Tango & Cash (1989)
|Year Of Production||1989|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Andrew Konchalovsky|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Having just watched the DVD of Tango & Cash, remastered back to its widescreen aspect ratio and remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1, my judgement has undergone a similar upgrade. For starters, the production values are more apparent. From the lush cinematography by Donald Thorin to the effective set designs and locations, every aspect is allowed to play its part. Secondly, the movie is hilarious. Penned by Randy (Metro) Feldman, the constant quips and witticisms uttered by Ray Tango (Sylvester Stallone) and Gabe Cash (Kurt Russell) really keep things charging along. The action scenes are also fine by Hollywood standards; the ideas stolen from Enter the Dragon and Jackie Chan's Police Story go some way towards redressing the Hollywood influences evident in many Hong Kong films.
Speaking of Hollywood, you can't go past the pairing of Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell. They work charmingly to create a believable partnership, even when exchanging insults or critiquing each other in the classic shower scene. Jack Palance as crime boss Yves Perret spends most of the movie gnashing his teeth, but he does it with such class that one can excuse the overkill. Future Lois Lane and Bond girl Teri Hatcher turns in a fabulous performance, and while Brion James' Cockney accent did nothing for his Academy Award chances, it matches the sense of fun that pervades the film.
This is a detailed and razor sharp transfer - perhaps too sharp. Signs of edge enhancement are apparent on high contrast transitions, such as at 2:44, where a halo surrounds Ray Tango, outlining him against the desert sky, and also around Yves Perret when he appears in silhouette during the prison torture sequence at 40:28. To subdue the brittle nature of the image, I reduced the sharpness level on my Marantz player to below zero, gaining a more natural, film-like result. For a film 10 years old the shadow detail is excellent, thanks perhaps to the boosted video.
The strong, saturated colours are consistently vibrant throughout the feature, with good skin tones and no colour bleed. Interior and exterior shots fare equally well.
Film artefacts mar the first reel occasionally, most noticeably at 1:46 when a brown scratch cuts the frame in two. An absence of compression faults and aliasing rounds out a transfer that looks as healthy as it could be without full restoration.
Clear dialogue is essential for the enjoyment of Randy Feldman's witty script, and this presentation delivers the goods: recording levels ensure that every jibe and wisecrack is audible. Synchronization is spot on and distortion is not a problem.
The high fidelity extended to the soundstage dynamics, which were very good, although not up to the standard of native 5.1 soundtracks. Helicopter fly-overs and the occasional front-to-back pan kept the surrounds active, as did a host of ambient city noises.
Harold Faltermeyer's characteristically synthetic music score integrates well with the other elements. Separation was apparent right from the opening scene, with the rears adding spaciousness to his predominantly front-staged theme music, a legacy of the stereo mix. The subwoofer only came to life to lend weight to various explosions, and even those were low key. This is not surprising given the lack of dynamic range available to the sound engineers in 1989.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|DVD||Marantz DV-7000 (European model), using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Ergo (81cm). 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)|