WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Inventing The Abbotts

Reviewed In Issue 26 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Liv Tyler, Joaquin Phoenix, Billy Crudup, Jennifer Connelly, Joanna Going, Barbara Williams, Will Patton & Kathy Baker

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 4
Sound Rating: 3.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): 06088185
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $34.95
(Running Time In Minutes): 107
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1997
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered):

Credits Information
(Director): Pat O’Connor
(Screenplay/Written By): Ken Hixon
(Story): NA
(Music): Michael Kamen (Music)
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Gary Frutkoff
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Ray Lovejoy
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Karen Kehela & Jack Cummins
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Ron Howard, Brian Grazer & Janet Meyers

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Digital Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Dolby Digital
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Based on the story by Sue Miller, Inventing The Abbotts is a dramatic coming of age tale set in late 1950’s Illinois and explores issues that exist in every generation. Five pivotal characters share their most intimate experiences together while growing up in the social constricts of the era. Two brothers, Jacey (Billy Crudup) and Doug (Joaquin Phoenix) Holt, are no match for the wealthy Abbott sisters: Alice (Joanna Going), Eleanor (Jennifer Connelly) and Pamela (Liv Tyler). But like moths to a flame, the working class boys are drawn to them. Years ago, Mr. Lloyd Abbott (Will Patton) cheated the boys’ late father out of a fortune and because of this, Jacey has his own designs for vengeance. Celebrating the power of love, the film blends beauty, warmth and humor to re-invent the trials and triumphs of coming of age in a time of innocence that was anything but.

LaserDisc Picture:
The 1.85:1 picture exhibits excellent color fidelity with accurate fleshtones, rich and warm colors and deep solid blacks. Images are often wanting in sharpness and detail, exhibiting a soft overall character. Shadow detail and contrast are good and there is only the slightest noise and artifacts apparent. Overall, the film captures a similar look to films of the fifties.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack has a nicely produced narrative dialogue track with sometimes ADR-produced dialogue that sounds generally natural throughout. The music score is terrific and well recorded with an expansive soundstage presence. There are numerous effects and ambiances that are spread wide across the soundstage, but surround is limited to subtle envelopment. The Dolby® Digital discrete version presents a slightly wider soundstage, though sometimes, particularly in the music score, there is no surround signal at all—unlike the PCM version. This is a deficiency of the Dolby Digital discrete mix presentation, but overall, the sound experience is an enjoyable one.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: