10/19/2017  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Wellspring presents
Strange Planet (1999)

Neil: Society has a lot to understand towards the meaning of human behavior. In the future, we'll be using scientific methods to find our perfect pattern, we won't be leaving our fates to chaos.
Ewan: What do you mean in the future, Neil? We have dating agencies now. It's where losers go.

- Felix Williamson, Tom Long

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: June 18, 2003

Stars: Claudia Karvan, Naomi Watts, Alice Garner
Other Stars: Tom Long, Aaron Jeffery, Felix Williamson, Hugo Weaving
Director: Emma-Kate Croghan

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for drug use, sexuality, and language
Run Time: 01h:32m:52s
Release Date: June 10, 2003
UPC: 720917536828
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- C-B-C- C-

DVD Review

Strange Planet follows the lives of two groups of 20-somethings in Australia over the course of a year of their lives. Like all disaffected Gen-Xers in movies, they bounce from relationship to relationship and one emotional crisis after another, all the while searching for love and meaning. As the year wears on, the separate circles bump into each other, until finally, in the end, they come together in an utterly contrived attempt at an emotional denouement.

A lot about Strange Planet is contrived and much of it is overly self-conscious. The characters, for instance, are a lot of fun, but they don't really feel natural, and they aren't given much to work with from month to month. With six leads, of course, it's a little difficult to keep track of each respective plot and all the peripheral characters. It's hard enough to tell the main characters apart, though they are identifiable by their one-dimensional traits. Judy (Claudia Karvan) is hell-bent on advancing her career, even if it means using men to do it. Sally (Alice Garner) is big into parties, sex, and experimentation. Alice (Naomi Watts) is more reserved, living vicariously through her buddies. As for the guys, Neil (Felix Williamson) is a geek desperate for a meaningful relationship, Ewan (Felix Williamson) is too clingy, and Joel (Aaron Jeffery) is emotionally shattered post-divorce.

Sometimes I can forgive narrative incoherence if a film works on a scene by scene basis, and in this regard, Strange Planet is hit-or-miss. Dialogue never feels genuine, always striving to be "witty" and revealing. It's a common trait for these kind of films post-Clerks, but this one can't quite pull it off. None of the setups are particularly original, and more often than not, the characters seem to be reacting to the plot rather than motivating it (not that there is much of a plot anyway). Part of the problem is the rather unwieldy cast. A few of the characters have interesting things to do (I enjoyed Judy's struggles at work), but many of the storylines are unfocused (Sally jumps in and out of character throughout). And since all are given equal screentime, large portions of the film fall flat.

Emma-Kate Croghan loves stylistic flourishes, and her somewhat disjointed, energetic direction breathes some life into the lumpy screenplay. Each month is depicted with an onscreen title and some impressive time-lapse footage of Sydney, and throughout she mixes slow and fast-motion, montage, humorous flashbacks, and camera tricks to approximate the theoretically exciting lifestyles of the main characters. Croghan (who also co-wrote), stages some effective scenes, but she seems to have done her best to fit in her directorial quirks whether or not they make sense emotionally.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: This isn't a bad transfer, but it's a little off putting at times. Colors run the gamut from natural to oversaturated to muted, and though some of this is obviously director intent, deficiencies like smearing, softness and loss of detail are not. There are also some grain problems at times. That said, I didn't notice any compression artifacts of edge enhancement, and the source material appears in good condition.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English Stereoyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Audio is offered in either the original Dolby stereo or a remixed 5.1 track, and neither is very impressive. The stereo track is schizophrenic, with very loud songs and very quiet dialogue, and the balance never sounds quite right. The same problem exists on the 5.1 remix track, but it isn't as severe. On the other hand, it's a very unnatural track, with lots of activity from all the channels, whether it makes sense of not. The result is some odd surround action, like when a character is turning the pages in a book and we hear the paper rustle in the rear channels. Add to these problems the heavy accents and lack of subtitles, and Strange Planet is a very frustrating film to listen to.

Audio Transfer Grade: C-

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Filmographies
1 Original Trailer(s)
8 Other Trailer(s) featuring Zus & Zo, Ran, Russian Ark, Les Destinées, Clockwatchers, Girls Can't Swim, Margarita Happy Hour, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
1 Feature/Episode commentary by director Emma-Kate Croghan
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Aside from the trailer, brief filmographies for the leads, and a Wellspring trailer gallery with spots for Zus & Zo, Ran, Russian Ark, Les Destinées, Clockwatchers, Girls Can't Swim, Margarita Happy Hour, and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, this disc includes a better-than-average commentary from director Emma-Kate Croghan. She talks a lot about the oddball screenplay and spends a bit of time discussing her technical choices. She's fun to listen to, and she offers some worthwhile remarks.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Strange Planet is an offbeat Australian comedy that doesn't really work, despite an engaging cast. Wellspring's DVD isn't too bad, despite the questionable audio quality, so give it a rent if you enjoy Aussie humor.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store