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Coneheads
Coneheads
A Paramount Home Video Release
1993, 86 Minutes, Color, Rated PG

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Lisa Jane Persky, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Kevin Nealon, Robert Knott, Tim Meadows, Jane Curtin, Michelle Burke, Sinbad, Michael McKean, Jan Hooks, Phil Hartman, Chris Farley, Jason Alexander
Director: Steve Barron
List Price: $29.99 USD, Released 04/17/01
Packaging: Amaray Keepcase, Region 1 NTSC
Disc Format:  Single Sided, Dual Layered (DVD-9)
Video: 1.77:1 Anamorphic
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby 2.0 Surround
French Dolby 2.0 Surround
Subtitles: English
Captioning: English
Features: Theatrical trailer, scene selection, interactive menus.

After crash-landing on Earth, the soon-to-be-conquering alien Beldar and his wife discover that they'll have to wait at least seven years before a rescue ship can be sent. So, in the mean time they must try hard to fit in - but after Beldar's employer finds out that he doesn't have a social security number, a fake identity must be procured. Which, unfortunately, triggers a red flag at the INS. The Coneheads would have their neighbors believe that they're a normal hard-working immigrant American family... but their strangely shaped craniums tend to suggest a much more otherworldly origin than France. Still, the only one who actually believes that they're "aliens" is the INS agent who's bent on catching and deporting them.

Starring a cast which includes a wide variety of recognizable names such as Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Chris Farley, David Spade, Adam Sandler, Jason Alexander, Sinbad, Drew Carey, Dave Thomas and many others, Coneheads is a lighthearted comedy great for rainy day entertainment.

Paramount's anamorphic 1.77:1 widescreen video transfer for Coneheads is adequate, but not exceptional. Colors and black levels are good, but there's a fair amount of both black and white lint. There's also quite a lot of film grain, resulting in a reduction in both detail and sharpness. The overall video quality makes this disc look like it came from a movie made a full decade earlier, but that could probably be blamed on the print they transferred from, rather than the disc itself. Coneheads is divided into a mere 13 chapters and is stored on a single-layered disc containing 4.4 gigabytes of data.

Although graced with a new Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, Coneheads' audio fares little better than its video. A minimum of subwoofer activity or surround channel usage is employed, but at least no artificial echo effects were used to "enhance" the mix. The soundtrack, while typically good, tended to become a little harsh at times. Dialogue is clear with a minimum of background static. Also on the disc are English and French 2.0 Surround tracks, plus English subtitles and Closed Captioning data. For a change, the disc defaulted to the 6-channel track rather than the 2-channel, as was Paramount's previous norm.

As is the case with most regular Paramount releases, Coneheads barely registers a blip on the "extras meter". You get static scene selection screens, plus a theatrical trailer in 1.77:1 anamorphic video and 2.0 sound which happens to include many humorous scenes not found in the actual movie. But at the high list price of $29.99 USD, I would have expected much more. It's obvious there's a wealth of deleted scenes stored somewhere that would have made interesting DVD fodder. But as it is, Coneheads will only appeal to fans of the original movie or SNL skits.

- Reviewed by Daniel Tonks on April 21, 2001.


Movie:
Video Quality:
Audio Quality:
Supplements:
1-Poor 2-Fair 3-Good 4-Excellent
System Equipment
Sony DVP-S500D DVD Player
Marantz SR-18EX THX Receiver
Sony 32" XBR250 WEGA TV using Component
Nuance Spatial Baby Grand 3E & StarSat

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