Jade (1995)

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Released 4-Sep-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 90:22
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By William Friedkin
Studio
Distributor

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring David Caruso
Chazz Palminteri
Michael Biehn
Linda Fiorentino
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music James Horner


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1
French Dolby Digital 2.0
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian
Spanish
Portuguese
French
Greek
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    Jade is an erotic thriller in the vein of Basic Instinct. It was written by the same writer (Joe Eszterhas) and was directed by legendary thriller specialist William Friedkin. When the film was released in 1995 it was critically mauled by the press who heavily criticised the film's portrayal of women. It is hard to see now, eight years later, what all the fuss was about, but at the time writer Eszterhas had just written Showgirls for Paul Verhoeven so the press were ready to pounce. The story revolves around the murder of a prominent art collector who had been keeping secret sex files on government officials. These officials were being filmed in sexual situations with high priced prostitutes, only to be blackmailed at a later date. One of the most requested women was Jade, a mystery girl who may be linked to the murder.

    Personally, I found the film to be quite a decent thriller, with generally solid performances. Friedkin, a director famous for making two of the best films of the seventies in The Exorcist and The French Connection, gives Jade a slick look with some very unsettling moments. The opening tracking shot through a house to a murder scene is an absolute corker. He also provides a fabulous car chase that begins with one of the most graphically staged hit and run pedestrian collisions ever filmed.

    The cast are a mixed bag. David Caruso is excellent as the Assistant D.A. and is ably supported by Chazz Palminteri and the always dynamite Michael Biehn. It is in the performance of Linda Fiorentino where the film becomes unstuck. Her performance is flat and unappealing. The story requires the character of Jade to be a sexual predator, irresistible to men, but as played by Fiorentino she is nothing more than an emotionless tart. Making matters worse is the fact that she is also supposed to be a brilliant psychologist, but instead comes across as an incompetent twit. This small complaint aside, Jade is a nifty little thriller that is ripe for re-discovery.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Jade was filmed in an aspect ratio of 1:85:1, but at the request of Director William Friedkin, all home video, DVD, and Laserdisc versions of the film are presented full frame, so what we are presented with is a Full Frame version, approximately 1:33:1 in aspect ratio and not 16x9 enhanced, which I find totally bizarre and somewhat annoying.

    Sharpness levels are excellent, with solid shadow detail. There are occasional patches of grain in some of the darker moments, but they never last long enough to distract the viewer. I was not aware of any low level noise problems.

    Colours are muted intentionally to increase the film's dark atmosphere. They are consistent throughout the print and pleasing to watch.

    There were occasional film artefacts present throughout the transfer, but they were never distracting.

    In fact, my only real complaint about the transfer is the fact that it is not presented in the original aspect ratio of the film's theatrical release.

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

Audio

    Jade is presented with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Additionally present are three 2.0 surround tracks in French, Italian and Spanish. The English track is reviewed here.

    Dialogue is first rate and always clear, and there are absolutely no audio sync problems.

    The film's score is by James Horner and it is a very moody, eerie and extremely effective score.

    Surround channel usage is terrific. The rear speakers get quite a work-out and the directional effects are superb. This is a first rate use of the 5.1 system.

    The subwoofer supports the 5.1 soundtrack with the required ferocity.

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

Extras

Theatrical Trailer

    A solitary non-anamorphic trailer.

R4 vs R1

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

    All versions of the film are the same.

Summary

   Jade is well made thriller that showcases the talents of Director William Friedkin. The transfer provided on the DVD is very reasonable and the soundtrack exceptional. Unfortunately, extras are severely lacking.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Thursday, July 24, 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
SpeakersSS-MS215

Other Reviews NONE
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