|Category||Gangster||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 2|
|Year Released||1990||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||139 minutes||Other Extras||Cast & Crew Biographies
Warner Home Video
|Starring||Robert De Niro
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
I find it difficult to describe the plot for this movie in any more detail - this is a movie that needs to be experienced rather than explained. It is epic, and brutal, and it will invoke emotions in you of sadness, anger, and despair. It is told in a very narrative style, almost like a documentary at times.
The transfer was surprisingly sharp and clear, though it was quite obvious that there was significantly less resolution than a 16x9 enhanced disc. This was most obvious during vertical pans, where line structure was clearly visible. 16x9 enhanced discs do not show any line structure at any time on my display device. The overall brightness of the transfer is quite low - in fact I felt that the peak white level on this transfer was probably set a little bit too low. I would advise either turning up the contrast to watch this movie, or watching this movie in darkness. Shadow detail was a little lacking compared with contemporary transfers, but was quite satisfactory nonetheless. No low level noise was apparent.
The colours were variable in their saturation. The darker scenes tended to be oversaturated, but in more normal lighting conditions the colour saturation was spot on. This is more a characteristic of the film stock used to shoot this movie rather than a characteristic of the transfer, but it was somewhat irritating nonetheless.
Some slight pixelization was apparent during some of the still frames. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of moderate amounts of aliasing on the typical aliasing culprits; car chrome and venetian blinds. This was worse than would be expected from the best 16x9 enhanced transfers, but remained quite acceptable at all times. Film artefacts were quite troublesome, especially early on in the film but these settled down during the transfer. There is a large vertical scratch in the movie on Side B, from 4.01 to 4.08 which is right in the middle of the frame and extends the full height of the frame. A few minutes later, there are a number of brief large vertical scratches visible as well, but these are not particularly bothersome.
This disc is a flipper, with the side change occurring at 69:39. This is badly placed in the midst of some very intense on-screen action, and is very disruptive to the flow of the movie. RSDL formatting would have been preferred enormously with this movie.
Dialogue was almost always clear and easy to understand, though I missed a few words here and there. This was probably as much due to the thick New York accents being used rather than because of any dialogue level problem.
There were no audio sync problems.
The music is comprised of standards of the appropriate era and a symphonic score. It is frequently present and adds nicely to the ambience of the movie.
The surround channels were reasonably frequently in use, albeit only with music, and rarely with a special effect such as a gunshot. I did not detect any split surround effects whatsoever. Overall, the soundtrack was not particularly enveloping, but neither was it all front-and-centre.
The .1 channel was used moderately for music and occasional special effects.
The video quality is surprisingly good for a non-16x9 transfer. There are some minor issues with the overall brightness of the movie being a little low, darkly rendered scenes being a little oversaturated with colour and with some areas where film artefacts are problematic, but there is nothing about this disc which should preclude you from purchasing it if you like the movie, unless you are a die hard hater of flippers.
The audio quality is surprisingly good, though not at all as enveloping as current soundtracks tend to be.
The extras are very limited.
© Michael Demtschyna
10th March 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 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|