Patriot Games: Special Collector's Edition (1992)

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Released 7-May-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Patriot Games Up Close
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 111:55
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (72:39) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Phillip Noyce

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Harrison Ford
Sean Bean
Anne Archer
Patrick Bergin
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music James Horner

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/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
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 years after the release of the movie Patriot Games on DVD in R4, we have the release of the Patriot Games Special Edition, with a featurette and a dts audio option added to the disc.

    Patriot Games is based on Tom Clancy's best-selling novel of the same name. Clancy's novels are noted for their apparent accuracy and attention to detail. Surprisingly, Clancy does not have a background in the US military. Before embarking on his writing career, Clancy worked in the insurance industry. His best-selling books include The Sum of All Fears, Clear and Present Danger, Executive Orders, Patriot Games, Red Storm Rising, and The Hunt for Red October. He has also written a number of reference books and guides on US military hardware.

    Following The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games is the second movie featuring the character Jack Ryan. The third in the Jack Ryan series was Clear and Present Danger, and the fourth was The Sum of All Fears. While some of the others have more action, Patriot Games is far more personal, with a greater focus on Ryan and his family. Here Ryan is motivated to action to defend his family, rather than US foreign policy.

    "Not for honour. Not for country. For his wife and child."

    Both as a novel, and a movie, Patriot Games is a a great suspense/action thriller. When former Marine and CIA analyst, Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford), now a history teacher at a US Naval Academy, foils a royal abduction attempt by an Irish terrorist group, the Ulster Liberation Army, he makes some very dangerous enemies. In the ensuing gun battle, Ryan kills terrorist Sean Miller's (Sean Bean) little brother, Paddy (Karl Hayden). Ryan, and his wife Cathy (Anne Archer) and daughter Sally (Thora Birch) become the Miller's new targets. The suspense caused by the growing threat to Ryan's family climaxes perfectly in the final action sequence, which differs from the climax of the novel to better suit the big-screen.

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Transfer Quality


    The slightly disappointing transfer makes the movie look older than its 10 years.

    The often grainy transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness is good, and the shadow detail is also good, but slightly lacking in some of the darker scenes.

    The colour appears unintentionally under-saturated at times, and some whites appear a little grey. Also, some of the skin tones appear a little too brown.

    MPEG artefacts were not a problem.

    Film-to-video artefacts, in the form of aliasing, are present in the slight shimmer that appears on certain objects, such as on the files at 22:12.

    Film artefacts appear throughout, but most are small and not distracting.

    There seemed to be some mild edge enhancement at times, but this, too, was not distracting.

    Seven sets of subtitles are present on the DVD. The English subtitles are simplified, but accurate.

    This is a RSDL disc, with the layer change placed at 72:39. It is noticeable, but as it is between scenes, it is not disruptive.

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


    Originally released theatrically in Dolby Stereo Surround, and remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts for this DVD, the audio retains much of its original Stereo-Surround feel. Frankly, the Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts options don't differ greatly in quality.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are mostly fine, but I noticed the sync slip occasionally, such as at 62:39.

    The musical score is credited to James Horner, and it is suitably dramatic.

    Considering its Dolby Stereo Surround origins, the surround presence and activity is pleasantly surprising. While there is not a lot of discrete spatial activity or panning between speakers, the rear speakers are used effectively to help carry the score and provide ambience throughout, such as the marching band at 5:48.

    The subwoofer is used very effectively to support the sound effects, such as the numerous explosions, or the deafening helicopter at 61:33.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    While the original R4 disc only had the theatrical trailer, a decent featurette has been added to the Special Edition.


    An animated menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with audio.

Theatrical Trailer (2:20)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, not 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo surround-encoded audio.

Featurette - Patriot Games Up Close (25:13)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital stereo surround-encoded audio. This is a genuine documentary that includes interesting and recent interviews with key members of the cast and crew.

R4 vs R1

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

    Patriot Games SE was released on DVD in Region 1 on May 6, 2003.

    The Region 4 DVD misses out on:

    The Region 1 DVD misses out on:

    I would call it even, but I personally prefer a PAL transfer.


    Patriot Games is a very enjoyable suspense/action movie. The Special Edition is an improvement on the last release, albeit marginally. If you already own the original R4 DVD, and are thinking of 'up-grading', I don't think the new dts track warrants it.

    The video quality is slightly disappointing but still good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The extras are limited, but genuine and interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Monday, May 19, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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Comments (Add)
How does it compare with the original R1 release - Dave REPLY POSTED
11 years, not 10 :) *nt* - Anonymous
Tom Clancy - orangecat (my kingdom for a decent bio)
Patriot Games timeline - Anonymous REPLY POSTED
10 years - Patriot Games - NewcastleBoy (read my bio)
Sounds like the new R1 may fair better transfer wise - Craggles (Behold the mighty bio!!)
Re: Patriot Games timeline - Anonymous