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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • German: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Dutch: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, German, Dutch
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer

Paulie

Dreamworks/Dreamworks . R4 . COLOR . 98 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Way back in the mists of time, Big Steve and I joked about this film. Obviously I'd have to watch it, Steve laughed, as I shared the same name as the main character.

Yes, I thought, and what will you say when they release Steve K Meets The Wiggles?

Fortunately the disc wasn't too painful at all, even though I'm hardly the targeted audience demographic, being a bitter, twisted old man. I don't have any children, so I've invented some just for this review. I've named them Wootles, Bratwurst and Flipsy-Dink, which should convince my loving girlfriend that I must never be permitted to reproduce.

The film itself is an enjoyable enough road movie involving a green parrot named Paulie. He talks. Exactly why is not explained, but that's beside the point. He talks, and he has adventures, and there's this bad scientist, and it was sad when the old lady died, and I was happy when the parrot met its owner again. Christians like this film.

"Up yours!"

Tony Shalhoub's performance (as a surprisingly uncheesy Russian janitor, Misha) leads me to believe that he may be the next Fred Ward. After all, it's always good to carry a spare. Also making a welcome appearance is Mr. Cheech Marin, though sadly making no pussy speeches this time...

  Video
Contract

Oh, come on. What am I supposed to say about a Dreamworks transfer? They cheat! They use lots of bandwidth and dual layers to keep the video looking good! Certainly the picture is detailed enough to enjoy the superb CGI and animatronic work throughout the picture; I must admit I didn't actually notice any manipulation taking place while watching, though subconsciously I knew I couldn't be watching a real talking parrot.

Maybe I should just skip the video part and discuss my three beautiful children? I think Wootles is my favourite. Take it as a given that the disc looks terrific - only a mid-scene layer change spoils the score.

  Audio
Contract

No demo disc, this one. Strangely, it's available as a DTS disc in the States, maintaining the 'only release films that Paul won't want in our format' policy that's been working so stunningly for the DTS company so far.

Dialogue is generally natural and well integrated (except for the obviously dubbed voice of the parrot), and the score comes across well. Surround usage is decent, if unobtrusive, though I don't think the kiddies will care one way or the other. The bird! See! It talks!

  Extras
Contract

Consider the trailer. Go on, absorb its majesty.

Fascinating, no?

  Overall  
Contract

Okay, so I didn't hate this film. It's no classic, but it's well put together and a hell of a lot better than it could have been. I guess it's somewhere behind Babe, and ahead of some other talking-animal film I haven't come across yet.

You work it out. I'm off to watch Taxi Driver. No, Wootles, you can't watch. Daddy's absorbing evil.


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      And I quote...
    "The bird! It talks!"
    - Paul Dossett
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Rom:
          Pioneer 103(s)
    • MPEG Card:
          RealMagic Hollywood Plus
    • TV:
          Mitsubishi Diva 33
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha DSP-A1
    • Speakers:
          Richter Excalibur
    • Centre Speaker:
          Richter Unicorn
    • Surrounds:
          Richter Hydras
    • Audio Cables:
          Monster RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Monster s-video
      Recent Reviews:
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