||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - DVD Teaser #1|
|Year Released||1995||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||105:32 minutes||Other Extras||None|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 ,
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
John (Wesley Snipes) and Charlie (Woody Harrelson) are brothers of the foster variety, who happen to work as transit police officers for the New York subway. During a sting, where Charlie acts as a drunk, a couple of hoods take the bait, whereupon one is immediately arrested with the other taking off down the tunnel. After a chase to the next station, the hood is shot dead by the transit police guarding The Money Train, which runs around the subway system collecting the day's takings. Shortly after a bollocking from the subway controller Patterson (Robert Blake) about delaying his beloved money train, two things happen: a plot to rob The Money Train is hatched and a new officer is assigned to their unit in Grace Santiago (Jennifer Lopez). Naturally both John and Charlie are smitten and some subplot romance antics ensue, whilst thoughts of robbing the train are put on the backburner. Since Charlie is a useless gambler, the thought of millions of dollars up for grabs on the train is appealing. After an especially bad situation, including finding John in bed with Grace, Charlie finds himself not only in debt to the tune of $15,000 but also without a job, and with a very pissed off brother. So he decides it is now time to rob The Money Train, on New Years Eve when the takings will be huge. What follows is the race to rob the train, which is surprisingly easy, take off with the money, which is again surprisingly easy in theory and avoid brother John, which is not so easy. Suffice to say, you get a few clichés thrown in here and there and in general everyone gets what they want - except perhaps Patterson.
It is not the greatest script ever written and you do get a few obligatory Hollywood clichés thrown in to the melting pot, but as usual Wesley Snipes does not take the whole thing too seriously and has a bit of fun. Woody Harrelson again makes the effective sidekick, although why he always seems to play the dumber partner escapes me. Robert Blake is well cast as the obligatory bad guy of the piece, whilst Jennifer Lopez does a real nice job of the attractive love interest (not that she really needs to act for the role). We get a reasonably clichéd bunch of effects culminating in the obligatory wreck in the subway from which our heroes amazingly walk away from. All told, not the greatest film ever made, riddled with clichés and plot holes, but at the end of the day, Joseph Ruben has put together a reasonably enjoyable romp, as long as you don't take it all too seriously. Take it too seriously and the plot holes open up bigger than the Hudson River, like exactly why would a high security train like this have a flimsy wire grate on the floor that serves no useful purpose? Hey, just enjoy the ride on The Money Train.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and it is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is sharp throughout, very clear and with some quite wonderful definition. Shadow detail was very good throughout, even though the film has many very scenes shot in the dark. The opening credits show just how good this transfer is - gloriously sharp, great definition and wonderfully clear.
This is generally a vibrant transfer, with colours coming up very well indeed. Colours have been nicely rendered and are very natural looking. Oversaturation of colours and bleeding was not a problem at all with the transfer.
Another great effort from Columbia TriStar, with no MPEG nor film-to-video artefacts noted apart from some quite minor shimmer which is very easily overlooked. I did not notice any appreciable film artefacts, and this is another very clean transfer from Columbia TriStar.
There are four audio tracks on the disc: the default English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded soundtrack, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded soundtrack and a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.
The dialogue was crisp and clear and easy to understand throughout.
Audio sync did not appear to be a problem with the transfer.
The music score comes from Mark Mancina, and it contributes very well to the film although it too is a little clichéd.
This is a nicely balanced and quite nicely detailed soundtrack. The surround channels have been well used, most especially during the various action sequences. The only problem with the soundtrack is that it occasionally seemed to resort back to dialogue coming out very front and centre. The sound picture is quite natural, if not absolutely convincing and you are well positioned in it.
The bass channel got a fair deal of action thrown at it, although not as aggressive as some might like.
The video quality is very good.
The audio quality is also very good.
The extras missed the train (sorry, needed to use that one again).
© Ian Morris
1st November 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. 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 EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|