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  • Widescreen 1.78:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital Surround
    English, French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese, Thai
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Music video
  • Filmographies


Warner Bros./Warner Home Video . R4 . COLOR . 106 mins . M15+ . PAL


The Golden-Oldie Ms Hawn is back on DVD with the 1986 comedy hit Wildcats. This may have more appeal to American audiences due to its theme of American football, but it's still a good laugh and hey we’re not laughing with Goldie Hawn, we’re laughing at her. Her comic timing is spot on for these ditzy roles, also seen in Protocol, Overboard and The Banger Sisters, and she does it so well! There isn’t anything deep, meaningful or challenging in this film – it’s just a 106 minute fest of fun, frivolity and flaxen hair where we have a mountain of laughs, some implausible instances and Goldie Hawn. So where’s the downside? It’s a comedy, and it aims low, but boy it hits well above the target!

"I called him a mother-f*cker which is logistically correct because I’m a mother..."

Molly McGrath (Hawn) has a dream – to coach football and get away from track and field. But there's one slight problem, she’s a woman. And equal opportunities weren’t as strong in 1986. Still, she gets the opportunity to go from her comfortable high school in the suburbs to the rough-n-tumble world of Central High in the middle of Chicago. Their football team is a joke, with casting including Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson, but also because they suck at football. These guys are shocked at the chance to have a female coach and make it abundantly clear that she is not welcome. But she’s the strong-minded type and won’t give up. However, as she gets in tune with the guys, her life starts falling apart with arguments with her ex-husband and some slight child custody issues. But we then follow her road down the football game as she takes on more than she bargained for. And just make sure you watch the end credits... foo-t-ball!


Wildcats is presented in a very-close-to-the-original-aspect of 1.78:1 (c’mon 1.85:1 and 1.78:1 are so close it's not funny) and is 16:9 enhanced. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Oh that’s right, it’s NTSC too. Ah well there we go, you can’t have everything.

On the topic of things we don’t get, nice colour is another thing, with some very vibrant hues, just like Napisan, but ones which are just too full-on for their own good. Reds nearly capture an effervescent pink tone, but still hold enough oomph to be classified red. Greens are lusciously green which puts the most verdant M&Ms to shame. Blues scream brightly from the sky, and add a rich touch to the feel of the image. But still, all of these thrown together form a fairly busy palette which is just too bright for its own good. Skin tones appear obscurely odd with a little too much life in them. Blacks are relatively solid, which provides a strong backing for the image.

The biggest gripe though would have to be the aliasing, which is surprisingly high for an anamorphic transfer. At times this vicious artefact tears through the image, but at others it subtly cracks away at the background. But still, whether you’re a perfectionist SOB or just a watch-for-entertainment viewer, it will annoy the heck out of you. Other compression-related artefacts such as minor blocking occur randomly and sporadically, with no apparent reason as to why this is the case. The stability of the image varies from time to time too, with some telecine wobble occurring here and there, notably during the closing credits.

Film artefacts attack the picture frequently throughout, with various levels of ferocity and a huge range of types in evidence, too. A fairly light wash of grain casually floats over the image, providing a slight lapse in the already-dim clarity, but it isn’t anything terribly distracting. This film is not meant to be a tech-fest of activity, and the transfer does the film justice, just not the DVD reviewers.


The two audio tracks are both Dolby Digital stereo tracks, both surround encoded. The two language options are English and French. The English is obviously the prime option for those of us who speak it, and is a good track, but not great.

The surround channel barely carry an echo of the front action, and really give very little to this soundtrack. Dialogue is driven from the centre channel with purpose and clarity – the big bonus for this soundtrack, especially given its source. Left and right action is severely limited to effects and the chiming of the score, which is a fairly poor effort given the names involved – Hawk Wolinksi and James Newton Howard. OK, the first is a no-name with credits next to two other films, but James Newton Howard has come up with some of the most touching and haunting scores of the past decades with films such as Signs, The Sixth Sense and Dinosaur, as well as a huge list of other credits where he has demonstrated his ability to add subtle tones to the film. Then why, oh why, does this film have a jazzy feel to the finale which just adds corn rather than class? Oh well, everyone makes mistakes at some point...


The 16:9 menus appear after sticking the disc in, and are static and fairly annoying to navigate, as the highlight icon isn’t the clearest. The extras page hosts three fairly uninteresting extra features including Filmographies which are simplistic and partial, as well as a 1:04 music video which looks like the training scene from the film, and a 1:28 theatrical trailer which doesn’t do the film any justice whatsoever. Hmm, thanks for trying, but NEXT!


Goldie Hawn fans leap at the chance to grab this comic flick on DVD... just like Goldie Hawn’s acting, it’s a no-brainer. The transfer is reasonable but nothing fantastic, and the extras package is pretty much a waste of space. But hey, at a bargain price you can’t really leave it alone. So do yourself a favour, and grab this if you can, even though it’s about American football, it still has some really good laughs in it.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=2659
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      And I quote...
    "Just like Goldie Hawn’s acting, it’s a no-brainer..."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Philips DVD 736K
    • TV:
          TEAC EU68-ST
    • Receiver:
          Sony HT-SL5
    • Speakers:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sony SS-CNP2
    • Surrounds:
          Sony SS-MSP2
    • Subwoofer:
          Sony SA-WMSP3
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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