Action Jackson (1988)

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Released 14-Oct-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 91:56
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Craig R. Baxley
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Carl Weathers
Craig T. Nelson
Vanity
Sharon Stone
Thomas F. Wilson
Bill Duke
Robert Davi
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $14.90 Music Herbie Hancock
Michael Kamen


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
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 like Carl Weathers — he's a decent actor, can handle a love scene or comedy, and is quite credible in action scenes. Unfortunately, he seems to have had a lot of bad luck in choosing roles. He starred in the short-lived TV series Fortune Dane, played the manipulative CIA man in Predator, then scored this leading role. I kinda liked this film, but lots of people didn't — it did not do too well at the box office.

    Jericho "Action" Jackson (Carl Weathers) lost his lieutenant's rank when he was accused of police brutality whilst arresting the son of a wealthy and powerful car maker in Detroit. For two years he has been a sergeant, and has been stuck with desk work because he lost his gun permit, too. The wealthy man was Peter Dellaplane (Craig T. Nelson). Dellaplane has a plot running, and Jackson happens to stumble across part of it. He starts investigating, including asking questions of Dellaplane's second wife, Patrice (a young Sharon Stone), and his mistress, Sydney Ash (singer Vanity). (An example of the exploitation aspect of this film is the way that both ladies gratuitously display their breasts). In typical action film fashion, Jackson charges from clue to clue, is framed for murder, and gets a chance to vindicate himself in the end. Will he survive? Will he get the girl? Will he clear his name? What do you think?

    Carl Weathers isn't the only actor from Predator who appears in this film. Jackson's police captain, Captain Armbruster, is Bill Duke (he played Sergeant Mac in Predator). There's even a cameo from Sonny Landham, who played the scout, Billy, as the drug dealer Mr Quick.

    There's one thing I found difficult to credit — one of the bad guys wields butterfly knives (an appropriate weapon for a bad guy), but he throws them?!? I'd have thought they'd be about the worst possible choice as throwing knives, because you'd expect them to flop around in midair.

    Keep in mind that what you are getting here is a classic B movie, and you will probably find this an entertaining film. Just don't expect too much.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie screened in cinemas in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. This disc is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced — close enough.

    The image is soft and grainy, with very few shots displaying anything like sharpness (see 55:01 for one of the rare sharp-ish shots), and some shots horribly grainy (the closing shot at 88:55 is dreadful). Shadow detail is limited, but not bad. There is no low level noise. There's another artefact I found fairly irritating: there's a white haze over the background and mid-ground of some shots, making it look like these shots were made with the scene filled with a haze of smoke. Sometimes a shot from one angle, showing this artefact, will be inter-cut with one from another angle that's free from the artefact, so the scene goes hazy, clear, hazy, clear, hazy... Fairly distracting.

    Colour is adequately rendered, but won't win prizes. There are no colour-related artefacts, although the heavy blue/purple halo around Carl Weathers and Vanity at 68:39 could be chromatic aberration, or bad edge enhancement 

    There are some film artefacts, but they are all quite minor. There's not much in the way of aliasing, and no moiré — I think the softness covers it. There are no obvious MPEG errors, but it's possible that some of the softness isn't so much film grain as mild over-compression of the image.

    There are subtitles in English, and English for the Hearing Impaired. I watched the latter, and they are abbreviated no more than usual; they are easy to read, and well-timed to the dialogue.

    The disc is single-sided and single layered. There is no layer change, at least.

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

Audio

    The soundtrack is provided in English — no choice, even though there's a menu item for language (that menu item offers English sound and two sets of English subtitles — not a big choice of languages...). It's Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded , but there's nothing much in the way of surround sound.

    The dialogue is clear enough and almost always understandable. There are no obvious audio sync problems.

    The music is credited to the famous Herbie Hancock, "with" Michael Kamen. (who provided music for the Die Hard movies, all the Lethal Weapon movies except the first, and many others). We also get a number of songs, including two from Vanity. The opening theme is by the Pointer Sisters.

    The surrounds are barely used. The subwoofer gets no signal from the soundtrack, but your amp may redirect bass into it.

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

Extras

    There are no extras at all.

Menu

    The menu is static and silent. After a while, it times out and the movie starts, even if you do nothing..

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

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

    We have a slightly better disc than the Region 1: theirs is a pan-and-scan effort. They don't get any extras, either. At least ours is in something approximating the original aspect ratio.

Summary

    A B-grade action movie that's kinda fun given a bare-bones presentation on DVD.

    The video quality is not good, with varying levels of grain.

    The audio quality is good enough.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Monday, October 20, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left, Centre, Right: Krix Euphonix; Rears: Krix KDX-M; Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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Comments (Add)
Carl Weathers - Nick H (do you have a spare 60 seconds-read my bio) REPLY POSTED
R1 = Open matte? - Cobretti REPLY POSTED