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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 66:09)
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
    English, Spanish, English - Hearing Impaired, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  • 2 Music video

Sister Act

Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 96 mins . PG . PAL


Who has never seen Sister Act? Thought so. It’s got:

  1. Whoopi Goldberg in it – a big thumbs up there...
  2. Maggie Smith – her comic timing is better than her dramatic timing...
  3. Musical Numbers – hey, they’re a lot of fun!
  4. Kathy Najimy – she’s just a riot in herself.
  5. Originality... say it with me now all you filmmakers, O-R-I-G-I-N-A-L-I-T-Y!
  6. Need we go on?

Anyhoo, you should have the gist by now. This is just one hellova (oops Christ, that can’t be said about this movie, oh shoot, neither can ‘Christ’... shutting up now) movie, which is truly original, funny, witty, clever and - most importantly - entertaining. As mentioned above, it has Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Smith and Kathy Najimy as well as Harvey Keitel. Now let’s not forget the musical numbers which pose a lot of fun for audiences everywhere, both young and old.

"It’s better than ice cream… it’s better than springtime... it’s better than sex (gasp!) ...well, so I’ve heard."

Deloris (Goldberg) is working as a lounge singer in Reno and is seeing a married man, Vince LaRocca (with a name like that, it has to be Harvey Keitel). LaRocca is a mobster and Deloris is a witness to the execution of one of LaRocca’s men by Vince. Naturally she runs to the police, and in turn LaRocca puts a price on Deloris’ head. So what do the police do? They hide her, in the only place they consider she could never be found – a convent. After being introduced into the convent, Deloris, now Sister Mary Clarance, must learn new habits as well as wearing them (hahaha, yes, seriously sad pun intended). But Sister Mary Clarance also brings life into the convent, which is close to closing down due to a lack of interest from the public. After failing at being a nun, she is assigned to one task, and one task alone – the choir. But hey, this is no ordinary choir, it’s a riot! Being the musical talent that she is (lounge singer; talent? – oh well), she breathes new life into the group and actually makes them a choir using those simple techniques and rules used for such assemblages all around the world. As well as introducing real music to the church, she also draws the other sisters out of the convent and into the neighbourhood to help with the failing social system around them. But, as you would guess, LaRocca finds Deloris’ whereabouts, kidnaps her and takes her back to Reno for a casino-filled, light-studded, money-wasting, bright-coloured, sister-chasing, nun-rescuing finale in the Moonlight Lounge.


The video is presented in the original theatrical aspect of 1.85:1, but it is not anamorphically enhanced.

Colours are lush and plentiful, well at least as lush as they can be in a convent. Blacks are solid, and whites are creamy and clear. Shadow detail is remarkably good, for the small level of evilly dark scenes that are in the film. The skin tones are realistic and lifelike, and are nicely saturated.

There are the odd few film artefacts that go by, but still we prayed to God for long enough, and these are not irritating at all. There is a slight grain over the entire picture, but really it's barely visible. At times some slight compression artefacts can be seen on the solid backgrounds, but there's nothing large or overly blocky.

The downside of the transfer is the presence of aliasing, which is primarily due to the lack of 16x9 enhancement. This is quite irritating at times, and would make the perfect drinking game – let’s count the steps! Some slight telecine wobble can be seen, yet this isn’t distracting, rather just a point of fact.

Being a dual-layered disc, a layer change occurs at 66:09, and it's only vaguely noticeable. Subtitles have been included for the English, Spanish, Norwegian, Danish and Finnish languages. The English titles are available in two formats, one for the Hearing Impaired, and they're all clear to read. They are nearly word-for-word perfect to the dialogue, yet at times appear a tad ahead of the dialogue, making it possible for you to read the subtitles, wait a second, and then hear it being said.


We have two audio tracks on this disc – an English 5.1 and a Spanish 5.1. Originally this film was released to theatres with a stereo soundtrack. Why couldn’t they stick to a good thing?

The 5.1 remix sounds very simulated, with all action, effects and dialogue coming from the centre speaker, and the front left and right and rear left and right being used only to carry the score, and nothing else. The surrounds at times are more of a distraction than a help, as the soundstage that is created is very hollow and the surround channels vary in volumes.

Dialogue is clear, however, and is audible throughout the entire movie. The subwoofer barely raises its head, in fact just enough to support the score a little bit.

The musical numbers are boppy, lively, active and exciting, making for an enjoyable aural experience. Sister Mary Clarance’s oddball choir styles make for an entertaining ride.


Sadly we are only given 1.33:1 menus and two music videos, which run for 4:00 and 2:59 minutes respectively. These videos are If My Sister’s in Trouble by Lady Soul and I Will Follow Him by Deloris and the Sisters.


Sister Act is a classic movie, even better the umpteenth time around. It’s just a pity about the lack of 16x9 enhancement, and the poor 5.1 remix and the lack of extras... Well, the movie is still a lot of fun, and being released at a budget price it should be in everyone’s collection.

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      And I quote...
    "OK, if you’re a nun, and you’re in a PG movie, can you say ‘shit’?"
    - 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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