Release Date: March 06, 2007
Film Rating: /
Starring: Robert Carlyle (Gaz), Mark Addy (Dave), William Snape (Nathan), Steve Huison (Lomper), Tom Wilkinson (Gerald), Paul Barber (Horse)
Written by: Simon Beaufoy
Directed by: Peter Cattaneo
Six men. With nothing to lose. Who dare to go…
Sheffield, England was once booming with the sounds manufacturing. It was the heart of the steel industry in England employing thousands of people. But as the industrial sector became more efficient layoffs began dwindling the steel workers down to a mere few. Unemployment exploded and depression among the town set in.
Gaz is one of many workers who are unemployed. He is left fending for himself in many ways; his family is in shambles as he fights for custody of his son from his estranged wife. There are other men in town who suffer from similar ordeals and after he happens across a show of male strippers, he convinces a few to join him in planning a stripping event for the ladies in town. These aren’t your buff gentlemen either; they are rather average folk. The men decide that this is the challenge to improve their lives and skinniness, beer guts, and hairy chests won’t be enough to stop them from going all the way – baring the full Monty.
This is an excellent comedy-drama with very believable characters. We are sympathetic to them. I must agree with the commentary on this disc; it’s written well enough to make you laugh throughout the picture and then want to cry for them at their triumphant finale. It’s truly a tale of overcoming grief while on the path to success.
VIDEO QUALITY: 2.5/5
Enhanced for widescreen televisions and properly framed and centered at 1.85:1, the video quality is not acceptable by today’s standards. Many artefacts exist on the print keeping it from looking clean and unobstructed. Scratches plague it and black specs are riddled over the image for a truly disappointing presentation. Edge enhancement is quite severe too and seems to be on the digital intermediate rather than applied specifically for this DVD. This gives the picture a brash look rather than exhibiting natural detail. Film grain can also suffer from looking artificial rather than natural.
The rest of the image is satisfactory offering somewhat saturated colours but is more on par with the colour tone of watching British shows on television. Contrast is fine and shadow detail doesn’t seem to suffer much. The film is mostly in well-lit surroundings so the latter is less of an issue. I don’t have a copy of the previous DVD so I can’t compare them. Based on the quality this incarnate release, I suspect they are identical.
AUDIO QUALITY: 2.5/5
Like the video, the audio is no winner. The sound is extremely sibilant and discomforting. The dialogue suffers greatly from this so those of you with metal-dome tweeters are in for a nasty treat. For the most part, dialogue is intelligible but could be recorded better. Is it the original dialogue recording or this final mix? Personally, I think the latter.
Depth is lacking and sounds more slapped together rather than recorded with some spacious intent. The soundtrack is dialogue driven and the soundtrack is primarily up front. I can’t recall any discrete sound effects although a little sound must have been creeping through at times to keep my surround amp from auto shut-off. Most of the time surround channels were 100% silent (I had my ear right up to them). I think some creative opportunity was missed for a more immersive experience especially given the film’s wonderful popular music soundtrack.
LFE is limited to the strip scenes at the beginning and end of the film. Bass in the front channels is also very limited (hence for the soundtrack sounding so bright). This soundtrack could definitely use a new mix or at least some re-equalization for a home theatre environment.
This edition features four English audio options. Three of them feature several lines dubbed for American audiences and one Dolby 2.0 Surround option has the original U.K. dialogue. Honestly, the U.K. surround option is probably the way to go. Engaging Dolby Pro-Logic II will give you a bit more surround presence and not a lot of resolution will be sacrificed. The multi-channel mix as I mentioned isn’t that much more impressive. The differences between DTS and Dolby Digital encodings are audible, although they can’t be changed on the fly. The major difference is with that high-frequency noise emitting around the dialogue in the center channel; while the Dolby Digital encoding retains the highest frequencies a bit better, it’s missing a tonne of information just below that and is noticeable on the DTS encoding. The noise is actually more unbearable on the DTS encoding as it comes across as a fluttering mess of high frequency. I’ve heard this and commented on this with many DVD titles, but this one stands out the most. I know I’m talking about reproducing noise, but this also has an effect on sounds falling into similar frequencies. Take your pick.
