The Navigators (2001)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Deleted Scenes-+/- Director's Commentary
Featurette-Railing Against It
Trailer-Nine Queens;The Cat's Meow;Molokai;The Tracker;Satin Rouge
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Ken Loach|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
†††† The Navigators is a typical Ken Loach (Carlaís Song, My Name Is Joe) film. It is about ordinary people, generally on the poverty-stricken end of the working class, coping with day-to-day life. This particular film involves a look at the privatisation of the rail industry in the UK, and what happens to a working gang of long-term British Rail employees. As privatisation closes in, some of them choose to stay under their original working conditions until no more work exists, and others take up work as independent contractors in order to get enough money to live. Piece by piece, they make concessions in the name of economic overhaul until safety is compromised and accidents start happening.
†††† This is not Loachís best film. It has its comedic moments, and its bitter-sweet moments, and its long hard look at the darker side of ordinary life. Performances are, on the whole, excellent. But it lacks the real interpersonal drama of Carlaís Song, or the heartbreaking love story at the core of My Name Is Joe. While you can certainly feel for the characters in The Navigators, they are simply not as interesting as the characters in Loachís previous films. There is no dramatic climax, just a slow spiral down.
†††† This is still a well made and interesting film, but Friday night entertainment it is not. And when compared to Loachís film history, I was expecting at least a little more tension and a little more drama.
†††† Presented in 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, this is the original aspect ratio.
†††† The quality of the picture is reasonably good, although quite grainy and dark. This is a direct result of Loachís insistence on natural lighting, or as close as he can get to natural lighting. There was also a fair amount of low-level noise, but this never disintegrated into MPEG blocking.
†††† Colours were muted although discernible, again an intentional use by the director. This film is, after all, set in the grey British urban murk of London, and it is raining in at least half the scenes. Shadow detail is not exceptional, again due to the choice of lighting.
†††† Other than some very minor aliasing I noticed no MPEG artefacts. There was a bit of grit and dirt on the film, but nothing too distracting.
†††† The layer-change pause does not occur during the film. I have watched this several times now and cannot find it. Considering the film is barely 90 minutes and is accompanied by only one Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound track it is no surprise that it fits on one layer. The pause lies in between the film and the special features (you can tell by the slight tracking pause when you access those features). It is not disruptive.
†††† Mixed in 2.0 Dolby Stereo, this is a wholly frontal soundtrack.
†††† Dialogue is fairly clear and easy to understand once you get used to the various Yorkshire dialects. There were no audio sync problems that I could discern.
†††† The music score, a kind of bluesy tune, is used fairly sparingly.
†††† There are quite a lot of directional cues, as you would expect, given that half the scenes take place on the tracks with trains passing left and right behind the foreground action.
†††† There was no subwoofer use.
|Surround Channel Use|
†††† The extras on this disc are extensive and interesting. I gained more from the two documentaries, I think, than I did from the film. This is not to detract so much from the film, rather to highlight the quality of the extras.
†††† All menus are 16x9 enhanced. They are static and only the main menu has the theme music playing in 2.0 Dolby Digital.
†††† Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, these are generally alternate takes, or extensions of scenes already in the film. They are not very good quality.
†††† Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo, this is the making of documentary, which involves the personal account of a man directly affected by the privatisation of the British Rail system.
†††† Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 2.0 Dolby Digital Mono, this is one of those cute old-fashioned black & white documentaries that they used to show in schools outlining how train tracks are made.
†††† A three page list of all the films that Ken Loach has directed.
†††† Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced.
†††† Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced
†††† Presented in 1.33:1, non-16x9 enhanced.
†††† Presented in 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
†††† Presented in 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
†††† There is no R1 release.
†††† The Navigators is a very Ken Loach film, but itís not his best work.
†††† Video was acceptable, the faults generally a result of the manner in which the film was made.
†††† The sound is stock standard with no real faults.
†††† The extras are very good.
|DVD||Panasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output|
|Display||Beko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||Energy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer|