DVD Review HTF REVIEW: "Evelyn" (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ronald Epstein, Mar 31, 2003.

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  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG]

    Evelyn





    Studio: MGM
    Year: 2002
    Rated: PG
    Film Length: 95 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 16X9 Enhanced Widescreen (2.35:1)
    Subtitles: English, French and Spanish




    The story of a father's love that changed a nation


    Amongst this week's selection of screeners is an
    enjoyably warm and uplifting story that may just
    be worth your time.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Made by Pierce Brosnan's production company, Irish
    DreamTime, Evelyn is based on a true case
    that occurred in Ireland in the 1950s. Desmond Doyle
    (Pierce Brosnan)is a hard drinkin' middle aged father
    of three down on his luck. When his unfaithful wife
    abandons the family, George finds himself at the
    mercy of the Church. The SPCC (Society of Prevention
    for Cruelty to Children) learns of his plight as a
    single father with no woman to care for the children,
    and the courts quickly rule that each child must go
    in to foster care at Church institutions. Doyle is
    forced by the courts to drive his two boys, Dermot
    (Niall Beagan) and Maurice (Hugh McDonagh), to an
    all boys Catholic school while Desmond's father
    (Frank Kelly) takes his daughter Evelyn to St.
    Joseph's girls school.

    Desmond decides to clean up his act to get his
    children back, but in order to go up against church
    and state he'll need considerable help from barmaid
    Bernadette Beattie (Julianna Margulies) and her
    lawyer-brother (Stephen Rea). Soon, they turn to
    Nick Barron (Aidan Quinn), an American lawyer who
    may be Desmond's best chance — if he has any — of
    challenging the constitutionality of the court's
    actions.

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    Evelyn is a nice little surprise for the
    fact that it features Pierce Brosnan in a role that
    many would not have expected from the man that has
    played 007 all these years. Brosnon really shines
    as a simple man struggling to do right with his
    children as his world is being pulled apart. We
    even are treated to hearing Brosnon belt out a
    few Irish tunes down at the local pub. Director
    Beresford and screenwriter by Paul Pender have
    crafted a film full of heart and humanity that
    often gets a little too sweet, but still remains
    charming.


    How is the transfer?


    On the whole, the transfer is very good. The entire
    transfer has a very "warm" look to it with colors
    that are mostly subdued throughout. Flesh tones look
    very accurate. I do want viewers to be aware that
    the picture tends to run dark, which makes interior
    scenes look rather drab. Otherwise, picture appears
    to be very smooth and film-like with just the slightest
    hint of background grain. I would suspect this is
    exactly the way the film looked theatrically and
    give credit to MGM for providing a pleasing transfer.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    The 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack is mostly front
    heavy with the main channels providing excellent
    stereo separation. Dialogue sounds clear and
    detailed as it rests firmly in the center channel.
    The rears occasionally come into play, providing
    the ambient sounds of the neighborhood. There is
    also an effective use of echo added to scenes that
    take place in large auditoriums such as a courtroom
    and church.


    Special Features

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Featured on this Special Edition DVD are not just
    one -- but two feature-length commentaries.
    The first features director Bruce Beresford. The
    second features Pierce Brosnan and producer Beau
    St. Clair. For this review, I sampled the Brosnan/St.
    Clair commentary. It begins with Brosnan giving
    us some background on how he came upon this story
    and decided to produce it with his production company.
    At first, Brosnan wasn't too sure what part he should
    play, that is, until he did a read-through with other
    Irish actors and knew the part of Desmond was for him.
    He goes on to talk about how he cast the film, and
    his fight to obtain Alan Bates. His dream of doing
    this film was finally coming true! Beau St. Clair
    talks about many of the film locations and the pursuit
    of finding locales that are still faithful to that
    era. She also touches base on some of the various
    casting choices. The commentary is often low-key
    and there are some significant gaps, but overall it's
    nice to hear Mr. Brosnan doing a commentary gig.

    [​IMG]

    The story behind the story begins with
    writer Paul Pender first hearing the story of
    Desmond Doyle and the way he fought church and state
    to alleviate the strangle hold they had upon the lives
    of Irish people. A script was written with actor
    Pierce Brosnan in mind to play the Desmond Doyle
    role. Pierce Brosnan and producer Beau St. Clair
    talk about receiving the script, doing various
    read-throughs with other Irish actors, and then
    going after Bruce Beresford to direct the film.
    Brosnan's company put all the money together for
    this film project which was very low on budget but
    very high on passion.
    (length: approx. 19 minutes)

    [​IMG]

    A behind the scenes featurette is a very
    calm, non-glitzy look at the making of this film.
    Through interviews with all the major cast members
    as well as director Bruce Beresford and writer Paul
    Pender, we learn how a simple script based on a true
    story brought together a great group of actors whose
    individual passions created this wonderful film.
    (length: approx. 21 minutes)

    A photo gallery contains only a small
    handful of images of the cast, behind-the-scenes
    photos and scenes from the film.

    The film's original theatrical trailer is
    also included.


    Final Thoughts

    [​IMG]

    Evelyn is the sort of good-natured film
    that is hard to resist. Though it can be a bit
    corny and overly sentimental at times, its real
    drawing power is its inspiring story and sensational
    cast. One can't help but admire the passion that
    the filmmakers have brought to this warmly told
    David and Goliath story,

    Though I was a little put off by the overly dark
    transfer, I do praise MGM for putting together a
    rather nice Special Edition to support this
    inspiring film.


    Release Date: April 15, 2003


    All screen captures have been further compressed.
    They are for illustrative purposes only and do not
    represent actual picture quality
     
  2. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Supporting Actor

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    Exellent to hear this DVD is being handled well. I loved this in theaters The trailer is the only trailer in history to make me cry and as soon as I did I was completely sold on seeing it. A really supurb little movie that I'll be glad to own come April 15.

    Regarding the transfer - when I saw it in theaters I was closer to the back than I usually am so I can't give a totally accurate description, but I do remember that some portions of the movie were a bit dark. Therefore, this is probably the intention of the filmmakers.
     
  3. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    watching it,

    soft, compression is NOT the best.

    quite distracting.

    sound is low.

    impact is lost.

    shame...let's see if plot compensates.

    ok...wiping away the tears...:b

    the transfer actually improves after 15 minutes. maybe I'm speculating tempered by sentiment.

    good drama. informative. cute girl.

    rent!
     
  4. Joshua_Y

    Joshua_Y Screenwriter

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    Yep...Im gonna get this one...never saw it...but it looked really good...
     
  5. Yumbo

    Yumbo Cinematographer

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    this is maybe why the transfer is strained.

    95 min. movie, multiple audio, making of.

    SINGLE LAYER - MGM skimped.
     
  6. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    Man, they really need to use dual layers, even if the run time is relatively short like this. MGM has released some other "soft" looking DVDs that would have benefitted from more space - Legally Blonde comes to mind -- two versions of movie on two sides, but single-layer per side.
     
  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Just saw this tonight. Very Capra-esque, but there aren't enough movies being made like this anymore. Entertainment that inspires. Who'da thunk it?
     
  8. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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