|Category||Action||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Year Released||1993||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||91 minutes||Other Extras||Cast Filmographies|
|Starring||Jean-Claude Van Damme
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||2.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
German (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
This is a dull movie. Really, really boring. There are a few action sequences thrown in for no good reason to liven up the boredom, but they don't help much. The problem is that the movie does not have any strong characters that you can either love or hate, and none of the characters do anything much. When they do something, you wonder exactly what their motivation was.
Sam (Jean-Claude Van Damme) has been broken out of prison in the film's opening, and best, action sequence. His sidekick is killed in the escape, and so Sam just sets up camp in the middle of nowhere. He helps a damsel in distress (Rosanna Arquette) for no good reason other than he borrowed her salt without asking, and because she has nice breasts. The bad guys want to take away her land, with the help of unconvincing thug Mr Dunston (Ted Levine).
There are a few trademark Van Damme ridiculous one-liners, but minimal violence, much to the movie's detriment.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear throughout. Shadow detail was reasonable, and there was no low level noise to speak of.
The colours were well rendered at all times.
There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some slight telecine wobble during the opening credits, which appeared to be inherent to the print, but that was it. Film artefacts were essentially non-existent.
Dialogue was always clear and easy to understand, not that you'd really want to listen to it.
There were no audio sync problems.
The score by Mark Isham was unremarkable.
The surround channel was aggressively used during the action sequences, and occasionally for some ambience.
The .1 channel received a lot of redirected signal from my surround processor, particularly during the opening of the movie. This bass-heavy opening was almost false advertising in the sense that it created the expectation that this was going to be an all-out action movie, which it certainly was not.
The video quality is essentially perfect.
The audio quality is reasonably good.
The extras are average for Columbia Tristar.
© Michael Demtschyna
4th June 1999
|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|