|Category||Drama||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 2.35:1 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0|
|Year Released||1995||Commentary Tracks||None|
(not 108 minutes)
|Other Extras||Main Menu Animation
|Start Up||Language Selection then Menu|
Fox Home Entertainment
|Starring||Jonny Lee Miller
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Let's get one thing straight before we go any further - all the usual Hollywood computer conventions are here in this movie in abundance; infinitely fast Internet access via an acoustic coupler or a 28.8K modem, high resolution virtual reality graphics where there really should be text, and the apparent ability to program an entire graphics intensive subsystem with just a few lines of machine code. You must accept this as a given. If you cannot accept this, then the movie is doomed to fail. Personally, I resigned myself to the technical inaccuracies and just went along for the ride, which wasn't a bad ride at all.
Dade (Jonny Lee Miller) is a veteran computer hacker at the age of 18 who is transferred to a new school. Kate (Angelina Jolie) is his love interest, and an elite hacker as well. Joey (Jesse Bradford) is a wanna-be who hacks into a minerals corporation mainframe and inadvertently discovers a worm program which is stealing money from the company. He doesn't realize what he has found, but the man responsible for planting the worm (Fisher Stevens) does, and figures that the best way to cover his tracks is to plant a virus which will cause an ecological disaster and blame it all on the relatively innocent hackers.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer was very sharp and very clear, with a great amount of detail to be seen in the picture. Shadow detail is excellent and there is no low level noise.
The colours were well-rendered throughout, with clear, vivid colours interspersed with dirty greys and browns.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Film to video artefacts consisted of some minor aliasing here and there but nothing particularly noticeable. Film artefacts went unnoticed.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed between Chapters 18 and 19, at 54:48. The layer change is well placed and unobtrusive.
There are five audio tracks on this DVD, all Dolby Digital 5.1; English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. I listened to the default English soundtrack.
Dialogue was easy to understand at all times, and was generally clear, though there were a few instances of distortion in the peaks of the dialogue.
There were no audio sync problems with this disc.
The score by Simon Boswell is suitably energetic and frenetic, adding considerably to the on-screen excitement.
The surround channels were variably used to support the soundtrack. They were frequently used for music and for aggressive sound effects, but conversely at other times the soundtrack collapsed down into mono dialogue with no surround activity at all. This mars an otherwise exemplary and aggressive surround mix slightly, but it still remains an excellent and highly enveloping soundtrack.
The .1 channel was aggressively and effectively used by the soundtrack to support the music.
The video quality is of reference standard.
The audio quality is of near-reference standard.
The extras are limited.
© Michael Demtschyna
14th December 1999
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, 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|