WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Birdcage, The

Reviewed In Issue 22 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, Diane Wiest.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 5
Sound Rating: 3
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): MGM
(Catalog Number): ML105536
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $49.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 119
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1996
(LD Release Date): 9/96
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Mike Nichols
(Screenplay/Written By): Elaine May
(Story): NA
(Music): Jonathan Tunick
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Bo Welch
(Visual Effects): Illusion Arts, Inc.
(Costume Designer): Ann Roth
(Editor): Arthur Schmidt
(Supervising Sound Editors): Ron Bochar
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Neil Machlis & Marcello Danon
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Mike Nichols

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.82:1

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

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
The Birdcage is the outrageous comedy with a twist that is based on the French film La Cage Aux Folles. Williams and Lane star as homosexual lovers Armand and Albert. When Armand’s son arrives home and announces his engagement to the daughter of an ultra-conservative U.S. Senator, what choice do they have but to support his decision? When Senator Keeley (Hackman) and his wife (Wiest) visit future in-laws, Armand and Albert attempt to play out the roles of the typical American husband and “wife.”

LaserDisc Picture:
Picture quality on this 1.82:1 matted transfer is terrific with excellent color fidelity with colors that are vibrantly rich and warm and fleshtones that are perfectly natural. The look is stylized with filtered outdoors lighting and interiors where the shadow detail is superb. Blacks are deep and solid and there is no apparent noise or artifacts. The picture is sharp and detailed with excellent contrast that is sure to please.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The Dolby® Digital 5.1 discrete soundtrack is inconsistent with surround presence infrequently used resulting in a flat two-dimensional frontal soundstage. Conversely, the linear PCM matrix soundtrack delivers a continual subtle surround presence for a better spatial experience. The dialogue is generally not well integrated and is forward in presence, and the other elements often sound “manufactured.” The music score is expansive but bass extension is limited with no .1 effects.
(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: