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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
    English - Hearing Impaired
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Dolby Digital trailer

Daddy & Them

Roadshow Entertainment/Roadshow Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 97 mins . M15+ . PAL


There’s a particular school of thought that claims you should write about what you know. Let's see now, in Daddy & Them Billy Bob Thornton has concocted a tale about a redneck family…

Claude (Billy Bob) and Ruby (Laura Dern) call each other “sugar”, “baby” and “honey” so often that hypoglycaemia can’t be too far from a knockin’. Despite such rampant cute-itudes, however, their marriage is a tumultuous and volatile one, fuelled with jealousies from Ruby not least of all because hubby once dated her older sister, Rose. That Claude’s family haven’t quite got to grips with the fact that Rose is out and Ruby’s in is not exactly helping, either. It’s all exacerbated upon a family call to arms, as Uncle Hazel has darn gone and got himself arrested and plonked in the slammer for armed robbery (or attempted murder - what’s the difference?). Claude and Ruby make the pilgrimage home to Little Rock, Arkansas and find things much as they left it – as mad as a trailer full off pissed off things.

"Folks are messed up these days."

From Ruby’s out-there mother to Claude’s downtrodden one, the head of the family in O.T. to a bookwormish brother and Brenda Blethyn slumming it (she sure looks English!), this is one whacked out family for sure, but there is an undeniable bond holding them together as the issue of Uncle Hazel’s incarceration vanishes in a cavalcade of drinking, car crashes, moonlight bonks and psychology. Neatly directed by Billy Bob and with sometimes surprisingly engaging performances from same as well as the likes of Andy Griffith and Kelly Preston, not to mention an hilarious cameo from the unlikely pair of Jamie Lee Curtis and Ben Affleck as lawyers, Daddy & Them is the filmic equivalent of an Aero bar. It’s the bubbles of nothing that make it something.


Moseying onto this new fangled DeeVeeDee disc thing in an anamorphisticated 1.85:1 ratio, this here fillum sure looks purty. For all the grief Thornton gets for his past, this goes to show that as well as being an accomplished actor and reasonable writer, he sure knows how to tell a director of photography where to point that camera thing at.

The almost blindingly sunny Arkansas landscapes jump off the screen, while their antitheses in the many dark scenes included still manage to deliver decent detail. Some will notice the odd speckle here or there, and unfortunately there are a couple of instances of extreme shimmer, but for a low budget little thang this looks pretty peachy all up.


When it comes to Dolby Digital audio, this here disc’s got both kinds, 2.0 and 5.1! There’s actually not a lot of extra mischief for the 5.1 to get up to, although surrounds are used to bolster Marty Stuart’s score, one which not surprisingly delves heavily into the twang side of things, but with a few bluesier numbers to liven things up a bit for those whose teeth uncontrollably gnash at the sound of a slide guitar. Meanwhile, the odd bang and thump lets us know the subwoofwoof hasn’t gone belly up. A very talkative affair, the dialogue is delivered quite clearly, although the many heavy Southern accents could prove a challenge for many - thank heaven for those subtitles then.


A 1:40 trailer nicely alludes to what we’re in for without going and spoiling stuff and all, but that’s about it. Well, unless you get all excited-up at seeing that Dolby Train trailer agin.


The idea of a hillbilly romantic comedy probably doesn’t sound particularly inviting, however Daddy & Them has a certain sneakiness about it that leaves a somewhat endearing feeling when all is said and done. It’s certainly no classic, however fans of Billy Bob will definitely want to check it out, while those who’ve covered the blockbuster shelf at their local vid emporium and have a hankerin’ for something different may just get a kick out of it.

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      And I quote...
    "The filmic equivalent of an Aero bar..."
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-466-K
    • TV:
          Loewe Xelos 5381ZW 81cm 100Hz
    • Receiver:
          Onkyo TX-DS494
    • Speakers:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse RBS662
    • Centre Speaker:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECC442
    • Surrounds:
          DB Dynamics Eclipse ECR042
    • Subwoofer:
          DTX Digital 4.8
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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