartoon and the movie.
  • Production notes
  • Photo gallery - & concept sketches.
  • Interviews
  • Documentaries - Discovering Bedrock

The Flintstones - Collectors Edition

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 87 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Hanna-Barbera created the Flintstones cartoon. A classic for it's time and probably the most popular and long-running animated sitcoms outside of the Simpsons. Along comes Steven Spielrock who had always forseen a live version of the cartoon and whilst working on Jurassic Park, he approached director Brian Levant to begin the long awaited production.

We travel back in time and meet with Barney (Rick Moranis) and Betty Rubble (Rosie O'Donnell) who are finding it hard to have a baby of their own so they decide to adopt but Barney can't afford to do so his long time pal Fred Flintstone (John Goodman) comes to the rescue with the necessary funds. How can Barney ever repay Fred?

The opportunity arises when Slate & Company conduct an amptitude test to give one lucky quary worker the chance to escape the doldrums of being a Bronto-crane operator and move into the job of vice president. Barney sees that Fred really wants this job and seeing that Freds answers won't get him the job, he switches the tests on him and sure enough Fred gets promoted.

But here's where the problems begin. Freds first order of business, to prove his loyalty, is to fire Barney, the person who scored the lowest on the test. From there it gets worse as Fred and Wilma live the high life while Barney and Betty slump deeper into debt. It's not until Fred realises that the reason a 'dummy' was selected out of the quary was to use them as the decoy for the evil executive (Kyle MacLachlan) to embezel money from the company.

A complex plot for the stone age but a simple plot for the Flintstones.

  Video
Contract

Another good transfer from Universal. Sharpness and detail are exceptional the lack of mpeg artifacting gives us an exceptionally clean transfer, suffice for some film noise every now and then.

The problem with the image is that it is a little too bright which lends to half decent black level at times and a slightly washed out image. Colors are evenly saturated yet you somehow cry out for them to be a little richer and deeper.

  Audio
Contract

The soundtrack certainly makes up for the not-so-great video. There are FIVE Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks on this disc with a further 2 stereo soundtracks to boot. I think that's the record so far.

The English 5.1 soundtrack literally rumbles into your room from the outset. There's no mistaking that your subwoofer will be suitably fed. Surround activity is always present and active. Dialogue is also fine and clear throughout the movie.

The interesting thing here is that the other 5.1 soundtracks are virtually identical bar the spoken language in the center channel.

One final mention is the updated theme song both in the original score and as performed by the BC52's. It's a big sounding score that gives the original cartoon a big screen grandness.

  Extras
Contract

Yet another loaded Collectors Edition so let's take a look at it all:

  • Discovering Bedrock - A ~45 minute documentary on the making of the film with interviews of both cast and crew. We are taken through the process of initial production and how director Brian Levant was chosen due to his exceptional collection of Flintstones memorabilia and his knowledge of almost every episode.
  • Audio Commentary - with director Brian Levant. Although very informative, Brian seems to try and fit as much as he can into every possible section of the movie. I don't think he took a breath for the entire 87 minutes. Try to relax next time Brian.
  • Teaser Trailer - A trailer with a follow the bouncing ball theme of the Flintstones theme song. At the end, Fred appears for a simple teaser look at John Goodman in costume.
  • Theatrical Trailer - A full trailer that showcases alot of the plot of the movie, almost all the sets and a few of the cgi tricks.
  • Production Photos - On set snaps of the crew in action. You have to let this one play through itself.
  • Art department concept sketches - Various concepts for the set decorations. You also have to let this one go it's own way, go it's own way...
  • Opening sequence comparison - A nice side by side view of the original cartoon opening against the live version opening. They pretty much got it perfect.
  • Production notes - nothing that hasn't already been said in the previous extras sections.
  • Cast & Crew notes - Your usual blurbs of all those involved.

  Overall  
Contract

As a movie, it's an ok job. If it were a 30 minute episode, it'd be pretty damn good but I think the big screen adaptation needed a slightly bigger plot to compliment the special effects and the sound.

I myself am a big fan of the cartoon, I just didn't feel this foray truly captured the feel I was hoping for.

(Warning: Steve's love for the cartoon has blinded him; this is one of the most excrutiating films I've ever been forced to sit through - Paul)


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=197
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      And I quote...
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    - Steve Koukoulas
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