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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • Dual Sided
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • French: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono
  • German: Dolby Digital Mono
  • Italian: Dolby Digital Mono
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Dutch, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, German - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer

Overboard

MGM/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 112 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

OK, another '80s amnesiac film. With the recent release of Desperately Seeking Susan, featuring the same well-loved plot device, it's like some bizarre pre-promotion campaign for the forthcoming Radiohead album (which is actually called Amnesiac...)

So, from the same director as the likes of Beaches, Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride (can you see a pattern forming?), here's the story of a snooty, spoilt, utterly pretentious pain in the 'ass' rich bitch named Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn), the type who wears monogrammed knickers and whose biggest life problem to face is how to avoid getting gnats stuck in her wet nail polish. Whilst the yacht she and her pompous hubby swan about on is in dock for repairs, she decides that her closet is in urgent need of a makeover, so she calls in carpenter Dean Proffitt (Kurt Russell) for the job.

Once the work is complete she decides not to pay, deeming the job "unacceptable" (due to the choice of wood), then pushes Dean overboard and hightails it out of there. However, after klutzily falling overboard herself later that night and then being discovered suffering from amnesia, and subsequently remaining unclaimed by her husband who sees a handy opportunity for escape (and in this case nobody could blame the guy), Dean sees his chance to exact some quite deserved revenge.

Claiming Joanna as his wife, Annie, he takes her back to his hovel complete with his four spawn of Satan masquerading as young boys, and essentially gets her waiting on them all hand and foot in the belief that she is their wife and mother (respectively). Naturally it evolves, as these tales do, into a love story between Kurt and Goldie, the type we've seen a thousand times before but we still fall for that is likely to remain a Hollywood staple for many a year to come.

  Video
Contract

Being a non-blockbuster film from the wilds of 1987 I never expected this to look utterly amazing. It's probably just as well, because it doesn't. Some sections are considerably grainy, whilst white speckles are regular invaders throughout the entire feature. I also noticed quite a few shimmery effects on some of the more finely detailed scenes, good examples of which can be found... if you watch the disc.

The film is presented in 1.85:1 ratio, however does not appear to be 16x9 enhanced. What is it with films featuring boats (be they yachts as here, or huge liners that enjoy nuzzling up to icebergs) and a lack of this? It should be a standard feature by now - even if some of us may never afford a telly to support it.

Once again taking into consideration the age of the film, the colour levels are quite acceptable, whilst the layer change comes in the middle of a still section so isnít too invasive.

  Audio
Contract

There's no whiz-bang sound to look forward to here, but at least it's in stereo. Surround activity is mostly minimal, save for some sections of the score and a bit of ambience.

Speaking of the score, it is an Alan Silvestri number that is SO '80s it borders on comedy. Full of cheesy DX7 bass lines, the likes of which surely will NEVER return to fashion (still, that's what we said about flares) it is a truly awful Miami Vice-era piece of plop that is scarcely fit for human consumption. To add to this deadly cocktail is the scourge of the modern day film - a closing credits song by Randy Newman. Considering the amount of soundtrack work he gets he surely must have a lot of friends in Hollywood, as his compositions never even veer anywhere even vaguely close to the interest level of say, ooh, collecting and cataloguing gingham tea towels.

  Extras
Contract

Hold on to your hats folks, for the static and silentô menu allows you access to... a cinematic trailer!

Hopefully that has you enthused, because there isnít anything else on offer here, save for more available languages (both in audio and subtitled) than they're likely to have interpreters for at the United Nations.

  Overall  
Contract

You know that block of cheese that sits festering in your fridge growing mould, but if you judiciously cut a few bits off here and there it's perfectly acceptable? That's much how I see this film.

Whilst never destined to be a classic there's quite some fun to be had in a harmless, occasional giggle, throwaway, no-brainer fashion - dependent of course upon your ability to stomach the Kurt and Goldie show, which mercifully isnít too hard to do in this instance.

In all Overboard is not the type of film that I'd return to again and again, but was a fun night's distraction. If you already know that you love the film then naturally it's well worth a purchase - I somehow doubt it will ever be re-released in a 'collectors edition'.

Alternatively, if you're after some frothy and light family entertainment one night it may very well be worth considering for a quick rent - and at least there are no silly little poodles to be seen, which is always a blessing when confronted with a film incorporating a character such as Goldie's here.


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      And I quote...
    "Quite some fun to be had in a harmless, occasional giggle, throwaway, no-brainer fashion..."
    - Amy Flower
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-535
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Home Built
    • Surrounds:
          No Name
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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