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January 6, 2006
PSP UMD Movie Reviews Lot #5

Release Date Distributor Director OFLC Rating Run Time
1/12/2005SonyN/AG85 mins
The MovieVideo QualityAudio QualityExtrasOverall

The Story: Well there's not really a story for this disc, but rather it's a collection of highlights of AFL games. Much of the footage is from the 2005 season, however some has also been taken from earlier years.
Look, an AFL movie!
Movie Impressions: To be honest I was quite disappointed with this disc for a number of reasons. While it shows some fantastic marks, goals and hits (read: punches) there is little cohesion to the package with the 85 minutes continually changing between the three main video types - Screamers, Shockers and Sharpshooters. Much of the footage is so hacked down that you don't see the results of the spectacular marks, nor the result of the punch-up meaning some of the interest is actually diminished.
The Transfer: The transfer of the footage in this disc has positives and negatives. On the plus side most of the action seems to have transferred to the PSP's LCD screen with little evidence of ghosting or problems which I was a bit wary of especially with the source material being taken from TV (some clips even have the Channel logo on them!). Unfortunately the disc is framed in both Full Frame and Letterbox meaning you either have to stretch the image, or have borders on either the left and right, or all around the image. What makes this worse is that this changes throughout the entire movie meaning you can't watch the parts separately and adjust the screen and leave it. Audio is only English taken directly from the TV broadcasts with no subtitles, although they aren't really required in this disc.
The Extras: None.
Overall: I picked this disc up recently at the Christmas sales for only $12.50, and for that price it's pretty good value if you're an AFL fan. For full price of $25 I'm not quite sure it's worth it. A lack of cohesion to the package makes it fine for the occasional (or single) viewing but it's not a title you'll want to watch repeatedly.

Release Date Distributor Director OFLC Rating Run Time
11/1/200620th Century FoxShawn Levy G98 mins
The MovieVideo QualityAudio QualityExtrasOverall

The Story: In modern America, where the average family has 1.87 children, Tom Baker (Steve Martin) and wife Kate (Bonnie Hunt) have decided that life is better if not cheaper by the dozen. The Bakers live in a small Illinois town where Tom coaches the local college football team. When Tom is offered his dream job coaching a squad at a large university he and Kate uproot the family, much to the displeasure of all 12 children. At the same time, Kate learns that her memoirs are about to be published. Her agent whisks her away to New York to promote the book, leaving Tom home alone to handle the increasingly unhappy and hectic household, as well as his demanding new job. With all hell breaking loose at home, Kate on the road, and Tom's job on the line, the Baker family ultimately chooses not to have it all, but to love what they do have.
You can do it Steve!
Movie Impressions: Typically this isn't my sort of movie, but I do like Steve Martin, and many of his movies despite rarely taking big risks with his projects. This is definitely a Steve Martin comedy with plenty of slapstick styled humour and some great one-liners. What keeps this movie going is the impressive supporting cast including Bonnie Hunt as his wife and Tom Welling (Smallville) and Hilary Duff among others.
The Transfer: The video quality in this movie is extremely high, pretty much reference quality in fact, although the image can appear slightly soft in some scenes. Given that the original movie was in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 there is virtually no image lost to the PSP's 1.78:1 with the movie cropped to fill the screen. Unfortunately if you're in need of anything except for English audio or subtitles you're out of luck with this movie. It must be said that the audio quality is extremely high with clear dialogue and some use of stereo effects as expected.
The Extras: None.
Overall: Cheaper by the Dozen is fantastic family entertainment with some classic comedic moments. Steve Martin is fantastic as ever and Hilary Duff is certain to get the teenage market interested in this movie. Despite a lack of extras this is probably a perfect movie to keep the kids entertained (or distracted) for a couple of hours.

Release Date Distributor Director OFLC Rating Run Time
4/1/200620th Century FoxDoug LimanM120 mins
The MovieVideo QualityAudio QualityExtrasOverall

The Story: After five (or six) years of vanilla "wedded bliss", ordinary suburbanites John and Jane Smith are stuck in a rut the size of the Grand Canyon - until the truth comes out!. Unbeknownst to each other, they are both coolly lethal, highly paid assassins working for rival organizations. And when they discover they're each other's next target, their secret lives collide in a spicy, explosive mix of wicked comedy, pent-up passion nonstop action and high-tech weaponry that gives an all new meaning to "Till Death do us part!"
Two of todays biggest stars.
Movie Impressions: Make no mistake Mr & Mrs Smith is a fantastic popcorn action movie from start to finish. It's not all guns blazing like an Arnie movie, but rather combines some witty dialogue from writer Simon Kinberg, great action sequences, a decent storyline and great chemistry between the lead actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Yes, this was the movie that started their romance off-screen. For me, this was a great movie, probably one of the best action movies of 2005.
The Transfer: Yet again Fox have produced a transfer that is among the best seen on the PSP to date. At times the colours look a little washed out and lacks some vibrancy but the image is very sharp and while there's a bit of motion blur on the LCD screen in such a fast paced and edited movie it was almost to be expected. Audio quality is impressive with both English and Spanish tracks on offer. In terms of subtitles Mr & Mrs Smith includes English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish.
The Extras: None.
Overall: I'd always been keen to see this movie but never got around to it. It must be said that it was captivating, amusing, and a rush from start to end. The director Doug Liman also directed The Bourne Identity a couple of years ago, and if you liked that movie then you'll almost certainly love this one. It's a bit on the pricy side, but who doesn't want Angeline Jolie and/or Brad Pitt in your pocket!

Review(s) By: Dave Warner

Be sure to check out reviews of Anacondas, SWAT and Be Cool here
Kung Fu Hustle, Final Fantasy: Spirits Within and Mask of Zorro here
Alien, Alien Vs Predator, I Robot and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen here
and Fantastic Four, Kingdom of Heaven, Robots and The Day After Tomorrow here.

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