The Journeyman (2001)

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Sell-Through Release Status Unknown
Available for Rent

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Western Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 93:31 (Case: 96)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By James Crowley
Studio
Distributor
Harbinger Pictures
Imagine Entertainment
Starring Brad Hunt
Barry Corbin
Daniel Lapaine
Dash Mihok
Assumpta Serna
Willie Nelson
Case Click
RPI Rental Music Matt Kinsley


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

††† Two young boys witness the brutal and unnecessary slaying of their father by a gang of wandering outlaws. One boy is taken hostage by the group and forced to live out a life of slavery and torture. The younger brother was hiding and escaped the same fate. He was later saved by a passing Mexican priest who raised the boy as if he was one of his own.

††† The story then moves ahead in time by 13 years and this remains as the present time period for the rest of the movie. All of the thugs from the gang are now trying to lead more law-abiding lives. Charlie Ledbetter (Barry Corbin) in particular has made a nice existence for himself as a mine owner in the hole of a town known as Hellís Half Acre.

††† When a morphine-addicted hustler known as The Morphinist (Brad Hunt) rides into town it soon becomes apparent to the locals that one of the boys has decided that now is a good time to settle the score with the scum that took him hostage all those years ago. Get ready for some serious shooting from which no one seems immune. This is one town where not even the women and children are safe now that the Morphinist is around. A tracker known as The Journeyman (Daniel Lapaine) has been chasing The Morphinist and it loos like he may finally find his man. There is no prize for guessing who he is.

††† The Journeyman is a Western whose sole intention, I believe, is to prove the point that oneís upbringing directly correlates to their actions later on in life. Here we have 2 brothers; one was forced down a road of deceit, torture and slavery, and a Mexican priest raised the other to be a honourable, law-abiding and religious lad. While this feature is no Last Man Standing, it was still something that I found interesting and was eager to see how it turned out once being sucked in by the very confrontational introduction.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

††† The transfer is clear and sharp with good solid edges on both foreground and background areas of the scenes. Shadow detail is not really a problem due to the majority of shots being set outside where there is plenty of solid natural lighting. At 19:55 the glare from the sun bathes half the screen in white light which was excessive and briefly detracted from that scene. One of the rare darker scenes (45:39) does show a nice deep black background and the night sky in the bush shortly thereafter is just as deep. There was one instance at 30:20 where there was a high amount of grain in the night sky but this was thankfully isolated. There is no low level noise.

††† The colours were deliberately muted and drab which works fine in this style of movie anyway. If all the actors were walking around in clothes that had been freshly bleached to bring out the whites (and maybe a little fabric softener, too) then how realistic would that be? This is the time when men were men and stank like a sack of rotten potatoes. The only time the clothes were washed was when they pulled up to give the horse a drink and took 5 minutes out to jump, clothes and all, into the river. The buildings were also realistically covered in dust and looked downright dreary. The barren landscape was sandy and full of wild grasses that had not seen rain for years. Yep, the colours were drab but completely spot on.

††† Film artefacts were small in size throughout the feature and not distracting at all. The most obvious artefact was a single hair at 77:41 in the top right hand corner of the screen. There was more than one camera in use to film this scene and only one of them contained the hair on the lens. As the editing called for close shots and jumping from one angle to another to follow the dialogue, you can easily pick the camera again as the hair keeps appearing and then disappearing again. It remains this way for the duration of the scene.

††† There are no subtitles on this disc.

††† This disc is a single sided and single layered disc, and therefore there is no layer change.

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

Audio

†††† The dialogue was not always clear and easy to understand. Some of the actors mumbled on occasion, although this is not a transfer problem as such.

††† Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.

††† The musical score by Matt Kinsley was ideally suited to this movie and provided an uneasy and sometimes edgy feel to the scenes. The volume levels did not drown out the dialogue at any point during the movie.

The surround channels were subtly used for ambience, music and special effects. The gun shots had a tinny but more realistic sound for the first half of the movie. Towards the latter half, they tended to sound more Hollywood-style and deeper but still a far cry from the cannon Bruce Willis used in Last Man Standing. There is also good use of the surrounds for directional effects but this is definitely not a title you would use to impress your friends and show off your latest surround speakers.

††† The subwoofer was mildly used during action sequences. There could have been some more emphasis on this speaker to add more bottom end to some scenes.

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

Extras

Menu

††† The menu design is themed around the movie. The main menu features a clip from the movie and Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio.

Theatrical Trailer (2:22)

††† This is of good quality, being presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded sound.

R4 vs R1

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

††† So far I have been unable to find a single Region 1 review to directly compare against this release.

Summary

††† This was an interesting movie with a good solid message and a storyline which, while not deep, did maintain my interest enough for one viewing.

††† The video quality is good with no real problems.

††† Besides the odd mumbling, the audio was acceptable.

††† The extras are disappointing but can most likely be attributed to placing a quality image onto a single layered disc leaving little room for other content.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Wednesday, January 15, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-533K, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Audiolabs Magnum M30 (Mains); M05 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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