The Johnsons

The Johnsons (1992)
Anchor Bay Entertainment
Cast: Esmee De La Bretoniere, Kenneth Herdigein, Monique Van De Ven

Anchor Bay presents “The Johnsons” in a 1.85:1 letterboxed aspect ratio on this DVD. The picture is very clear and the source material shows only minor wear and scratches. The picture itself is somewhat dark and flat, but one can assume this has to do with the style of the film than with the source material. To put it bluntly, this looks like a European movie.

The Dolby Surround Stereo mix is active throughout the film (especially for the moody soundtrack) and the dialogue isn’t drowned out. There seems to be a problem that the subtitles and the Dutch language track don’t begin working until Chapter 4.

The commentary track is very unusual because it basically consists the original writers comparing the film to their untampered script and implying how much better a movie of their script would have been. For the majority of the film, the filmmakers do not comment on the on-screen action, but rather talk about how the original script ended up in Holland and got produced. At several points, when director Van Den Berg is asked to explain a plot point, he has no explanation, although it is humorous when he refers to a shot as having a “Dutch angle.”