The Long Kiss Goodnight

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Details At A Glance

Category Action Thriller Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1996 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 116 minutes Other Extras Cast & Crew Interviews
Featurette - Untitled (6 mins)
Featurette - Making Of (9 1/2 mins)
Cast Biographies
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (91:27)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 4 Director Renny Harlin

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Geena Davis
Samuel L. Jackson
Patrick Malahide
Craig Bierko
Brian Cox
David Morse
RRP $34.95 Music Alan Silvestri

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    
Macrovision Yes    
Subtitles None    

Plot Synopsis

    The Long Kiss Goodnight is an unusual action thriller starring Geena Davis as Samantha Caine, a teacher in a sleepy American country town. Samantha has an 8 year old child, and a fiancé, but no memory of what happened to her before the last 8 years. She hires private detective after private detective, all to no avail, until she hires Mitch Henessey (Samuel L. Jackson) who gets a lucky break and discovers something of her past. Samantha is actually Charly Baltimore, a US government assassin, whom the government thought was dead. In fact, they'd very much prefer it that way, and set about pursuing her.

    Samantha and Mitch head from lead to lead, whilst Samantha tries to put the pieces of her old life together, and to make sense of what is going on in the post cold war era. All of a sudden, the line has blurred between the good guys and the bad guys.

    There are a lot of great action sequences in this movie, along with a great plot, which kept me entertained all of the way through.

Transfer Quality

    It is important to note that this disc was held back from release for some six months because Roadshow Home Entertainment discovered an incompatibility with DVD-ROM drives after the discs had been pressed. They finally decided to release this disc with a prominent warning sticker on the front cover. This disc will not work in DVD-ROM drives, but it is fine on stand-alone players. There are no plans at this stage for this disc to be remastered.

    [Addendum 2nd April 1999: Some versions of the Toshiba 2108 DVD player will also not play this disc.]


    The video transfer of this movie is generally very good with some minor but irritating faults.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was clear and sharp at all times. Shadow detail was good. This movie frequently takes place in very low-lit conditions, and I would advise watching it at night or in a very closely light-controlled room. No low level noise marred the picture.

    The colours were nicely balanced and even throughout, with colours that were neither oversaturated nor undersaturated.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of a number of scenes with quite significant aliasing - the worst one is an overhead shot of snow-covered car park - but these scenes are short, and generally tolerable. Film artefacts are present during the opening and closing credits, but absent during the feature.

    The movie has a total running time of 116 minutes (incorrectly stated on the packaging as being 120 minutes).

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change at 91:27, between Chapters 21 and 22. There is a brief fade to black and then the layer change occurs. This layer change is placed in the middle of an action sequence, and is moderately disruptive to the flow of the movie. Of course, it is far less disruptive than getting up to flip the disc over, but nonetheless, I felt that the layer change position could have been selected more appropriately.


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD. The default is English MPEG 5.1. There is also an English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was usually clear and easily understood in this movie, though the loudest bits of dialogue sounded quite distorted at times. A few individual words are a little hard to understand at times, but this probably reflects the actors' delivery of these lines more than anything else.

    There were no audio sync problems with the movie.

    The musical score was written by Alan Silvestri. It is an excellent score which accompanies the on-screen action perfectly, complementing it nicely. There is also a wide range of contemporary classics accompanying the movie which also blend very nicely with the on-screen action.

     The surround channels were heavily used for frequent ambience, music and frequent special effects. They were active throughout the majority of the movie, and were quite effective in creating an enveloping soundfield.

    The .1 channel was used heavily and effectively.


    There are the usual collection of Roadshow Home Entertainment extras on this disc. The extras are all presented windowboxed at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4:3), 16x9 enhanced and with MPEG 2.0 audio only.


    The menu design is an older-style Roadshow Home Entertainment menu. The main menu and the sub-menus have MPEG audio underscoring them. Scene selections are text-based only.

Theatrical Trailer

    The theatrical trailer is present on this disc, with an MPEG 2.0 soundtrack. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 4:3, windowboxed. This trailer is one of the worst examples of MPEG 2 video encoding that I have ever seen. Frequent severe MPEG artefacts mar the picture. This is most evident during fades between scenes where macro blocks are clearly evident, and the new scene takes several frames to come up to full resolution. The bit rate sits at below 2.0 for this trailer, which explains this severe artefacting. At least the main feature is not affected by this problem.

Featurette - Making Of

    A better than average, though uncommented 9 1/2 minute featurette is present, with a number of shots of behind the scenes action.

Featurette - Untitled

    This is a typical Roadshow Home Entertainment 6 minute featurette intercutting the theatrical trailer, interviews, and behind the scenes footage.

Cast & Crew Interviews

    These are along the usual Roadshow Home Entertainment line of questions with short snippets for answers. Menu navigation is of the old style, and quite awkward.

Cast Biographies

    Limited Cast Biographies round out the extras on this disc.


    I liked The Long Kiss Goodnight. It is better than the average action thriller, with excellent stunts, excellent audio, and a decent story as well. If you have a DVD-ROM, however, you are out of luck, and you will need to buy the Region 1 version of this disc.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are standard Roadshow Home Entertainment fare, although the Theatrical Trailer is very badly compressed with frequent compression artefacts.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
9th March 1999
Amended 2nd April 1999

Review Equipment
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