HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, French, Dutch, Arabic, English - Hearing Impaired, Hindi
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer - The Sweetest Thing, Charlie's Angels, Mr. Deeds, Enough, Panic Room, My Best Friend's Wedding
  • Audio commentary - Roger Kumble, Cameron Diaz, Selma Blair, Christina Applegate and Jason Bateman
  • Featurette - 'A Legend Is Born:A Day In The Life Of Nancy M. Pimental’
  • Animated menus
  • Behind the scenes footage - 'Politically Erect'
  • 2 Storyboards - Comparisons with the final film edits of two key scenes
  • Web access
  • Filmographies

The Sweetest Thing

Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 87 mins . MA15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Righteo, lets start off with the ingredients for your night’s entertainment...

  1. The Sweetest Thing on DVD
  2. A group of friends
  3. A bottle of vodka (or beverage of your choice)
  4. A wickedly dirty sense of humour
  5. A brain capacity of 0.2%

Now, we have all that? OK, let’s go! When we say ‘mindless’ entertainment, we really really mean mindless. This is the sort of movie that you can watch without actively paying attention and one you can watch after a long hot day at work. Just sit down, drink up, chill out, and tune out. One way of looking at it is as a chick-flick version of American Pie.

At times the film really borders on the romantic comedy genre and steers away from the toilet, but its success (if you can call it that) is with its originality in the humour department. OK, we have had hair gel stunts, pie jokes, bachelor party deaths and of course “bungholio”, but nothing like this. These films have made it memorable because of their original content, rather than the rehashing of some been-there-done-that film. Here we have encounters with piercings, maggots, male toilets, female toilets, bikies, break ups, rebounds, weddings, puddles, penis size and placement as well as a movie montage. OK, it sounds like every other movie, but really, these are classic moments. Or maybe it just depends on your sense of humour...

Cameron Diaz (There’s Something About Mary, Charlie’s Angels and The Mask), Christina Applegate (Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and Married With Children) and Selma Blair (Cruel Intentions, Storytelling and Legally Blonde) take the reigns as the three female leads of The Sweetest Thing. No one could have pulled these roles off as well as these three have. Their idiocy, naivety and the simplicity of their lives is portrayed brilliantly, and at the risk of sounding like a chauvinistic pig, they are just so ditzy and blonde (hey, it's meant in a good way). Director Roger Kumble (Cruel Intentions) throws these girls head first down the sweetest road, with a hilarious result. Kumble's antics have given him a rich comedic style for his films which can also be seen in Cruel Intentions. Diaz and Applegate pull off the blonde airhead so well, and liven up the screen with their vivacious actions.

"Do we have time for a movie montage?"

The version of the film on DVD is the European theatrical one, which features some of the more 'intense' scenes, including “the song.” You can’t say anything else about that “song” without giving it away. But, for those so inclined it will have you in fits. Not to mention the extended opening sequence which is sure to gain a giggle.

The story focuses on Christina (Diaz), Courtney (Applegate) and Jane (Blair) who live in San Francisco and party every night. Now, keep in mind that they are not “looking for Mr. Right,” they are “looking for Mr. Right-Now.” So that is the girls in a nutshell. One night while trying to hook Jane up with someone, Christina pinches a guy (Peter, played by Thomas Jane) on the butt which then creates an argument between them, and they meet up later, and then once again. Ah, could this be Mr. Right? Meanwhile, Jane has found someone “interesting” to be with, and Courtney is off having a good time too. Anyway, it is leaked that Peter’s brother is getting married in Somerset. So what happens? A road trip! Courtney and Christina venture up to Somerset to find this Mr. Right. This is the general gist of the story, but any other details will give it away. So sit back, chill out, turn off and enjoy this deliciously dirty look at love.

  Video
Contract

The video is presented in the aspect of 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.

As we have come to expect from Columbia Tristar, the quality is quite high, yet sadly isn’t as nice as other transfers have been. And has anyone else noticed that the Sony Quality Centre logo is missing?

Now it’s let down by the presence of a fine grain over the entire image, similar to that seen recently in Panic Room, another Columbia release. This is more noticeable on a television than through a computer, and shows up more so in the darker scenes. The grain is then emphasised through fine compression artefacts which can be seen when watching the film on all types of systems. For the viewers out there who are able to just watch a DVD without looking at the transfer, this isn’t a problem, but for those who see the little bitty things, this is slightly obvious, yet not terribly annoying. OK, enough pedancy over the transfer, lets keep going...

The odd film artefact or two can be seen whizzing past, but nothing terribly distracting. Colours are bright and rich, yet slightly over-saturated. A few scenes really showcase the saturation levels, including inside the restaurant during the “song” and just before the roadside toilet sequence. Depending on your hardware, this can range from annoying to not noticeable. Some players tend to blur and bleed over-saturated colours (such as the Philips 736K), whereas other players leave a bright and vivid colour. Needless to say, they are still a tad overdone, but hold up intense and brilliant results. And thankfully (no bitching from this end) there is no sign of posterisation on the large blank areas. Blacks are fairly solid, with no low level noise whatsoever to whinge about. Shadow detail is clean and clear, yet some interior scenes can appear a tad murky.