TACTILE FUN!! /
TACTILE TRANSDUCER ON/OFF?: OFF
SPECIAL FEATURES: 2.5/5
This fully-exposed edition is somewhat loaded with features, but not in the sense of how we’re used to seeing them. Disc one includes two audio commentaries: track one is by director Peter Cattaneo and actor Mark Addy and track two features producer Uberto Pasolini. These are the men who contribute to the bulk of these features on the DVD. While the commentaries are useful to hear, they aren’t exciting as the men seem to lack enthusiasm…just my opinion of course. This is evident when listening to the optional director/actor commentary on the 10 deleted scenes. They total almost 34 minutes and aren’t edited together. Clapboard and all, these are deleted scenes with what seems as the full scene with each camera so you’ll sometimes see the same scene several times, just from a different angle. It’s not very exciting to watch but the value I see here is the fact that we get a glimpse through the eyes of the editor and what s/he has to deal with when a film is cut together. I should also mention right now that these scenes, as well as all other special features are 1.78:1 and enhanced for widescreen televisions. All can also be access with a “play all” option.
1997 interviews of the cast are also included as cast bios because they feature facts of the actor down the right hand side of the screen. It’s a cool way to implement 1.33:1 interviews on a 1.78:1 screen. It’s hitting two birds with one stone. They total 4m28s.
Next you’ll get over 11 minutes of TV spots and Marketing Featurettes. They are hit-and-miss in image quality (mostly miss) but it’s likely that all of them are here on this disc (even the Pay-per-View ads are on here!! That’s something I’ve never seen!)
The last feature on Disc One is titled Music Machine. This is a feature that takes you directly to the scene in the film with the song playing. For the sake of it, I’ll list the songs here: I’m the Leader of the Gang, Moving on Up, You Sexy Thing, Je T’Aime…Moi Non Plus, Land of 1000 Dances, Flashdance…What A Feeling ’95, The Stripper, Make ME Smile (Come Up and See Me), Hot Stuff (Reprise), We Are Family, Rock and Roll, Part 2, Deep Fried in Kelvin, You Can Leave Your Hat On, You Sexy Thing (Reprise).
Disc two is much more like a documentary then a bunch of special features added together. At 1hr 41min, it features a lot of coffee table discussion between producer Uberto Pasolini and Derek Malcolm, film critic of London Evening Standard and author. Both men are very dry, and watching Malcolm’s mannerisms makes me a bit uncomfortable. Also included in separate interviews are the director, music composer, music supervisor, an historical linguist, a film historian, and lastly The British Steel Stocksbridge Band. Each of these guests, and several others offer some insight to the film and it’s location in many of the sub-features.
The beginning of the feature focuses on Development regarding the script, finding the director and a focus on Sheffield’s unemployment. Folks, it is a real city with real problems according to this DVD. The director just happened to work around this area and focus on it for the film.
The feature goes on to focus on the production; anatomy of a score, the Stocksbridge Brass Band Blues, Song & Dance and editing featurette as well as translating English to English. Most interesting is the Brass Band Blues which focuses on how all of the brass bands in Sheffield have disappeared over the century as industry closed down. Brass bands were a big form of entertainment and spirit and were funded by the steel companies…this is no longer the case…but I’ll stop explaining here and let you find out the rest…
The last two parts of this feature is the success and aftermath of The Full Monty outside of England as well as a whole portion dedicated to A Bigger Picture: A Look at the British Film industry in the ‘90s.
IN THE END...
This is a feature-loaded upgrade from the previous DVD although disappointingly not with improved audio and video. I can’t recommend this disc to those who already own the DVD for the movie. On the other hand, fans of the film will be very happy with the added content on this 2-disc edition.
March 04, 2007.