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For nearly three decades film expert Barry Norman helmed an increasingly popular BBC TV film review show, which took its name from the year each series ran in (e.g. Film ’87). He became something of an icon, popular amongst British audiences and respected for his frank and even blunt critiques of movies. After being pilfered by Sky One, his role passed on to Jonathan Ross, who is terrible both in taste and charisma in comparison to Norman. Those not familiar with his Sky contributions will probably miss his affable personality and trademark catchphrases, often ending his review comments with a cheeky ’and why not?’, and now his fans have the opportunity to see him in action once more on this interactive DVD quiz.

Barry Norman’s Interactive Film Quiz

Movie


It’s quite simple really: there are two modes of play for this interactive film quiz. Firstly you have the single player mode, where you are asked a series of questions by Barry Norman, covering topics about movies over the past half-Century. Using your remote control you can select one of four possible answers, or choose to skip the round, with a tick or cross used to tell you whether you are right or wrong (although you are not told the answer). At the end of the ten questions you are given a score out of ten, with points deducted for wrong answers.

The multiplayer mode is even more basic, with participants able to choose one of sixteen ‘screens’, each hosting a series of questions. When you play one of these rounds, you have a question in the same format as on the single player, hosted by Barry Norman, but you cannot select an answer. Instead each player notes his chosen answer and the questions roll on, until the end of the round where you can review the answers and mark down how many points you get.

Barry Norman’s Interactive Film Quiz
The questions themselves vary in having either film stills or film clips used (often not directly relevant to the specific question, other than that they come from the same movie), with Norman not only reading the question but also going through each answer. Most are quite obscure (although altogether too many people probably know how many candles Bilbo Baggins had on his birthday cake in the first Lord of the Rings movie), but that only goes to truly test the trivia knowledge of avid filmgoers out there.

All in all, I have not really played many interactive DVD film quizzes before, but this one seems quite poor in comparison with things like those quiz machine games you get in pubs. Little to no effort has been put into the presentation and the ‘interactive’ side of things is kept to an absolute minimum. The questions themselves are quite diverse, but on playing the single-player game multiple times you still seem to get the same questions popping up, which can be somewhat irritating (although I guess it does all come down to random selection). Of course the multiplayer provides for more family-orientated fun, good for a bunch of mates as well, but the finite number of screens is also a limitation here.

Barry Norman’s Interactive Film Quiz

Video


Barry Norman’s Interactive Film Quiz is presented in a fairly decent 1.78:1 aspect ratio anamorphically enhanced widescreen transfer. Detail is acceptable, depending on the film clips used of course, but the whole quiz screen design seems a little dated (although it is in a reasonably good blue style), and suffers from softness and colour bleeding. Blacks are reasonably solid, with little grain, and overall the only defects and digital artefacting comes from the sampled material used.

Audio


We also get a perfectly acceptable Dolby Digital 2.0 presentation for the quiz, with Norman’s rhetoric coming through clearly and coherently. Again, the quality of the audio is largely dependant on the standard of the individual clips, but the rest of the quiz effects seem perfectly reasonable (aside from the fact the tick and cross clips which indicate whether you have answered correctly or not seem to end abruptly, as if unfinished). The score can be a little repetitive but is fairly unobtrusive and in-line with what you would expect for music on most quizzes.

Barry Norman’s Interactive Film Quiz

Extras


In the way of extras, the disc itself houses nothing else, but apparently the release comes with four free cinema tickets, six free DVD rentals and some money-off vouchers.

Overall


Barry Norman’s Interactive Film Quiz is a slightly disappointing little offering in the way of quizzes on the run-up to Christmas. Sure, it is theoretically good for both single and multiple play, allowing for fun for friends and family, but the reality is that it is not very satisfying and the game does not seem very refined. Had this been released around the advent of DVDs, it might have been seen as a great deal more innovative. Reasonable video and audio are acceptable and the bunch of ‘extras’ seem only designed to bribe you into the purchase, but if film quizzes are your thing then I’m sure you’ll want to add this to your collection.


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