Point Break (Remastered) (1991)
Main Menu Audio
|Year Of Production||1991|
|Running Time||117:03 (Case: 120)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (68:37)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Kathryn Bigelow|
Magna Home Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I have seen Point Break many times since it was first released. This has included seeing it theatrically, owning the previous Region 4 DVD release and owning the current Region 1 DVD. So, I was more than happy to check out this latest Region 4 DVD release.
Point Break could not be considered a piece of cinematic art. It is an entertaining action movie unashamedly aimed at the mass market. The plot holds little in the way of twists or surprises. Despite this, basically the same story was rehashed and updated slightly for The Fast and the Furious. The similarities between the two don't end there, however, I feel that Point Break is a tighter package overall and will hold more replay value for dedicated adrenaline addicts.
The plot of Point Break revolves around F.B.I. Special Agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves). Utah, straight out of the Academy, has been assigned to the bank robbery division of Southern California. He has been partnered with long term agent, and part time screw-up, Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey).
Utah and Pappas are on a case to find the 'Ex-Presidents', the most successful bank hold-up gang in Southern Californian history. Conventional investigation methods are leading the F.B.I. nowhere, so Utah and Pappas decide to run with Pappas' theory that the Ex-Presidents are surfers.
Utah draws the short straw and attempts to infiltrate the surfing sub-culture. After nearly drowning, he makes a surfing contact in Tyler Ann Endicott (Lori Petty). Tyler introduces Utah to her surfer friends, including Bodhi (Patrick Swayze), a local surfing guru. After an initial break and subsequent unsuccessful raid, the investigation seems to be stalling. Then it dawns on Utah who the Ex-Presidents are. He must choose between Tyler (whom he has fallen for) and his new friends, or his sworn duty to uphold the law.
All actors put in creditable performances, although at this stage of his career Keanu Reeves still needed a few more acting lessons. The stand-out performers in the cast were Gary Busey as Angelo Pappas and Patrick Swayze as the surfing guru Bodhi. Both actors bring their characters to life with all their idiosyncrasies and quirkiness.
The video transfer is excellent, but not quite of reference quality.
The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
The picture is clear and sharp throughout. Only on occasion does it suffer from a small amount of grain. The shadow detail is also excellent. This becomes particularly evident during the night football and surfing sequences. All relevant details are easily recognisable. There was no noticeable low level noise.
The colours are clear and sharp with no noticeable problems. The blacks were very black and did not waver.
There were no MPEG artefacts to be seen. Film-to-video artefacts were minimal, with only minor aliasing occurring in rare instances. Film artefacts were also well controlled, with only some very minor flecks that appeared on very few occasions.
There are no subtitle option available on this disc.
This is a dual layered disc. The layer change occurs at 68:37 and is practically invisible.
The audio transfer is excellent, but the dialogue has a flaw that makes listening to it very difficult.
There are two audio track offerings on this disc; English dts 5.1 (1536Kb/s) and English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s). I listened to both tracks and definitely preferred the full bitrate dts offering.
The dialogue was easily understood for the majority of the feature. Only when some of the actors were wearing masks did the dialogue become muffled and a little hard to understand. There has been no pitch correction performed on this disc, so the actors' voices were noticeably higher in pitch when compared directly to the Region 1 version. That in itself was not annoying. What was annoying was a metallic distortion or ringing which afflicted portions of the dialogue where the dialogue was pushed into clipping. This is most evident in the blasting Utah and Pappas cop between 26:35 and 27:30 from McGinley although it occurred frequently throughout the movie. This greatly decreased the listening pleasure, making the movie almost impossible to listen to once the flaw was noticed. This flaw is not found in the Region 1 soundtrack, and is present on both audio tracks on the Region 4 disc.
We have prepared brief MP3s of the R1 and R4 soundtracks in this area to determine if you can hear this problem. Note that these MP3s are variable bitrate MP3s at 100% quality and that you'll need to listen to these samples on decent quality speakers to hear the artefact we are concerned about. Listen to the differing characteristics of the distortion of the word "squat". The R4 has a metallic sound to it whereas the R1 is merely distorted.
Audio sync was not a problem with this transfer.
The musical score was written by Sharon Boyle and Mark Isham and suits the movie extremely well. The score adds considerably to the overall atmosphere and success of the movie. The soundtrack contains offerings from some of the big names of early 90s pre-grunge recording artists, including Ratt, Concrete Blonde, Little Caesar and L.A. Guns.
The surround speakers get a heavy workout during this feature. This is not overdone - they are only used when appropriate to increase the overall listening pleasure. The subwoofer is also used to great effect. The opening surfing scene is simply awesome - you can almost physically feel the sound of the waves hitting you. As with the surround speakers, this is not overdone and the subwoofer is used only where needed.
|Surround Channel Use|
There is only the bare minimum of extras on offer.
The main menu is accompanied by a snippet from the music score to the movie.
This is the usual theatrical trailer. It shows small sections from the movie placed in a seemingly random order. The trailer aspect ratio is 1.33:1 full frame and it has an English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192kbps) audio track.
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 DVD misses out on;
The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;
As I have the Region 1 DVD in my collection, I performed a direct comparison between the discs. The extras on the two discs are basically the same. The Region 4 holds a slight advantage in video transfer quality. The Region 1 has a distinct advantage in the audio transfer due to the dialogue anomaly which, once noticed, makes the movie almost impossible to watch comfortably.
I would have to recommend the Region 1 version based on this direct comparison.
Point Break is an entertaining action movie that contains everything a true adrenaline junkie craves; surfing, skydiving, shooting and speeding. It has a very good video transfer and contains a full bitrate dts audio track. However, there is an annoying anomaly with the dialogue. The only extra is a theatrical trailer.
|DVD||Sony DVP-S525, using S-Video output|
|Display||Bang & Olufsen BeoVision Avante 82cm 16:9 Widescreen. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVR-1803. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR 1803|
|Speakers||Paradigm: Phantom V. 3 Front, Paradigm CC270 V. 3 Centre, Paradigm: Titan V. 3 Rear, Yamaha YST-SW305 Sub|