(not 94 minutes as stated on packaging)
|Start Up||Language Selection, then Menu|
Fox Home Entertainment
|RPI||$34.95||Music||B C Smith|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
If you need to really have a plot here, then I suppose it is loosely the tale of three troubled youths who face the prospect of jail time for various little crimes until given the chance by Captain Greer (Dennis Farina) to work undercover, doing tasks the normal police officer cannot do. What follows is a bunch of scenes featuring Julie Barnes (Claire Danes), Pete Cochrane (Giovanni Ribisi) and Lincoln Hayes (Omar Epps) doing their undercover stuff, trying to track down the bad guys with the drugs. Along the way, a few people die and amongst them are the audience who have to watch the film.
Plot? Well, there really is nothing discernible here that would qualify as a plot. The whole film really is a bunch of disjointed little pieces that have been extracted from any number of sources you care to name that have been linked together in a such a way that is designed to provide the utmost confusion to the viewer. Characters? Yes, well, what characters? There is so little character development here that they were probably all premature births for all we know from the film. Dialogue? Oh lordy, this plumbs new depths of inanity that have never been seen before. The absolute depth? Pete griping "why does she always get to be the prostitute?". Somebody please pass me the bucket, I need to throw up! Acting? Pass. Production values? Pass. Cinematography? Pass. There is simply nothing here that is remotely worthwhile seeing and it ends up being an excruciatingly long 90 minutes of viewing.
The only thing that saves this film at all is the presence of Claire Danes, and had they have simply had ninety minutes of her on screen, and dumped the appalling Giovanni Ribisi, things would have been significantly better in my view. However, if you are not a Claire Danes fan, then this is probably to be avoided at all costs.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. When one considers some of the films that MGM have released without 16x9 enhancement, it is a real puzzle as to why this one gets this essential treatment.
In general, the transfer is quite sharp although a little variable in the area of detail. However, it does seem that the quality of the transfer suffers the further the film goes on (or is that a result of the fact that the film was putting me to sleep?). The main problem is that at times shadow detail descends into very poor levels that are not befitting such a recent film. Even shots taken at the beach in bright sunlight have a distinctly blacked-out look to the actors that is really unacceptable, although this is presumably what the director was trying to achieve. This is quite a clear transfer and there does not seem to be much of an issue with grain at all. There is no problem with low level noise in the transfer.
The overall colour palette is generally a little restrained, and there is little in the way of bright colours here. The transfer is quite a vibrant effort nonetheless, and the depth of the tones is generally very consistent. Certainly there is no great issue here with oversaturation of colours, apart from one scene at the night club under intense red lighting, although on a couple of occasions I did wish for a little more saturation than was present - scenes around the airfield for instance are a little more muted than I would have expected. In general it would be fair to say the darker night scenes are better looking thanks to the depth of the blacks. There is no problem with colour bleed in the transfer.
There are no MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There is not much of a problem with film-to-video artefacts, with this being virtually devoid of aliasing issues. There was no problem with film artefacts in the transfer, with just the odd fleck of white present, which is to be expected in such a recent film.
This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change coming at 57:31. The placement is rather poor which compounds a rather poor change in comparison to most others I have seen recently. Given the quality of the film though, it is not really that disruptive.
The subtitle options listed on the cover do not mention
an English subtitle option which is present on the DVD.
The dialogue comes up reasonably well in the transfer, although just once or twice I had a little difficulty in following the appalling dialogue in the more dynamic portions of the transfer. There did not appear to be any problem with audio sync in the transfer.
The music comes from B C Smith and in keeping with the rest of the film is an utterly unmemorable effort. Even the choice of contemporary songs here was pretty shocking, so all-in-all there was no effort to raise any portion of this film out of the mire.
About the only high point of the whole DVD is the
rather dynamic Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. It makes fine use of the surround
channels, with plenty of rear channel action to keep the ambience level
up high, particularly in the night club scenes. There seemed to be some
good directional sound effects here, which is something that is not often
achieved. The bass channel gets a really solid workout too, and thankfully
does this without overpowering the rest of the soundtrack. The overall
soundtrack is very well done, with a believable soundscape.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
23rd October 2000
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|