Absolute Power (1997) (NTSC)

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Released 8-Jul-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Biographies-Cast & Crew
Production Notes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 121:02
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,4 Directed By Clint Eastwood

Warner Home Video
Starring Clint Eastwood
Gene Hackman
Laura Linney
Scott Glenn
Ed Harris
Judy Davis
Dennis Haysbert
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $24.95 Music None Given

Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    How can you go wrong when your supporting cast includes Gene Hackman, Ed Harris, Scott Glenn, Laura Linney, Dennis Haysbert, and Judy Davis? Add to that mix star and director Clint Eastwood, and then have the screenplay written by William Goldman. To answer the question - you can't. Absolute Power is simply a terrific film. The story revolves around a jewel thief, played by Eastwood, who witnesses an accidental homicide whilst conducting a break and enter. To make maters worse, the offender is the President of the United States, Hackman, who, when realising there was a witness sets the Secret Service on a search and destroy mission.

    Eastwood, wearing hats as both star and director, shines in both categories. He delivers a solid, well-measured acting performance and his direction is all class. Every tense cliff-hanger moment is milked for all its worth. The screenplay by veteran William Goldman of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid Fame is well written with believable dialogue and clever character motivation. The supporting cast are excellent with not a weak link to speak of. Hackman is always at his best when playing the villain, although Davis shines in this area also.

    Absolute Power is an engaging film that relies on story-driven thrills over splashy effects work and should appeal to fans of classic thrillers.

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Transfer Quality


    Absolute Power is presented in an aspect ratio of 2:35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced for widescreen televisions. This is a Region 4 NTSC transfer.

    Sharpness levels are excellent with little to no edge enhancement. Shadow detail is first rate, with nice solid blacks. There is little to no grain apparent and no low level noise problems.

    Colours are natural, vibrant and well rendered.

    There are occasional film artefacts, but nothing distracting.

    If all Region 4 NTSC transfers were this well presented, the ongoing debate on the matter would become a moot point.

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


    Absolute Power has been given an English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track only.

    Dialogue is always clear and there are no audio sync problems.

    The musical score is credited to Clint Eastwood and Lennie Niehaus and they do a fine job. Is there anything Eastwood can't do?

    Surround channel usage is first rate - the 5.1 soundtrack makes great use of directional soundfields.

    The subwoofer enhances proceedings nicely, with ample resonance.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Standard PR fare.

Production Notes

    A non-taxing read spread over several pages.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on a Pan & Scan version, otherwise all versions are identical.


    Absolute Power is a well made thriller with a great cast. The disc is bare bones, but sports a nice transfer and a great audio track.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Monday, July 07, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215.
AmplificationSony HT-K215

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Martin F (read my bio)

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