|Running Time||101 minutes||Commentary Tracks||None|
|RSDL/Flipper||No/No||Other Extras||Cast Biographies
|Distributor||Roadshow Home Entertainment|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (MPEG 5.1)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
John quickly falls foul of the Doyle gang by eyeing up Doyle's woman, Felina (Karina Lombard), and they vandalize his car. He turns this to his advantage by killing the man who instigated this, and then joining the other gang, the Strozzi gang, led by Fredo Strozzi (Ned Eisenberg). John figures that there is money to be made by playing the two gangs one against each other, which he proceeds to do, alternately feeding information from one gang to another, at a price, of course.
The gang wars escalate, and it appears as if John will be the "Last Man Standing" but we learn of his only weakness, which is that he cannot stand to see women mistreated, and he takes it upon himself to liberate the town's women. Letting Felina escape back to Mexico nearly proves to be his undoing, however he finds some unexpected allies in the town's sheriff, Sheriff Ed Golt (Bruce Dern) who initially appeared impotent to change the situation in the town, but rallies towards the end, and Joe Monday (William Sanderson), the town's barkeep.
The transfer was razor sharp at all times. Shadow detail was excellent, which was important in this movie, as the cinematography shows a lot of scenes which are either low lit, or have a significant amount of shadow in them. These were all rendered superbly.
The colour was well rendered. If anything, they were perhaps a bit muted, but I would say that this is how the movie was shot rather than any specific problem with the transfer.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. A few film-to-video artefacts were seen, but not very many. There was a very small amount of aliasing - the worst offender being the first scene in the bar where some aliasing is seen at the bottom of the saloon door, but this was hardly noticeable. I also noted two very brief vertical skips in the transfer which were just barely noticeable. There were a few film artefacts, perhaps a few more than could be expected in a 1997 film, but they were not at all distracting.
Dialogue was pretty much always completely clear and intelligible except for the odd line here and there amidst action sequences.
The musical score was composed by Ry Cooder and was frequently present, underscoring the action. It was a very strident-sounding track, which suited the mood of the film. There were a number of Mexican-sounding songs as well included in the soundtrack.
The surround channels were used for occasional ambience, such as during a thunderstorm, and to enhance the action sequences, and also to enhance the music. The soundtrack was enveloping at times, and at other times was up front and centre. The action sequences were enhanced extremely well by the soundtrack.
The .1 channel was used to enhance the music and to underscore the action sequences. It was particularly effective at underpinning the action sequences. There is a lot of gunfire in this soundtrack, and you can feel all of the gunshots rather than just hear them, which is the way it should be.
The theatrical trailer is present, presented in a 4:3 windowboxed aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced, with an MPEG audio track only (no Dolby Digital soundtrack). This sounded mono.
A 4 minute untitled featurette, which is essentially an expanded theatrical trailer with interspersed cast and crew clips, gives a little insight into the characters that comprise the movie. This is also presented 4:3 windowboxed 16x9 enhanced and with only an MPEG soundtrack.
Cast biographies for Bruce Willis, Christopher Walken, and Karin Lombard are present.
Finally, interview snippets are present - much like Die Hard 3. Just like Die Hard 3, each menu option gives about 20 - 30 seconds of interview and then you are returned to the menu to select another interview topic. The range of topics is limited, and there is probably a total of about 4 minutes of footage in this section. It would have been better presented as an extended sequence. These are also presented at an aspect ratio of 4:3 windowboxed 16x9 enhanced and with an MPEG soundtrack only.
As always, Village tend to put a few more extras on their DVDs compared with Columbia Tristar and Warner Brothers, but the extra info is quite limited in this case.
The video quality is very good, except for a few trivial glitches. It is near reference quality.
The audio quality is generally very good, especially during action sequences, but was not quite as enveloping as I would have liked at other times.
20th November 1998
|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|