Seventh Sign, The (Blu-ray) (1988)

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Released 4-May-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 96:58
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Carl Schultz
Studio
Distributor

ViaVision
Starring Demi Moore
Michael Biehn
Peter Friedman
Jurgen Prochnow
Manny Jacobs
John Taylor
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Jack Nitzsche


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (640Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     In Haiti dead fish are being washed up onto the shore, too hot to touch. In Israel’s Negev Desert a village is blanketed under snow and ice. In California Abby Quinn (Demi Moore) is seven months pregnant but is having strange nightmares. Abby has lost babies before and attempted suicide so her husband Russell (Michael Biehn), a lawyer fighting to save a client on death row from execution, is concerned that Abby is losing another baby. Abby and Russell have a flat to rent and it is taken by David (Jurgen Prochnow). We, the audience, have seen David previously in Haiti walking through the dead fish and know he has some mysterious letters with special seals; he also seems to have a special interest in Abby and her baby. Snooping in his flat Abby finds a document in an ancient form of Hebrew which she takes to Avi (Manny Jacobs) to translate. It turns out to be a bible verse which prophesises the seven signs that will lead to the apocalypse, God’s destruction of the world. The seventh, and last, sign will be the birth of a dead baby and Abby is convinced it is the child she is carrying, although everyone else is sceptical, including Russell. But when Father Lucci (Peter Friedman) arrives in California from the Vatican with knowledge of the seven signs matters take an unexpected turn.

     The Seventh Sign is directed without fuss or indeed flair by Carl Schultz, who has a connection with Australia having directed the David Williamson scripted Travelling North in 1987. The main reason for watching The Seventh Sign is a young Demi Moore. Just married to Bruce Willis, Moore was on the cusp of being the most high profile leading lady in Hollywood, with films such as Ghost (1990), Indecent Proposal (1993), Striptease (1996) and even G.I. Jane (1997) just over the horizon. She is in most scenes of The Seventh Sign and lights up the screen with a luminous beauty; the camera really likes her and it is easy to see why she became Hollywood royalty! Jurgen Prochnow, best known for Das Boot (1981), is acceptable as David, craggy and mysterious, but Michael Biehn, although coming off The Terminator (1984) and Aliens (1986), was not much of an actor and is never particularly convincing here.

     The Seventh Sign is a run of the mill thriller. The script is not particularly logical and signals most of the twists but, hey, this is about the possible end of the world so who expects logic. The film does look good and certainly Demi Moore is always well worth watching.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The Seventh Sign is presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, in 1080p using the MPEG-4 AVC code.

     This is a decent looking print. Background detail is on the soft side and quite grainy in places although close-ups are strong and detailed, the colours natural. Blacks are deep and shadow detail is fine. Skin tones are good, brightness and contrast is consistent.

     Small white flecks occur occasionally but none are distracting.

     There are no subtitles available.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     Feature audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 at 640 Kbps, i.e., not lossless.

     Dialogue is always clear and easy to understand. The audio is surround encoded so effects such as rain, wind, activity during the storm and music was directed into the rears. I did not notice any obvious sub-woofer usage.

     The orchestral score by Jack Nitzche included religious choral sections. It was reasonably effective.

     I noticed a couple of minor lip synchronisation errors.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are no extras whatsoever. The menu offers only “Play” although there are 10 chapters which can be accessed via the remote.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The only Blu-ray version of The Seventh Sign listed on Amazon.com is our Region B release.

Summary

     The Seventh Sign is a run of the mill apocalyptic thriller that signals most of its twists. However, it is diverting enough, looks good and Demi Moore and Jurgen Prochnow are worth watching. As the previous DVD release had no extras to speak of, there seems no reason for waiting for a better Blu-ray release.

     The video is good, the audio only Dolby Digital 2.0 but it gets the job done. There are no extras but this is the only Blu-ray presently available. As the previous DVD release had no extras to speak of a better Blu-ray release seems unlikely.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S580, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

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