|Category||Crime/Film Noir||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Rating||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 2 - Bone Collector, Dolby Digital (City)|
|Year Released||1995||Commentary Tracks||Yes, 1 - Carl Franklin (Director)|
|Running Time||97:12 minutes||Other Extras||Menu Animation
Animated Scene Selections
Featurette-Don Cheadle Screen Test
Biographies - Cast & Crew
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.0, 448Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0, 256Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
French Audio Commentary
German Audio Commentary
Italian Audio Commentary
Spanish Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I like a good film noir now and then, and this is a good one. Set in Los Angeles in 1948, all the ingredients are in place; lots of smoking, a lot of cheap scotch drinking, a lot of well-dressed crooks, and of course a good mystery to tie it all together. Denzel is very good in this role, which is quite different for him. He is well-suited because he always comes across as tough, strong and pig-headedly stubborn - qualities which his character needs in order to pull himself out of the mess he finds himself in with his dignity intact. The ambience is right, and the movie just works. It's that simple.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.
The image was always sharp and clear, with plenty of detail visible at all times and so good as to be film-like. Shadow detail is particularly important for this transfer, as much of it is at night and dimly lit as the mood dictates, and it was beyond reproach. This is some of the best shadow detail I have seen on video, and is the stand-out of this transfer. There was no low-level noise, and only a hint of film grain.
The colour palette used in this movie is at times bold, with strong saturation when needed, but never too much. Colours are handled superbly, with no noise or bleeding. The change from night-time to broad daylight is handled with aplomb, with colours appearing bright and clean. Skin tones were right on the money.
There was a distinct absence of MPEG artefacting, as there was an absence of film artefacts or video artefacts.
The DVD is RSDL formatted, with the layer change occurring between chapters 18 and 19, at 60:30 minutes. It is minimally intrusive.
Dialogue was always clear and easy to understand, although there was the occasional obvious voice-looping which tended to stand out now and then due to the change in timbre. Audio sync was always fine.
The soundtrack is essentially a collection of 40s period songs, making for an interesting change. This is not the highest quality for obvious reasons given the original source material for most of these songs, however the original music is of excellent quality.
Whilst not overly aggressive, the use of the surround channels is subtle and frequent during the movie, giving a strong ambience. Certainly, the soundtrack is more active in this area than would be expected, and it added a nice touch to the presentation.
Whilst the .1 channel is not encoded or is silent,
there is a decent level of bass to the soundtrack. Effects have plenty
of weight and the sound is certainly full in that regard. The subwoofer
integration was seamless.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video transfer is excellent, and is of reference quality.
The sound transfer is very, very good.
There are only limited extras, and maybe only scraping
in as a Collector's Edition by virtue of the good commentary and screen
test, though I would expect more to justify that title.
|DVD||Panasonic A360 (S-Video output)|
|Display||Rear-Projection Pioneer SD-T43W1 125cm Widescreen 16x9|
|Audio Decoder||d t s 5.1 & Dolby Digital 5.1 (DVD Player internal decoder)|
|Amplification||Sony STRDE-525 5x100 watts Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver; 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ|
|Speakers||Centre: Sony SS-CN35 100 watt; Main & Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders; Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive|