Dirty Deeds

Dirty Deeds (2002)
Studio Home Entertainment (Sterling)
Cast: Sam Neill, John Goodman, Bryan Brown, Toni Collette
Extras: Trailer

Australian films are not a common commodity here in the US for some reason and when ’Dirty Deeds’ showed up on my desk I was eager to check it out. What I found was a thriller with a dark humor that almost reminded me of Coen Brothers film. Think Fargo in the Outback… in a sense.
Featuring a great cast that features Bryan Brown, Sam Neill, John Goodman and Toni Colette, the film is not only witty and cool, it also has a bunch of characters that definitely make it worth seeing. The story revolves about the American Mafia trying to get their foot in the Australian slot machine business in 1969. Sending down two of their men to scout the location it quickly becomes evident to them, though, that things are quite a bit different down under.

The DVD presents the movie in its 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio in a transfer that is enhanced for 16×9 TV sets. Absolutely clear and free of defects, the presentation is also rich in detail and boasts rich colors that are not oversaturated and never bleed. The result is a vibrant picture with good definition, deep, solid blacks and natural skin tones, making it a very enjoyable experience. No distracting edge-enhancement of compression artifacts are found on the DVD either.

The audio comes as a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital track in Australian with additional Dolby Stereo tracks in English and Spanish. The audio is well-produced and makes good use of the surround channels. Frequency response is good creating a sound image that is never harsh and free of distortion, while maintaining a good bass extension. The dynamic range of the track is also very good.

The movie’s trailer is also supplied on the DVD, though it is the only extra.

’Dirty Deeds’ is a fun movie, filled with twists and quirky characters, making it a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience. The cool cast adds to the film’s charm, as well as the exotic locations – for us non-Aussies that is – and quirky moments of culture clash. On top of that, any movie that uses AC/DC’s ’Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ as the opening track and names itself after the song, is okay by me. Check it out. You won’t regret it.