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DVD Review HTF REVIEW: Memoirs Of An Invisible Man

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Herb Kane, Aug 17, 2003.

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  1. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Memoirs Of An Invisible Man





    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Year: 1992
    Rated: PG 13
    Film Length: 99 Mins
    Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Enhanced Letterbox Widescreen
    Audio: DD Surround Stereo
    Subtitles: English, French & Spanish





    The Feature:
    Ever wonder what it would be like to be invisible…? I’m sure there’s times when we’d like to give it a shot! It would be great don’t you think? You could do anything you wanted and not be seen. However, there is a flipside to that. No one can see you so it’s not going to be easy taking your kids to the park or doing the other daily things we take for granted. Ok, well maybe I’d still like to try it for just a day…….

    Directed by John Carpenter, Memoirs Of An Invisible Man is the story of Nick Halloway (Chevy Chase) who is a financial analyst and who becomes invisible due to a freak accident at a nuclear facility while taking a brief nap in a sauna while nursing a nasty hangover.

    The story begins with Nick who is in the process of videotaping his story wanting it documented, while doing so, he takes us back through the story giving us an account of the events as they transpired.

    After the CIA become aware of the incident, Agent David Jenkins (played by Sam Neill) is in hot pursuit of Halloway wanting to get their hands on him as a study or is it recruitment…? Alice Monroe (played by Daryl Hannah) is a documentary filmmaker and also plays the part of Nick’s love interest.

    Having never seen the movie prior to my review, I was expecting a total comedy (Chase typecast, I guess). However, I was pleasantly surprised with a somewhat dramatic role played by Chase… with an occasional laugh. Special effects here are most impressive – especially considering the film is 11 years old.



    Video:
    In a word… WOW! This transfer looks like something that was released from a 2003 film -- never mind one from 11 years ago. The image was incredibly detailed and sharp. Black levels were exceptional and contrast was excellent.

    Colors and skin tones are a big issue for me personally when viewing (probably my main viewing criteria – so you’ll always hear a comment or two about colors). Colors in this movie were exceptional, they were very vibrant however, not “digital or video” looking… just right. Skin tones looked perfect. There were a couple of beach scenes throughout the movie which were breathtaking.

    I could find no evidence of any EE, dirt or noise.

    My only criticisms and they are very minute…during the opening scene, when Nick starts to tell his story from San Francisco, the image appeared to be slightly grainy – very slight. I don’t know why but it seems more and more common for newer releases that the first couple of opening scenes are dirty or grainy… this one is very slight.

    Very impressive.



    Audio:
    Although the listing is “DD Surround Stereo”, I checked the surrounds during several of the action scenes and much of the surround info was discrete. There was no LFE info but it was as close to a 5.0 track (without being called 5.0), than you can get. Having said that, it wasn’t an overly active surround track. There are several action scenes during the chase with helicopters etc, and the surround info is added tactfully. There is even a helicopter scene at the end where we get an almost 360 degree pan.

    Dialogue was exceptionally clear with no signs of any hiss or noise whatsoever. Directionality was used on a frequent basis (with Nick trying to prove his “invisibleness”) and there are several scenes where clearly the right or left side is dominant.

    This is by no means a reference track – not even close. I was simply impressed by getting more than I bargained for with a listing of a “DD Surround” track.



    Special Features:
    Unfortunately there isn’t much in the way of extras on this disc. The three included are:

    How To Become Invisible – This is a short documentary with those involved from ILM discussing the optical/digital techniques used for the special effects on this film. It is rather short but is informative. Duration: 4 mins. I’ll take a commentary with substance (even if it is only 4 minutes long) over one that’s 60 minutes of fluff, any day of the week.

    Outtakes – Merely 5 outtakes which add very little to the disc. Duration: 4 mins.

    Cast & Crew – Simply a text listing of all the major characters and their role in the film.



    Final Thoughts:
    I often recall reading Ron’s reviews and remembering him commenting about reviewing movies and it allowing him the opportunity to see a movie that he might otherwise not have seen. I find myself in that situation with this movie. I have never seen it and probably would not have picked it, but I’m glad I did. It was an entertaining movie and proved that Chevy Chase didn’t need a station wagon filled with luggage to be successful. The video is top shelf and the audio is, well… interesting.

