High Crimes (Rental) (2002)
Trailer-Kissing Jessica Stein; Joe Somebody; Bandits; Waking Life
Trailer-Black Knight; Ice Age
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Ads Then Menu|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Carl Franklin|
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Picture this: you've been married for years to a man you love, and with whom you're trying to have a baby. Suddenly the two of you are seized on the street by a mob of police and FBI agents, and your husband is hauled away. You're told he is not Tom Kubik, the man you married — he's Ron Chapman, a man who deserted from the Marines 12 years ago, and wanted for some very serious crimes. What the hell is going on?
That's where Claire Kubik (Ashley Judd) starts. She is a successful barrister / defence attorney, on the career track to partner at her law firm. Now her world is turned upside-down. Her husband (Jim Caviezel) is in deep trouble. She discovers he's been assigned a fresh-faced young Lieutenant Embry (Adam Scott) as counsel, while the prosecution is being handled by the very experienced Major Waldron (Michael Gaston), and the trial is in front of an unfriendly judge, Colonel Farrell (Jude Ciccolella). She is not going to let it sit like that. She digs up an ex-JAG lawyer who was the best: Charlie Grimes (Morgan Freeman) — she is determined that her husband will get the best defence she can manage, and she really knows about defence.
The odds are stacked against him. The CO who filed the charges is now a General, a high-profile player in Washington. The prosecution's star witness is now that General's top aide. Most of the other eye-witnesses are now dead. And some sinister and unpleasant things are happening to Claire, her sister (Amanda Peet), and Charlie.
Ashley Judd and Morgan Freeman are both excellent actors, and these are good performances from both of them. The supporting cast are good, too.
This is a thriller, and quite exciting. Every layer uncovered leads to more complications. It's not a short film, but there's a lot happening. This film's not for everyone, but if you are into conspiracy theories (do you like The X-Files?), you'll probably like this. If you enjoyed the JAG TV series, you'll probably enjoy this film.
The DVD is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. That's the original aspect ratio — always a good thing.
The picture is fairly sharp and clear for foreground objects, but quite a few of the backgrounds are fuzzy. Shadow detail is very good. Film grain is not a problem in the current footage; the footage of 12 years ago is quite grainy, but that is probably a deliberate technique to make it clear it's flashback. There is no low-level noise.
Colour is excellent in the current footage; the flashback footage is desaturated (at times almost to black-and-white). There are no colour-related artefacts.
There are virtually no film artefacts in the current footage, and a fairly low level (deliberate, I'm sure) in the flashbacks. There is one optical glitch at 92:48, but it's just a faint blue line and not distracting. There's a little aliasing, but I didn't find it annoying. There is no moire, and no MPEG artefacts.
There is one set of subtitles, in English (for the Hearing Impaired). I watched them for the entire film. They are well-timed and mostly accurate (with some minor abbreviations) and are clear and easy to read.
The disc is single sided and single layered. That means no layer change, but this film is a bit long for a single layer, so it looks like it was compressed a bit more than would have been desirable — the foregrounds look fine, but backgrounds look really soft as a consequence.
There is just one soundtrack, in English. Surprise: I listened to the English soundtrack! It is Dolby Digital 5.1, at the lower rate of 384 kbps.
The dialogue is clear and comprehensible throughout, with no audio sync problems.
Graham Revell's score is effective — ominous, foreboding, and tension-building. It's not especially original, but it is definitely effective.
The surrounds get nothing special to do, with no directional sound effects from the surrounds. The subwoofer gets plenty to do, doing a lot of reinforcing of the lowest register.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is static and silent. In fact, all it has is a small photo placed on the 20th Century Fox background. It's a very basic menu: Play, Language Selection (just switches subtitles on / off), and Scene Selection (36 choices).
There are no menu entries for extras, bonus material, or special features. All you get in the way of extras are a series of trailers that play when the disc is inserted; you can skip them by pressing the Menu button.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 has extras: a director's commentary and six featurettes (totalling over half an hour), plus the theatrical trailer. The transfer is reportedly quite good. It sounds like the R1 is quite a bit better than this R4.
The Region 4 disc is an extra-free rental disc. I sincerely hope we get the extras when the retail disc arrives.
High Crimes is a thrilling movie, on an extra-free rental DVD.
The video quality is rather good, but backgrounds are frequently soft
The audio quality is good.
The extras are missing.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-S733A, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|