D.O.A. (1988)

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Released 15-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 93:28
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Rocky Morton
Annabel Jankel

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Dennis Quaid
Meg Ryan
Daniel Stern
Charlotte Rampling
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    D.O.A. is an engaging thriller from 1988. The film's story is a classic murder mystery set-up with a fabulous twist. English professor Dexter Cornell suddenly finds himself suspected of murdering his estranged wife and best student. Making matters worse, he discovers that someone has poisoned him, leaving him only 48 hours to live. A fugitive from the police, not only does Dexter have to solve a double homicide to clear his name, but his own impending murder, and time is running out.

    Dennis Quaid, as Professor Dexter Cornell, provides a wonderful performance and elevates the film from being adequate to very good. Quaid has often shown that he is an extremely talented actor and D.O.A. is proof positive of the man's class. The supporting cast, lead by Meg Ryan and Daniel Stern, give professionally solid performances, but it is Quaid who steals the show. Directors Rocky Morton and Annabelle Jankel give D.O.A. an impressive film noir feel akin to the great Hitchcock thrillers of the late 1940's, particularly the opening and closing sequences which are shot in stark black and white. Screenwriter Charles Edward Pogue is to be commended for giving the story a cracking pace which only increases the urgency of Quaid's plight.

    D.O.A. is a very enjoyable thriller that will keep you guessing until the very end.

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Transfer Quality


    D.O.A. is presented in the film's original aspect ratio of 1:85:1 but is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness levels are strong with no aliasing issues or tacky halo effects and shadow detail is excellent. There are no problems with either grain or low level noise interference.

    Colours are rich and vibrant. The film has a striking colour mix that includes black & white photography that is very pleasing to watch.

    As the film is 15 years old, there are film artefacts present but they are so minor as to be barely noticeable.

    This is a very good looking print with the only downfall being the lack of anamorphic formatting.

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


    There are two Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks present on this disc. The tracks are in English and Spanish. The English one is reviewed here.

    Dialogue is very clear with no dropouts or audio sync problems.

    The music is very 1980's in nature but supports the film well.

    Surround channel usage is minimal, but when they are used, they are used effectively. There are some well rendered directional effects at the 55 minute mark during an action sequence involving a nail gun. The rear speakers are used liberally during this scene, but the majority of the film is dialogue intensive so a bombastic 5.1 mix is not needed.

    Subwoofer support is adequate, but the soundtrack could have used a deeper tonal range.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     There are no extras.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both the R1 and R4 versions are identical.


    D.O.A. is a well produced, well acted film noir thriller. The disc presentation is better than average, despite a lack of anamorphic enhancement. There are no extras which is disappointing, as a nice audio commentary would have gone down a treat, but at least the film is finally available in our beloved DVD format.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Saturday, September 20, 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

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