|Category||ACTION!||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Rating||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City|
|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||84 minutes||Other Extras||Filmographies|
|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)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
The story revolves around a professional killer, John Lee (Chow Yun-Fat) who is forced to take a job working for Mr Wei (Kenneth Tsang). He is ordered to kill the son of Stan Zedkov (Michael Rooker), who is a policeman who killed Mr Wei's son. John cannot go through with this killing, and must face the wrath of Mr Wei and his assassins.
Other than sagging a little in the middle, this is a tightly edited high-impact action experience. It is very visceral in its impact, both aurally and visually. There is some very unusual and innovative cinematography, which also adds to the overall impact of this movie.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. At times, the framing seemed a little tight.
The transfer was very sharp and very clear, though it was very dark overall - most of the movie takes place in the dark. Shadow detail was generally very good, with the exception of a few scenes where detail was lacking. No low level noise was apparent. I would recommend watching this movie in the dark.
The colours were perfectly rendered with spot-on colour saturation.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minimal aliasing here and there which was barely noticeable. Film artefacts were non-existent - this is a truly pristine transfer.
Dialogue was always very clear and at an appropriate volume when it was present, though some of Chow Yun-Fat's dialogue was difficult to understand because of his accent.
There were no audio sync problems.
The very stylish score by Harry Gregson-Williams was frequently present, and oozed panache and attitude. It was frequently present, underscoring the action.
The surround channels were aggressively used for action sequences. There was little ambience since the great majority of this movie is comprised of action sequences. It was a reasonably enveloping soundtrack.
The .1 channel was heavily used for the gunshots, and also for the music. It worked hard during this soundtrack, and added significantly to the overall visceral experience of this soundtrack.
The video quality is very good, except for a few very minor niggles.
The audio quality is excellent, with a very aggressive surround presence.
The extras present are very limited.
© Michael Demtschyna
9th February 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|