More American Graffiti: Aspect Ratios Correct.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Scot Gardner, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Scot Gardner

    Scot Gardner Guest

    What's the street date for _More American Graffiti_, anyway? I had a
    hell of a time finding it today. I thought it was supposed to be
    released on Sept. 2, but two stores said that it was scheduled for
    Sept. 9.

    Anyway, this movie was one of the first to employ an extensive use of
    multiple, split screen images as well as the use of multiple aspect
    ratios. As near as I can determine, there are 4 distinct aspect ratios
    in the DVD: 2.70:1, 2.35:1, 1.85:1 and 1.37:1. Previous home video
    editions didn't consistently present the movie in its correct aspect
    ratios and I was afraid that the DVD would be no different. Fortunately,
    Universal has done an excellent job in presenting _More American
    Graffiti_ in its geometrically-correct aspect ratios.

    The 1.85:1 and 1.37:1 material is centered in the middle of the screen
    with black bars on the sides as well as the top and bottom, with wider
    top and bottom black bars showing on conventional 4:3 TVs. The 2.35:1
    and 2.70:1 material stretches all the way to the sides of the screen,
    but the 2.70:1 picture is narrower. If nothing else, this movie is a
    totally-unique visual oddity.

    The Terry The Toad Vietnam segments are 1.37:1
    The Steve and Laurie segments are 1.85:1.
    The John Milner segments are 2.35:1.
    The Debbie Dunham and Carol/Rainbow segments are 2.70:1.

    While _More American Graffiti_ is a poor imitation of the original
    _American Graffiti_, it is a fascinating continuation of the lives of
    the characters presented in the first movie. While Ron Howard, Candy
    Clark and Paul Le Mat gave acceptable performances in _American
    Graffiti_, their performances in _More American Graffiti_ aren't all
    that great. Somewhere along the line, they all lost their acting talent.

    Cindy Williams' ridiculous reenactment of Connie Corleone's dish
    smashing routine at the start of _More American Graffiti_ is bad enough
    to embarrass Talia Shire. That aside, the video looks great, the music
    is good and the movie is very entertaining.

    The primary, original cast members, minus Richard Dreyfuss, are here:

    Candy Clark .... Debbie Dunham
    Bo Hopkins .... Little Joe
    Ron Howard .... Steve Bolander
    Paul Le Mat .... John Milner
    Mackenzie Phillips .... Carol/Rainbow
    Charles Martin Smith .... Terry The Toad
    Harrison Ford .... Officer Bob Falfa (uncredited)
    John Brent .... Ralph
    Cindy Williams .... Laurie Bolander
    Wolfman Jack .... Wolfman Jack
    Manuel Padilla Jr. .... Carlos (as Manuel Padilla)

    And there are also some new characters, some who were just getting
    started in show business:

    Country Joe McDonald .... Himself (leader, Country Joe & The Fish)
    Peter Albin .... Himself (member, Country Joe & The Fish as well as a
    member of Big Brother and the Holding Company.)
    Scott Glenn .... Newt
    Mary Kay Place .... Teensa
    Rosanna Arquette .... Girl in Commune
    Naomi Judd .... Girl in Bus

    The Dolby Digital 3/1 soundtrack sounds great and there is a modest
    amount of sound directed to the subwoofer.

    _More American Graffiti_: Highly recommended, but only for _American
    Graffiti_ fans.
    Scot Gardner, Sep 3, 2003
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