|Year Released||1997||Commentary Tracks||None|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
They take a family on their way to Mexico hostage; Jacob Fuller (Harvey Keitel), Kate Fuller (Juliette Lewis), and Scott Fuller (Ernest Liu) and end up at a sleazy Mexican bar waiting for their Mexican rendezvous to meet them. Unfortunately, the bar is considerably more sleazy than they first thought...
As with all films involving Quentin Tarantino, the actual plot of the movie is secondary to the unusual characters that we meet on the way there. There is a lot of black humour in this movie. There is also a lot of great acting, especially from George Clooney who plays a bad guy very convincingly. Even Quentin Tarantino himself is well-cast as Richard.
Cheech Marin adds some excellent humour playing various roles, including the spruiker outside the bar.
All-in-all, this is an excellent movie. Bear in mind that it is R-rated for the very graphic violence it portrays - it deserves its rating.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. This looks like a true 16x9 transfer rather than an interpolated one.
The transfer was sharp and clear. Shadow detail was good, and there was no low level noise.
The colours were rich and vivid, almost tending towards oversaturation at times.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts went unnoticed, and film artefacts were acceptably rare.
Dialogue was always clear and audible.
Audio sync problems were a major issue with this
disc, with frequent scenes being marginally out of sync. I would estimate
that approximately 20% of this film is noticeably out of sync. There have
been reports that this is as much a characteristic of Pioneer DVD players
as it is a fault with the transfer, Pioneer DVD players apparently having
the audio two frames behind the video at all times to begin with. Nonetheless,
it is somewhat distracting at times.
[Addendum 9th August 1999: This problem has been reported to occur on all players, so it is not a player-specific problem.]
The musical score was by Graeme Revell. It is excellent at setting the appropriate mood for the movie, which is very laid back and laconic in its nature.
The surround channels were used surprisingly often for explosions and gunshots, and pleasingly frequent ambient sounds. Aside from the audio sync issue, the soundtrack is superbly enveloping and exciting.
The .1 channel received moderate use from the soundtrack to support the special effects.
The video quality is excellent.
The audio quality is excellent except for the audio sync issues, which may not affect your player.
The extras are non-existent.
© Michael Demtschyna
5th June 1999
Amended 9th August 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|