Proximity (2001)

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Released 11-Jun-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Biographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 82:34
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Scott Zeihl

Warner Home Video
Starring Rob Lowe
James Coburn
Jonathon Banks
Joe Santos
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Stephen Cullo

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Proximity is the sort of 'made-for-TV' movie that will not set anyone's world on fire with its plot and acting, but if you are looking for something to watch on a dark and rainy night, I've seen worse. Mind you, this has about every cliché in it I can remember relating to prison movies, but then you don't get a lot for $6 million. Produced by Joel Silver and directed by Scott Ziehl, this has a couple of name stars including Rob Lowe and James Coburn in lead roles, but even their presence can't make a lightweight script like this work any better than it does.

    William Conroy (Rob Lowe) is serving out the last months of a prison sentence for Vehicular Manslaughter. One night while under the influence and making a play for one of his students, he is involved in a car crash that kills her instantly and lands him inside. Time passes, and with less than 6 months to go, he's trying to keep himself sane and alive in a prison system that has become highly charged with over a dozen inexplicable deaths over the past couple of years. One night, he hears noises coming from the adjoining cell where a lifer named Cole resides, and the next morning he's informed that Cole has committed suicide. After a brief interrogation by the warden, he is left to himself, but now he's even more worried about his own safety.

    A few days later, Conroy is on his way to a parole hearing along with another prisoner named Yaskin (T. C. Carlson) when he is attacked. During the struggle, Yaskin accidentally stabs the driver, causing the van to crash and overturn. Attempting to help the injured officer, the driver mysteriously pulls a gun on Conroy and tries to shoot him. Fleeing for his life and short on answers, he holes up in a sleazy hotel after he makes contact with his lawyer (Mark Boone, Jr). He begins searching for answers as to why they were trying to kill him and his first clue comes the next morning when no mention of his escape appears in the morning papers. A phone call to the prison by his lawyer confirms the worst - not only has he not been reported missing, but he is officially laid up with the flu. Now he has an additional problem though, since those who have engineered the cover-up will certainly be coming for him, and they will definitely be after his wife and child.

    Meantime, back in the prison, the Warden (Joe Santos) is having stern words with the guards responsible and sets up a search team including the prisoner Yaskin, a confirmed psychopath who loves to cut off toes, to find Conroy and repair the situation. The guards, Price (Jonathon Banks) and Lawrence (David Flynn), along with Yaskin, set off to find the missing con and they are prepared to do whatever it takes to find him. All this and James Coburn as Jim Corcoran who runs a group called "Justice for the Victim's Family", and you will fairly quickly determine what is happening in this rather pedestrian plot. Like I said, it is a decent enough effort for the budget, but don't expect anything more than that. It has its moments but the clichés come thick and fast.

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Transfer Quality


    This is another decent enough quality transfer to DVD for a low budget movie. There is very little to complain about, and it is very easy on the eye.

    The original theatrical ratio was 1.85:1. This disc is presented in 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The good thing about movies like this is the detail is excellent since the source material hasn't suffered from any deterioration due to age or wear (hell, this is probably a pristine master it was taken from). That being said, a reasonably sharp picture is offered with some edge enhancement, but not enough to spoil the crispness. Clarity is the order of the day with excellent backgrounds with plenty of fine detail on show and good depth throughout the movie. There was no low level noise noticeable and the grain was well controlled and unobtrusive throughout.

    The colours are bright and well saturated without any discernable colour bleed or chroma noise. Skin tones were spot on and the entire movie had a crispness to it.

    There are a couple of minor spots and blemishes here and there (16:37, white fleck, 50:41, black blot), but mostly they are confined to the general speckles you'd expect from an almost pristine master. There is some shimmering from time to time (33:48) but no full-blown aliasing or moiré effects. No MPEG artefacts or pixelization was detected, making for a really fine quality transfer.

    There were no subtitles on this disc.

    There is no layer change on this single layered disc.

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


    The soundtrack on this disc is a 2 channel stereo Dolby Digital effort at 320 kilobits per second. There is good separation across the fronts giving it a slightly wider than normal stereo soundfield, but without the fullness offered by true surrounds and subwoofer it lacks a lot of bite. There was some minor redirection to the rears on my system but this not due to any surround-encoding on the disk. Overall it is a decent soundtrack with some variety to it. The soundtrack is exceptionally clean with no noticeable pops or drop-outs noted.

    The dialogue is crisp and clean with no major dramas and no obvious ADR work. Syncing did not present a problem

    The music is by Stephen Cullo and is quite well matched to the onscreen action. The opening sequence of Cajun and southern music is as good as the variety gets. Subtlety is the operative word and the music does a reasonable job. There is nothing remarkable here, but it is a competent enough job which isn't discordant or unpleasant by any means.

    Any surround channel or subwoofer activity noted was probably a function of your processor and is incidental.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Biographies-Cast & Crew

    Information on Rob Lowe, T. C. Carson, James Coburn, Jonathan Banks and Kelly Rowan.


    With a running time of 2:12, this trailer is almost better than the actual movie.

R4 vs R1

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

   The two major differences between the R4 and R1 releases of this disc are that the Region 1 version is offered up in 1.85:1 format (I don't know if it is 16x9 enhanced, but I'd hazard a guess and say it was) and the soundtrack is listed as being in Dolby Digital 5.1. The price tag for the R1 version is pretty steep, though (listed as US$29.95 which is a lot for a direct-to-video release). Still, based on these two criteria alone the Region 1 would be the disc of choice. Personally though, given the quality of the movie/script/acting, my choice would be to go for price over features, since this is not something you'll be watching over and over again.


    This is the sort of late night movie you see trotted out to fill in the gaps during non-ratings periods. A competent, if rather stilted movie, with some decent enough actors going about their business without too much effort. The smallness of the budget dictates the amount of action in the movie but you could do a lot worse if you are bored and need some sort of minor distraction.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Monday, October 20, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSony NS-305, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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