The Spy Who Dumped Me (DVD) : Review

Film

Review

Best friends Audrey (Mila Kunis – Jupiter Ascending) and Morgan (Kate McKinnon – Masterminds, Ghostbusters) manage to get themselves tangled up in an international espionage story, when they discover that Audrey’s ex-boyfriend Drew (Justin Theroux – Star Wars VII – The Last Jedi, The Lego Ninjago Movie) is in fact a spy.

Following the bungling journey of Audrey and Morgan is a laugh. They two have the best intentions, but just don’t seem to quite understand the world. The film has a little something for everyone, with drama, romance, action, and laughs. The filmmakers have got the recipe spot on, mixing just the right amount of each, as they whisk one along from start to finish, in a plot that isn’t too hard to follow, yet not wholly predictable.

Playing off each others good and bad points, Audrey and Morgan are a blast. One wants them to succeed, while totally understanding many of the motives behind Drew’s actions, even so far as the almost school girl behaviour as they duo encounter secret agent boss Wendy (Gillian Anderson – Robot Overlords).

A film that provides the perfect escape for a few hours, with good laughs, and some tense action. Really one to catch on a lazy day with friends. Just heed the warnings about audio issues below.

Re-watch Value

Re-watch value on the film, given the many action scenes, and fast paced humour, is reasonably high. But as mentioned below, there is a serious issue with the surround soundtrack. So currently, it is not worth buying this film on DVD, let alone actually watching it more than once. A pity that such an issue could be allowed to slip past in the manufacturing process.

Disc

Over all, the disc is of a rather poor quality. From South African disc manufacturers Next Entertainment. The serious issues in the surround soundtrack of the film totally ruin a rather fun, and funny, movie. Watching this in plain stereo, as a workaround, is not the answer to a technical flaw.

The Spy Who Dumped Me is available now, to purchase on disc, in South Africa.

Video

Video is encoded at a high average bitrate, with no visible artefacts on-screen. There is no visible colour bleed, but colours in several scenes are desaturated. This is a decision by the filmmakers. Details in the darker scenes is good.

Viewers with the necessary hardware or software could scale up to a larger or higher resolution screen, should they wish.

Audio

Audio is encoded at a high average bitrate, and presented in both a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, as well as a Dolby Stereo 2.0 soundtrack. However, there is a serious problem with the surround soundtrack, where the entire soundscape appears to be rotated. Dialogue is heard mainly from the left surround channel, and very little audio via the centre speaker. This is very disconcerting when watching the on-screen action, and totally ruins any action or humour in the film. This is totally unacceptable on a disc, and once again a technical issue that should have been spotted in any quality assurance checks before the disc master was pressed.

Playing the disc and using only the stereo soundtrack makes for a less distracted viewer experience, but the greater level of immersion one gets from a surround track is lost.

Next Entertainment have responded to this issue, saying they have investigated, and find no fault. Sad, as this is glaringly obvious when you start playing the disc. And even more so once the disc is run through the usual software (and more) that is used for the technical portion of these reviews. This is not an error that would occur on just one disc during manufacturing. This is a digital error, made when the disc master was first being created, before being sent off to be pressed commercially. This really does not bode well for encouraging the viewing audience to purchase discs, as apposed to the popular pastime of downloading the film on a torrent, which hurts the entire industry.

Navigation

Navigation is simple, and easy to follow. The disc loads directly to the main menu. The main menu has a motion background showing some clips from the main feature, with accompanying music.

The menu has text links to play the main feature, scene selection, and setup.

The scene selection sub-menus have ten medium, colour, still thumbnails, for the total of twenty chapters. While these are numbered, they are not labelled, nor is there a chapter listing included in the packaging, meaning navigation to a specific part of the main feature would require an amount of guesswork.

The setup sub-menu has text options to select between Dolby Surround or Dolby Stereo.

Bonus Features

There are no bonus features on the disc, not even the trailers that would sometimes autoplay at the beginning of some discs.

Packaging

The packaging is the usual DVD jewel case, with a poster on the front containing the film title, and main cast listing. The back has a few stills from the film, a short synopsis, and the usual technical logos and information.

Published by Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB, Andrew has worked full time in the film industry since the early 2000's. He has trained as an actor, completing his LAMDA Gold Medal, and attending many courses in Cape Town acting studios, with masterclasses with some of the international industries top directors, producers and filmmakers. Working as an actor and armourer in the film and television industry have given Andrew a great balance of skills across the board when it comes to the entertainment industry. Catch him on Twitter: twitter.com/andrewgerm_za And IMDb: www.imdb.com/name/nm5390453/

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