National Security (2003)

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Released 9-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-Director
Deleted Scenes-2
Alternate Ending-1
Music Video-N.S.E.W., Disturbing Tha Peace
Trailer-National Security, I Spy, Charlie's Angels : Full Throttle
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 84:41
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (49:22) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Dennis Dugan
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Martin Lawrence
Steve Zahn
Eric Roberts
Colm Feore
Bill Duke
Timothy Busfield
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Randy Edelman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Arabic
Bulgarian
Croatian
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Romanian
Russian
Serbian
Slovenian
Swedish
Turkish
English Audio Commentary
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I missed seeing National Security at the movies and was very much looking forward to watching it this time around. Martin Lawrence movies aren't rocket science, but they are usually entertaining and humorous. I had thought that his movies had gradually been improving after the sudden decline in quality suffered post Bad Boys . Unfortunately, the decline continues.

    National Security was a major disappointment from beginning to end. The storyline is thin and the acting is only average. 90% of the jokes, which usually revolve around racial humour, are not funny and are poorly timed. The character of Earl Montgomery, played by Martin Lawrence, is so arrogant and has such a big chip on his shoulder that he has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Half-way through the movie I was hoping that he would be killed off, and killed off quickly. He was so annoying.

    Police Officer Hank Rafferty (Steve Zahn) has not had a good time of late. His partner and best friend was murdered before his very eyes. He was also falsely accused and convicted of beating Earl Montgomery (Martin Lawrence), an African-American. When finally released from prison, the only work he can get is as a security guard, the lowest rung in the law enforcement industry.

    However, Officer Rafferty is a man on a mission. He is out to find the crime gang that killed his partner and convict the man that pulled the trigger. As fate would have it, Rafferty runs into his accuser, Earl Montgomery, who by this time has also become a security guard. Together, these two mismatched would-be cops set off to find the elusive killer.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is excellent and could rarely be faulted.

    The transfer is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1:85.1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is clear and sharp from beginning to end. Perception of objects within shadows is excellent, with all details clearly visible. Low level noise was well controlled with no noticeable occurrences.

    The colours are clear and constant with no colour-related artefacts evident. The blacks were very black and did not waver.

    There were no MPEG artefacts present and film-to-video artefacts were also non-existent. Film artefacts were kept to a minimum with only a couple of occurrences throughout the entire movie. When they did occur, they were very minor and did not distract.

    There are an impressive number of subtitle options on the disc. In all there are 22 choices, including; English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Swedish, Turkish and two English Audio Commentary subtitle tracks. I sampled the English and the English commentary subtitle options. These appeared to be accurate and correct.

    This is an RSDL disc with the layer change plaaced at 49:22. It is almost invisible.

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

Audio

    The audio quality is good, but not quite up to the standard of the video.

    There are five audio tracks on this disc. They include; English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) which is the default track, Czech Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), Hungarian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s), Russian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s) and an English Audio Commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). I listened to both the English and the English commentary offerings.

    The dialogue for the most part is clear and easily understood, but on occasion Martin Lawrence is a little hard to understand and when excited his voice occasionally cracks. I also noticed that around the 76:00 minute mark the sound appeared to be a little soft and muffled. Audio sync was not an issue with this disc.

    The music score was composed by Randy Edelman and suits the movie well. It does not telegraph the on-screen action as much as other movies, merely complementing what is happening. There is a substantial amount of Rap and Hip-Hop music throughout the movie, so if you are into that style of music you will enjoy it.

    The surround speakers are used to good effect, but as expected with this style of film, are not in constant use. They tend to be used aggressively for short periods of time and then fall silent.

    The subwoofer gets a fair amount of use both with the soundtrack and with special effects and explosions. As with the surround speakers, it tends to be used in short spurts and then falls silent.

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

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

    The introduction to the menu has a small selection of snippets from the movie.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    This is one of the more unusual menu animations I have seen. It has a blurred, unrecognisable image spinning around like a wheel .When it stops, an image of one of the major characters is selected at random. No matter which character appears, they all have a strange expression on their face.

Audio Commentary-Director

    The audio commentary by director Dennis Dugan is informative but a little boring. You would have to be a die-hard fan to listen to this commentary.

Deleted Scenes- Martin Lawrence Interrogation Improv (14:05)

    This deleted scene is a waste of time. It is obvious why is was cut from the movie - it's just not funny.

Deleted Scenes- Overhead Hallway (0:29)

    There is no sound during this deleted scene and it does not add anything of interest.

Alternate Ending (5:48)

    This is a totally different ending to the one included in the main feature. It does not bring any closure to the movie and the ending selected for the main feature was the more suitable.

Music Video-N.S.E.W., Disturbing Tha Peace (4:13)

    This is a rap/hip hop video clip supposedly from the movie. I did not hear this song during the movie but it may have featured during the credits.

Trailer-National Security (1:49)

    This is a trailer for the main feature on this disc. It is 16x9 enhanced and has a 5.1 (384 kbps) Dolby Digital audio track. It shows most of the funnier moments of the movie out of context and in seemingly random order.

Trailer-I Spy (2:16)

    This is a trailer for the movie I Spy staring Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson. It is 16x9 enhanced and has a 5.1 (384 kbps) Dolby Digital audio track.

Charlie's Angels : Full Throttle (1:46)

    This is a trailer for the latest Charlie's Angles movie. It is 16x9 enhanced and has a 5.1 (384 kbps) Dolby Digital audio track.

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 disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 and Region 4 versions of this disc are nearly identical. There is no compelling reason to recommend one version over the other (PAL and NTSC differences aside).

Summary

    National Security is not a good movie. The plot is thin and the humour just doesn't cut it. By half-way through the movie you are hoping that Martin Lawrence's character gets hit by a car and dies...quickly! However, it has a near flawless video transfer, a very good audio transfer and a typical lot of extras. Definitely rent before you buy.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Geoff Greer (read my bio)
Saturday, September 13, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-S525, using S-Video output
DisplayBang & Olufsen BeoVision Avante 82cm 16:9 Widescreen. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderDenon AVR-1803. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR 1803
SpeakersParadigm: Phantom V. 3 Front, Paradigm CC270 V. 3 Centre, Paradigm: Titan V. 3 Rear, Yamaha YST-SW305 Sub

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