The clarity of the image is superb, and the sharpness is so stunning that the poor Columbia woman could almost rip her dress (or is that a sheet?) up very easily on it. Every fine detail is mastered with such a precision, yet is only let down by the fine compression artefacts.

The two English subtitle streams, one for the hearing impaired, are quite accurate, yet the English ones have been simplified, and the English for the Hearing Impaired ones include every spoken word.

  Audio
Contract

There are three audio tracks on this disc, two in 5.1 Dolby Digital (one in English and the other in French), and a 2.0 audio commentary. The English 5.1 track was the prime listening option for this review.

Dialogue is crisp and clear throughout, with no sign of distortion. Synch is spot on, with no sign of any bad ADR. Wow, this is starting to sound good (yes, bad pun there), but wait, there’s more! The 5.1 action included for this track gives 5.1 tracks a bad name. The soundstage that is created is somewhat synthetic, and the surrounds are used briefly and sporadically to host the music and the occasional ambient effect. The front left and right channels carry the music, and the odd directional effect, and the subwoofer goes off every now and then, but nothing to write home about. It is hard to pinpoint exactly where this audio transfer has gone wrong, but it just doesn’t sound quite right.

The score by Edward Shearmur is suitable, but nothing as remarkable as Kumble’s first film Cruel Intentions. The soundtrack is comprised of a number of recent top 40 songs including You Got it Bad by Sisqo and Losing Lisa by Ben Folds, as well as some older classics such as Escape (The Pińa Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes.

  Extras
Contract

This diverse bunch of extra features are suitable and adequate, yet still more could have been included. The 16x9-enhanced menus look clean and clear, and are a breeze to navigate through. The extra features are divided into two sections, one called... wait for it... 'Extra Features', and the other 'Trailers'.

The Audio Commentary is your somewhat unorthodox type of commentary featuring the director, Roger Kumble, as well as some of the cast, Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, Selma Blair and Jason Bateman to be specific. Now this isn’t a techie commentary, far from it, but rather we hear about burps, burritos, cell phone messages, cantelope, M&Ms, Selma Blair’s dog and gas. Then they actually start to talk about the film. Well that is after the first five minutes where Applegate and Diaz are sitting there saying “what are we supposed to be doing?” The great part of this commentary is it tells you where the raunchier footage has been placed.

A Day in the Life of Nancy M. Pimental is a 20-minute featurette about the writing of The Sweetest Thing. This is an interesting and clever approach to the subject matter, as it stays in line with the frivolity of the feature. It is a tad scary though – does she really do what she says, or does she just say she does in a serious sarcastic way? It is presented in the 1.33:1 aspect, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Politically Erect is an eight-minute featurette about the making of The Sweetest Thing. Now this is your usual Columbia promotional stuff, and doesn’t hold anything really technical, but has some interviews and behind the scenes footage. Yahoo. Not.

The Storyboard Comparisons are presented in a 1.33:1 aspect with 2.0 audio. The top half of the screen is the storyboard and the bottom half is the actual filmed version. There are for two scenes – the motorcycle one (1:42), and the ‘bird’ one (1:44). These would be better with a commentary from Kumble, or an introduction or something of the sort.

The Filmographies are of the standard and brief variety, with very little information apart from a listing of other films. These are for Roger Kumble (the director), Nancy M. Pimental (the writer), Cameron Diaz (two pages), Christina Applegate (two pages), Selma Blair (two pages) and Thomas Jane (two pages).

The trailers are the stock-standard advertising spots from Columbia Tristar which are for The Sweetest Thing (1:13, with 5.1, and 16x9), Charlie’s Angels (2:03, with 5.1, and not 16x9), Mr. Deeds (2:00, with 5.1, 16x9 and a bad case of telecine wobble), Enough (1:46, with 5.1, and 16x9), Panic Room (2:21, with 5.1, and 16x9) and My Best Friend’s Wedding (2:19, with 2.0 surround, and 16x9).

  Overall  
Contract

For a night of mindless (no, really mindless) entertainment, grab this one. The video transfer is of a high standard, yet is let down by some small flaws, and the audio is adequate but doesn’t sound quite right. The extra features are reasonable but nothing too crash hot – what about the bloopers or deleted scenes? Anyway, grab this one, a bottle of vodka, and a group of friends for a great night’s entertainment.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2212
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   
      And I quote...
    "...Righteo, lets start off with the ingredients for your night’s entertainment: The Sweetest Thing on DVD, a group of friends, a bottle of vodka (or beverage of your choice), a wickedly dirty sense of humour and a brain capacity of 0.2%..."
    - 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
      Recent Reviews:
    by Martin Friedel

    One Perfect Day
    "One Perfect Day leaps off the screen with vibrancy, life and emotion, all wrapped up with a slick soundtrack and effervescent editing..."

    Gadjo Dilo
    "...even at 97 minutes, Gadjo Dilo or The Crazy Stranger led to “The Slightly Bored Reviewer”..."

    The Craic
    "This Craic is as unfunny as a plumber’s butt crack, with a transfer that’s just as pretty too..."

    How to Deal
    "...How To Deal is still a little bit shallow in places, but ultimately leaves you with more of a “huh?” sensation..."

    Drumline
    "Dit doo wah!"

      Related Links
      None listed

     

    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright © DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5   
    rss