|Year Released||1993||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||102:49 minutes||Other Extras||None|
Warner Home Video
|Starring||Rebecca De Mornay
|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 5.0, 384Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||?||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Jennifer Haines (Rebecca De Mornay) is a successful defence attorney. David Greenhill (Don Johnson) is a scoundrel - a young, attractive man who lives off older, rich women. David is accused of killing his wife by pushing her out of the window of their high-rise luxury apartment. He maintains that he is innocent, his wife having committed suicide during a bout of depression.
David asks Jennifer to represent him. Amazingly, considering the way in which David goes about it, she agrees. It turns out that David is highly manipulative, but did he kill his wife?
The dislike that you are made to feel for the character of David nearly kills this movie. It gets more and more intense as the movie progresses, before Jennifer's actions take primacy and the movie recovers to be mildly interesting.
This transfer is not particularly sharp, but is acceptably clear throughout. Shadow detail is somewhat lacking, but fortunately there was no low level noise intruding into the blackness.
The colours were well rendered and even in saturation throughout the movie itself. An interesting colour choice was made for the opening titles of this movie, which consisted of dark pink text on a dark blue background. This was quite low in contrast and quite hard to read. It appeared on the verge of bleeding but never quite did. I suspect that only those blessed with component or RGB video capability will be able to watch these titles in some degree of comfort.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some moderate bouts of aliasing, particularly of one scene involving venetian blinds, but this was not particularly troublesome. There was insufficient sharpness in this transfer for it to be too troubled by aliasing. Some slight image wobble was apparent early on in the movie, but this soon settled down. Film artefacts were plentiful during the opening titles, but they soon disappeared leaving a relatively clean transfer for the remainder of the movie.
Dialogue was always easy to understand, but it often took on quite a muffled and artificial sound to it that was not well integrated with the rest of the soundfield.
There were no definite audio sync problems, though the sync seemed somewhat borderline at times.
The score by Howard Shore was suitably exciting and thrilling at the appropriate times, even though it was not present all that often, with long patches of this movie reliant on unaccompanied dialogue.
The surround channels had little to no use, with most of the ambient special effects limited to the front soundstage. In fact, the combination of centre channel only speech and sound effects spread across the front three channels was a little disconcerting at times, with conflicting audio cues giving a mixed message about the width of the soundstage. All-in-all, despite the frequent ambient sound effects, this was not a very successful surround mix at all.
The .1 channel was not encoded, and thus was silent. There were no scenes at all in this dialogue-driven movie which required any significant bass support, so it was not missed in any way.
The video quality is not particularly great but not particularly bad either.
The audio quality is very average.
There are no extras.
© Michael Demtschyna
16th February 2000
|DVD||Orion DVKT, 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; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer|