|Year Released||1989||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||123:28 minutes||Other Extras||None|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||4.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 4.0)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
New English teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) is about to change this. He has a love of poetry, and he inspires his students to carpe diem ('seize the day') and to make something of themselves and their lives, before it is too late.
The story concentrates on the development of the students' individual passions; Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard) pursues acting despite his father's insistence on his becoming a doctor, Knox Overstreet (Josh Charles) persists in his love of an apparently unattainable girl, and Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke) comes out from behind the shadow of his famous brother with the aid of Mr Keating.
This is an ensemble movie, with the entire cast contributing more-or-less equally to the outcome. A slow and slightly pretentious start is rapidly improved upon, and the movie becomes both a celebration of the human spirit and a tragic depiction of what happens when this spirit is suppressed.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer was sharp and clear, and belied the age of the movie. Shadow detail was reasonable, and there was no low level noise.
The colour was well saturated throughout.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts were not noticed. Film artefacts were very rare.
The English soundtrack is presented in a most unusual audio format, Dolby Digital 4.0. This has discretely-encoded Left, Centre, Right and Surround channels. It is unclear as to whether this is simply the matrix-encoded soundtrack decoded into a discrete 4.0 mix with professional equipment, or whether this soundtrack has been encoded from the original discrete 4 channel audio stems prior to their combination into the surround mix. I would like to think that the producers of this DVD went back to the original 4-track discrete master recording to create this soundtrack, but it is probably more likely that this is simply a "pre-decoded" surround mix. The Region 1 version of this disc contains the more usual Dolby Digital 2.0, surround-encoded soundtrack.
Dialogue was always clear and audible, critically important for a dialogue-driven movie such as this one.
There were no audio sync problems with this disc.
The musical score was by Maurice Jarre. It had a somewhat dated synthetic feel to it, though the majority of the film's soundtrack was comprised of classical music.
The surround channel had limited use for the odd special effect and some music, but was basically silent. The soundtrack was basically a front soundstage mix.
The .1 channel was not encoded for the majority of the movie, but between Chapter 11 and Chapter 20 (or more precisely, between 51:30 and 103:52), the .1 channel indicator on my processor was lit, though there did not appear to be any signal sent to the subwoofer. It is a little difficult to define this audio mix as either a 4.0 or a 4.1 mix, but I decided to classify it as a 4.0 mix given that the .1 channel seemed to only appear transiently, and was superfluous to the overall sound of the mix.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is good.
The extras are non-existent.
© Michael Demtschyna
9th June 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|