Midnight Run (1988)
|Year Of Production||1988|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (55:47)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Martin Brest|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Robert De Niro
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
It's plain to see why Midnight Run was a success. De Niro is excellent as Walsh, the man Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle may have become if his brain hadn't been stir-fried in Vietnam. The familiar supporting cast, which includes Dennis Farina, Yaphet Koto, John Ashton, and Joe (The Matrix) Pantoliano, all appear to anticipate the audience's enjoyment of the odd-ball story line. Beverly Hills Cop director Martin Brest also knows what pleases the mainstream palette. He prepares this particular banquet like a master chef.
Even after zooming the letterboxed picture to fill my 16:9 TV screen, the level of sharpness and detail was pleasing from start to finish. Glasses and plates on restaurant tables were perfectly discernible, as were background elements in the airport and Arizona desert. Shadow detail was a tad chalky in darker scenes, but that appears to be a fault with the source print
rather than the transfer, which couldn't have been any brighter.
The colours are piercing. In fact, I dropped the colour level a few increments to compensate for the saturation of this transfer, however, as strong as the colours were, colour bleed was not a problem.
Film grain, compression artefacts, and marks on the print were no hassle, either. Years of seeing alignment circles, scratches, hair, and god knows what else on film prints has made their absence on DVDs such as this one distracting in itself, but that is by no means a complaint. Actually, the only gripe one could make about this otherwise superlative effort from Universal is the lack of 16x9 enhancement.
The mildy disruptive layer change at 55:47 comes right after an exchange between the two bondsmen, which then cuts to another scene. While the narrative remains intact, it makes you think the dialogue was truncated because the layer change occurs a millisecond after Joe Pantoliano's last word. The DVD authors were obviously aiming for the scene transition.
Dialogue was distinct at all times, although it distorted whenever characters engaged in nose-to-nose screaming matches, and synchronization was precise.
Danny Elfman's honky tonk score injects the film with the intended planes, trains, and automobile groove. Turned up to the appropriate volume, the guitar riffing, harmonica melodies, and punchy, subwoofer-assisted bass kicks all work marvellously to emphasize the tomfoolery unfolding before us.
The surround component of the soundtrack was passive to the point of being literally inaudible. This is another stereo mix, with the rear speakers doing the bare minimum to create a limited sound field. Directional effects were limited to the front soundstage, but reflected the on-screen action adequately.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Although bereft of extras, this DVD release only stops short of being definitive due to its non-anamorphic treatment. The same could be said about the the audio, which is antiquated compared to today's 5.1 channel mixes. Then again, it faithfully reproduces the original sound experience.
|DVD||Marantz DV-7000 (European model), using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Ergo (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder.|
|Amplification||Arcam AV50 5 x 50W amplifier|
|Speakers||Front: ALR/Jordan Entry 5M, Centre: ALR/Jordan 4M, Rear: ALR/Jordan Entry 2M, Subwoofer: B&W ASW-1000 (active)|