    Although the extras are rather sparse, if you’re a fan of Chevy or the film, I would certainly give this one a shot.




    Release Date: August 19th, 2003
     
  2. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Well-Known Member

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    Good review, but I'll pass.
     
  3. James L White

    James L White Well-Known Member

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    great review, I love this movie, Chevy's most underrated film, the lack of extras means nothing to me, I'm thrilled to hear the a/v is great, I'm looking forward to seeing it in WS for the first time. [​IMG]
     
  4. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Well-Known Member

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    Nice review Herb.......I haven't seen this since it's original release. I remember liking it a lot. I'll definitely pick this up.[​IMG]
     
  5. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Well-Known Member

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    Herb, I liked your review a lot. The only problem is you missed a special feature. It's an easter egg. When I got my copy early, I posted my thoughts on it in the forum asking about reviews for the DVD, and it was in that thread where I mentioned it.

    To find the easter egg, go into the special features menu and hit the left button. That will highlight Chevy Chase's head. Click it and you will see a 1-minute sequence of behind-the-scenes footage on one of the sequences during the movie. It shows John Carpenter hard at work directing Chevy Chase and a number of extras. See it for yourself.
     
  6. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Well-Known Member

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  7. Tino

    Tino Premium
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    I was about to ask the same question Damin asked. What did your receiver indicate?
     
  8. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Well-Known Member

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    Damin... poor choice of wording on my part. The disc itself was indeed flagged 2.0 and upon checking the surrounds, you were certainly left with the impression the info was discrete... including a 360 degree pan during a helicopter scene. I was merely trying to convey the mix is more than you usually get for a 2.0 soundtrack.

    Herb.
     
  9. Herb Kane

    Herb Kane Well-Known Member

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    Nicholas:

     
  10. Andrew Pierce

    Andrew Pierce Well-Known Member

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    Were you using Dolby ProLogic II or DTS Neo 6 or Logic 7? You know, one of those 2.0->multichannel surround modes? Because if it is 2.0 Dolby Surround the surrounds are not 'discrete' they are mono. And even if you were using PLII or such to decode it into a 5.1 mix, it's still not discrete, it's matrixed. The term discrete doesn't have anything to do with what the speakers are doing, it refers to the way the sound is encoded onto the disc.
     
  11. Eric F

    Eric F Well-Known Member

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    This movie could have been so good. The book is excellent- the movie isn't much like it. What a shame.

    Still a fun little flick.
     
  12. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Well-Known Member

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    Got my copy today! Can't wait to finally see it in widescreen!
     
  13. Chet_F

    Chet_F Well-Known Member

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    "2.35:1 Enhanced Letterbox Widescreen"

    I would hate to assume that means anamorphic when it is not. Anyone?
     
  14. Walt Riarson

    Walt Riarson Well-Known Member

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    No HBO First Look included. [​IMG] Disappointing.

    Ah well. I shall pick it up, nonetheless.
     
  15. Andrew Bunk

    Andrew Bunk Well-Known Member

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    Just watched this tonight-haven't seen it in a LONG time.

    Great flick-forgot how much I liked it! The featurette is only a few minutes long, but it's interesting to be reminded that back in '92 this this movie was right at the time when optical effects were giving way to digital.

    Glad I bought it!
     
  16. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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  17. BillyH

    BillyH Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with Eric, the movie is okay but check out the book. It has to be one of my all time favorites. I think I would have enjoyed the movie more if I had seen it first before I had read the book. I had such an experience with the movie," Mellenium" I loved the movie then read Varleys book and was just blown away! Now I appreciate both of the mediums.
     
  18. Bob Muir

    Bob Muir Member

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    I agree, the book was OUTSTANDING!!!

    IMO, the movie would have been much better if Mr. Chase had been invisible. But nooooo, the studio (or Chevy) felt they just *had* to have his puss in nearly every scene. He's supposed to be invisible, but we keep seeing him everywhere!
     
  19. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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  20. John_RK

    John_RK Member

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    At the risk of piling on, I'll agree with those who think the film was disappointing. The book was incredible, but the film alters the entire tone of the story.

    Thus, no DVD for me, but I do think I may read the book again. It's that good.
     

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