A Perfect World (1993)

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Released 27-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer-0:50
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 132:38
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (76:46) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Clint Eastwood

Warner Home Video
Starring Kevin Costner
Clint Eastwood
Laura Dern
T J Lowther
Keith Szarabajka
Leo Burmester
Paul Hewitt
Bradley Whitfield
Ray McKinnon
Jennifer Griffin
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Lennie Niehaus

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes, chain-smoking
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

This is an unusual Clint Eastwood film, because he is not the central character. In fact, he doesn't even do a particularly good job of his role he's pretty much playing it by-the-numbers. His part is pretty much Clint-Eastwood-hard-bitten-cop number two (that's the one that isn't a loose cannon the loose cannon is number one). Oh, he does a perfectly reasonable job of it, but the performance is just not up to his usual standard. That may be because he was directing Kevin Costner.

Kevin Costner plays Butch Haynes, an escaped convict. He is the central character in this film. He's an interesting character. We get some insight into his character from Sally Gerber (Laura Dern), a criminologist assigned to the manhunt by the Governor of Texas, much to the chagrin of the head of the Texas Rangers, Red Garrett (Clint Eastwood). Almost, it seems, in a fit of pique, Red commandeers a mobile command centre that the Governor has just had delivered the Governor was planning to ride in it in a parade about to be held in Dallas in honour of President Kennedy (gee, can you guess when this film is set?).

What makes this film somewhat interesting is that Butch Haynes has taken a hostage with him. That hostage is an eight-year-old boy called Phillip Perry (a very impressive performance from T J Lowther). Phillip has had a sheltered upbringing his mother doesn't let him celebrate Halloween, or Christmas, or even birthdays, because they are Jehovah's Witnesses. Phillip is exposed to all manner of experiences as Butch takes him various places in his attempts to avoid being apprehended. The development of the relationship between Butch and Phillip is very well done, and better acting than I've seen from Kevin Costner in other films.

Sometimes the quotes on the back cover are extremely apposite. Sometimes they are not. The quote at the top of the back cover of this title is "A movie that will endure" of the people I asked, not one remembered this film, and it was only made ten years ago. Still, now it's on DVD, and I've heard predictions suggesting that DVDs will last hundreds, even thousands of years can we count that as endurance? Maybe that's unkind. This film isn't bad; it just doesn't have any stand-out qualities that would make it particularly memorable. It is well worth a rental, although I'm not sure about a purchase. Perhaps, if you are a Costner and Eastwood fan.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


This DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and it is 16x9 enhanced. That's the original theatrical aspect ratio, as well as being Eastwood's favourite ratio for shooting anything west of the Mississippi....

The picture is sharp and clear. Shadow detail is rather good (there are a few limitations, but not many). There is very little film grain and no low-level noise.

Colour is well-rendered from a somewhat dull palette, with no colour-related artefacts.

There are no large film artefacts, but there is a scattering of tiny spots and flecks which aren't troubling. There is a whole heap of minor aliasing (1950s and 60s motor cars!), but it's not a bother. There is some minor moire, but no MPEG artefacts.

There are subtitle tracks in ten languages, including English, and subtitles for the hearing impaired in both English and Italian. They are accurate, easy to read, and well-timed to the dialogue.

The disc is single sided and dual layered, formatted RSDL. The layer change is at 76:46, and is extremely well hidden in a scene change I didn't spot it without help.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


The soundtrack is provided in English, French, or Italian. I listened to the English soundtrack, which is Dolby Digital 5.1.

The dialogue is clear and readily understood. There are no audio sync problems.

This is another Lennie Niehaus score on an Eastwood film (hardly a surprise!). This one is a perfectly reasonable effort, one that does the job. There are several songs in the soundtrack, including Sea of Heartbreak (which also features in Heartbreak Ridge).

The surround speakers provide good ambience, although the folks on the mixing desk aren't too original (bird calls always seemed to be coming from rear left). The subwoofer gets used occasionally, mostly for gunshots.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



The menu is simple, effective, and static, with music. There are forty two chapter stops, but the scene selection menu only gives access to every third chapter stop.

Cast and Crew

This is a disappointment a single page listing three actors, two producers, one writer, and Clint Eastwood.

Trailer (0:50)

This is a fairly short, fairly straightforward trailer.

R4 vs R1

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

The Region 1 disc is virtually identical, with the same (dearth of) extras, and a similarly good transfer. As far as I can determine, the two discs are the same, except that the R1 is NTSC, and the R4 is PAL.


A Perfect World is a reasonable movie given a very good transfer to DVD.

The video quality is very good, except for a lot of minor aliasing.

The audio quality is very good.

The extras are minimal.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Saturday, January 04, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-NS905V, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

Other Reviews NONE
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Re "A Perfect World" - Terry