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DVD Reviews

HTF REVIEW: Memoirs Of An Invisible Man



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#1 of 22 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted August 17 2003 - 04:29 AM

Posted Image

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
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#2 of 22 OFFLINE   Adam_WM

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Posted August 17 2003 - 04:43 AM

Good review, but I'll pass.
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#3 of 22 OFFLINE   James L White

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Posted August 17 2003 - 04:57 AM

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. Posted Image
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#4 of 22 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted August 17 2003 - 04:00 PM

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.Posted Image
Recently watched- The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones, Captain America: The Winter Soldier 3D, Phantasm II, Star Trek: Season 1, The Expendables 3, The Monuments Men, Oculus, The Sessions, A Walk Among The Tombstones, Commando, Goon, Michael Jackson's This Is It, American Reunion, Platoon, American Wedding, American Pie 2

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#5 of 22 OFFLINE   Nicholas Vargo

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Posted August 17 2003 - 07:26 PM

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.
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#6 of 22 OFFLINE   Damin J Toell

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Posted August 17 2003 - 07:42 PM

Quote:
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.


I don't understand. Was it a 2.0 surround track? If so, how did checking the surrounds lead to you to concluding that the surround info was discrete? If it was a 2.0 track, the surround info was matrixed, not discrete.

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#7 of 22 OFFLINE   Tino

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Posted August 17 2003 - 09:44 PM

I was about to ask the same question Damin asked. What did your receiver indicate?
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#8 of 22 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted August 18 2003 - 02:55 AM

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.
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#9 of 22 OFFLINE   Herb Kane

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Posted August 18 2003 - 05:47 AM

Nicholas:

Quote:
Herb, I liked your review a lot. The only problem is you missed a special feature.


Thank you for the kind words.

One point I should clarify. Easter eggs are a pet peeve of mine. Its difficult enough to wade through much of the "crap" that is included on a regular menu in the special features section.... much less having to search it out. I resent wasting my time having to do so.

I have over 120 movies presently in my library (not including any reviews) that have yet to be watched and when I do get to go in and spend two hours watching something I've wanted to see for some time, I cherish those two hours.

I realize my opinion may differ from others, but that's how I feel.

Herb.
My Top 25 Noirs:

25. 711 Ocean Drive (1950), 24. Odds Against Tomorrow (1959), 23. Desperate (1947), 22. Pushover (1954), 21. The Blue Dahlia (1946), 20. The File on Thelma Jordon (1949), 19. He Ran All the Way (1951), 18. The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 17. The Killing (1956), 16. I Walk Alone (1948),...

#10 of 22 OFFLINE   Andrew Pierce

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Posted August 19 2003 - 03:35 AM

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 of 22 OFFLINE   Eric F

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Posted August 19 2003 - 03:55 AM

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 of 22 OFFLINE   Michael Allred

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Posted August 19 2003 - 07:52 AM

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

#13 of 22 OFFLINE   Chet_F

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Posted August 19 2003 - 09:03 AM

"2.35:1 Enhanced Letterbox Widescreen"

I would hate to assume that means anamorphic when it is not. Anyone?
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#14 of 22 OFFLINE   Walt Riarson

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Posted August 19 2003 - 04:35 PM

No HBO First Look included. Posted Image Disappointing.

Ah well. I shall pick it up, nonetheless.

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#15 of 22 OFFLINE   Andrew Bunk

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Posted August 19 2003 - 06:27 PM

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!
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#16 of 22 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted August 20 2003 - 04:11 AM

Quote:
Easter eggs are a pet peeve of mine. Its difficult enough to wade through much of the "crap" that is included on a regular menu in the special features section.... much less having to search it out. I resent wasting my time having to do so.

I have over 120 movies presently in my library (not including any reviews) that have yet to be watched and when I do get to go in and spend two hours watching something I've wanted to see for some time, I cherish those two hours.

I realize my opinion may differ from others, but that's how I feel.

Herb.


Posted Image

thanks for the review.
i just bought the book and am looking forward to seeing the movie again for the first time since i saw it at the movies 11 years ago.
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#17 of 22 OFFLINE   BillyH

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Posted August 20 2003 - 09:14 AM

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 of 22 OFFLINE   Bob Muir

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Posted August 20 2003 - 10:14 AM

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!
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#19 of 22 ONLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted August 21 2003 - 09:15 AM

Quote:
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!


Invisibility creates a special problem for a visual medium. In the book, the author can tell us the invisible man is angry and shocked. How does a director do that? At some point we have to see his feelings.

I do agree, that while this is a fun movie, it doesn't measure up to the book. I think Chevy Chase was miscast in this role. If a comic actor was required, Bill Murray would have been better. I would have liked to have "seen" a dramatic actor in the role. Not sure who, though.

Time for a remake, isn't it?

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#20 of 22 OFFLINE   John_RK

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Posted August 21 2003 - 12:59 PM

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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