|Year Released||1995||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||116:35 Minutes||Other Extras||None|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
To tell you any more about this film would ruin the film, although the replayability factor is surprisingly high given how reliant on suspense the film is. It would be sufficient to say that this is a great film, with all of the major players putting in some of the greatest performances of their careers. Gary Sinise and Lili Taylor are absolutely superb. Brawley Nolte does exceptionally well with the very limited role he has, succeeding admirably in drawing audience sympathy towards his character, and Delroy Lindo is very convincing as the FBI Agent assigned to the case. Thrillers simply do not get much better than this, and there's even a couple of sequences that will satisfy the ardent action fans. In plot terms, this film is very much worthy of your thirty-five dollars.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, complete with what appears to be true 16x9 enhancement as opposed to an upconverted 16x9 transfer. The resolution of the image, with all the bloody details, would strongly suggest that someone in Touchstone went back to the original negatives and converted them down into the 1.78:1 shape (the film was shot in 1.85:1). The transfer was generally sharp and clear, although scenes involving high amounts of motion had a tendency to lose a little definition. In most cases, this was as much the fault of the original photography as the transfer. The first ten minutes of the film were slightly less than satisfactory in terms of sharpness, but the transfer was otherwise just like watching the film in its original theatrical version. Shadow detail was satisfactory, and a little below what one would expect from a film of this vintage, but this is again a limitation imposed by the way the film was shot rather than the transfer. No low-level noise was apparent except in shots of computer screens, and this is again a reflection of the way in which the film was shot.
The colour saturation was spot-on, and identical to the theatrical exhibit after the first ten minutes, which is surprising when you think about the amount of the film that mostly consists of deep blacks and fluorescent lights. MPEG artefacts were conspicuously absent from the transfer, which is very good considering that there is just under two hours on the one layer. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of moderate amounts of aliasing on such things as cars and menswear, with some moiré effects becoming apparent on filmed television sets for good measure. Film artefacts were very rare and inconspicuous, with only the occasional tiny black or white dot appearing in the picture from time to time.
This film score is one of the few efforts by James Horner that I can say I am impressed with, as it injects a great deal of tension and emotion into all of the sequences which it accompanies. A few snippets of contemporary music were used in some sequences to provide the appropriate atmosphere in a scene or two, but this was done in the correct manner of being a prop rather than a product placement. This is one film where the soundtrack album may be worth the additional investment.
The surround presence of this disc is basically non-existent. Ambient sounds and special effects were poured through the front channels, while the rears were used for a handful of minutes to support the sound of moving cars. Given the recent vintage of this film, this is a rather surprising and disappointing mix to say the very least. The subwoofer was mostly silent throughout the film, with very few moments in the onscreen action actually requiring its support, anyway. It did a very good job of supporting the action sequences, however.
The video quality is good, with only a handful of problems early in the transfer causing any problem.
The audio quality is sadly limited considering how immersive this film was at the theatre.
Extras, on a Touchstone disc?
|DVD||Grundig GDV 100 D, using composite output; Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Panasonic TC-29R20 (68 cm), 4:3 mode, using composite input; Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), 16:9 mode/4:3 mode, using composite and S-video inputs|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Sharp CP-303A Back Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer|