Antwone Fisher (2002)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 18-Nov-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-Denzel Washington (Director) and Todd Black (Producer)
Featurette-Meeting Antwone Fisher
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 115:19
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Denzel Washington

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Derek Luke
Denzel Washington
Joy Bryant
Malcolm David Kelley
Cory Hodges
Sally Richardson
Case ?
RPI $31.95 Music Mychael Danna

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
English Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Antwone Fisher is movie which contains some interesting contrasts. Witness a highly acclaimed actor (Denzel Washington) playing opposite a rookie (Derek Luke) in the leading roles. At the same time, Washington makes his rookie appearance as a director. The film itself was written by Antwone Fisher, in a remarkable "rags to riches" fairytale story, Hollywood-style - he was working as a security guard at Sony Pictures when he attempted to make his story into a screenplay. The life story of Antwone, on which the film is based, presents a saddening insight into the meanness of the human spirit, but at the same time, provides an uplifting message about how a man can rise above his adverse beginnings and become a noble and productive person.

    The story starts with Antwone (a stunning debut from Luke) serving as a sailor in the US Navy. Despite being a generally gentle soul, he suffers from a violent temper which lands him in trouble. After striking a fellow sailor, he is demoted, fined and sent for psychiatric assessment to Jerome Davenport (masterfully underplayed by Washington). After refusing to participate in the allotted three sessions, Antwone finally succumbs to the stubborn determination of Davenport and begins to recount his story.

    Davenport soon helps Antwone to make some progress towards identifying the cause for his inner rage. Antwone's father was murdered two months before he was born - in a state prison. His early years were spent in foster care, with a religious zealot who felt no compunction in beating the young charges in her care. When Antwone's mother failed to come to his rescue on her release from jail, his feeling of abandonment began to shape the rest of his life. Unfortunately, Davenport has to stop seeing Antwone after the prescribed three sessions, and his catharsis is by no means complete

    Before long Antwone is back in trouble, assaulting (quite deservedly) another seaman whilst on a tour of duty in Mexico. This brings him back under the care of Davenport, and the two begin to dig a little deeper into Antwone's past in an attempt to find the root cause of his anger. The remainder of the film follows Antwone's journey to find peace within himself and lay his personal demons to rest. He is joined in his quest by Cheryl (Joy Bryant), a fellow Navy recruit who loves Antwone and is determined to help him face his problems.

    Antwone Fisher is not quite a masterpiece - it felt just a touch overlong for me. It is, however, a very good film indeed - well directed, well written and very well acted by its main players. This is a film that should be watched at least once, but may not warrant too many repeat viewings. Highly recommended as a rental, and a fine purchase for fans of Denzel Washington or those who enjoy moving, character driven dramas.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The overall video transfer of this disc is very good with only a few minor blemishes.

    The film is presented in a widescreen ratio of 2.35:1 which is almost the same as the original aspect ratio of 2.39:1. It has been 16x9 enhanced.

    The overall transfer is very sharp, although there is the odd hint of softness present in rare shots. There is some noticeable grain evident in a few of the outdoor shots, particularly when a bright sky is shown (for example at 1:06 and 38:08) and this is slightly jarring given the smoothness of the remainder of the transfer.

    Black levels are inky, deep and solid with no significant low level noise noticed. Shadow detail is fine, with lots of detail evident in all but the very darkest of scenes.

    Colours are well rendered and fully saturated throughout, with no evidence of colour bleeding. The palette does seem a little restricted however - perhaps the military setting warranted the large amount of grey on offer? Skin tones are wonderful throughout.

    The transfer has no major MPEG artefacts, however film-to-video artefacts crop up in the way of noticeable edge enhancement on occasion. Examples can be seen around Antwone at 1:35, lampposts at 22:55 or the ship at 28:35. Aliasing was not significant at any time on my system, with only the merest hint of shimmer cropping up occasionally, for example on the awning at 86:30.

    The transfer does have a few minor film artefacts but these are always brief and never distracting. They are mainly evident as small flecks with the rare larger scratch also making an appearance, such as at 29:23.

    The English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are perfectly serviceable, being well timed and easy to read. They contain only minor edits for the sake of brevity and provide the requisite audio cues.

    This is a dual-layered, single-sided format disc but I did not notice a layer change during the film.

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


    The overall audio quality of this disc is solid and perfectly fitting for a character driven drama.

    The English audio track is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 384 kbps and it bears no noticeable defects in the way of hiss or pops. It does seem to be slightly quieter than some transfers however, and for ease of listening I had to turn my amp up slightly above normal listening levels.

    Dialogue was always clear with natural sounding voices. Audio sync is fine throughout the film.

    The original music is credited to Mychael Danna (Girl, Interrupted and 8MM), and it does a reasonable job. The score is mildly atmospheric and generally fairly subtle, but it does fill out the soundstage quite nicely. Tubular bells are used when dream sequences are in play, with a plaintive piano melody in more poignant scenes and a suitably militaristic vibe during the Naval scenes.

    The soundstage is usually fairly frontal, with some nice separation across the front speakers. Occasionally the surrounds provide a more enveloping feel, largely when music is being used (for example the bar scene around 47:00) or during the thunderstorm around 50:00.

    There is little in the way of specific LFE activity from the subwoofer, but it does get some occasional use for spot effects, for example during the bar scene around 47:00. Given the character driven nature of the film this is not too surprising, and is appropriate.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are a couple of worthwhile extras on this disc.


    The menu is a slightly animated picture of the young Antwone standing in a field of corn. It provides the opportunity to select the audio language, subtitles, one of thirty-two chapter stops or the following extra features:

Audio Commentary

    This is one of the more interesting commentary tracks I have listened to recently. It features director/star Denzel Washington and producer Todd Black who discuss the film in a serious, but informative manner. It is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps, or alternatively can be viewed as a silent subtitle stream as the main film audio track plays.

Meeting Antwone Fisher

    This featurette is presented at 1.33:1 (not 16x9 enhanced) with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps. Running for 14:14, it provides a nice insight into the real Antwone, who comes across as a gentle, kind man.

The Making Of Antwone Fisher

    This featurette is presented at 1.33:1 (not 16x9 enhanced) with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps. It runs for 22:17, and is a fairly typical EPK piece, although it is still worth watching.

Hollywood and The Navy

    Presented at 1.33:1 (not 16x9 enhanced) with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 192 kbps. It runs for a very brief 4:43, and provides an opportunity to learn how the Navy cooperated with the making of the movie.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 release appears to be substantially the same as ours, albeit it contains some trailers which are absent from the Region 4 release (In America, Master and Commander, Drumline and Le Divorce). Buy whichever can be found for the best price.


    Antwone Fisher is a very moving drama. The story is genuinely touching and is directed with a steady hand by Washington - preventing it from slipping into over-sentimental mush, which could easily have happened in less capable hands. The acting of Washington and Luke is not to be faulted with excellent support provided by relative newcomer Joy Bryant as Cheryl. This is a film I can highly recommend for those who are in need of a mature drama without the typical Hollywood histrionics.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    There are a couple of worthwhile extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Saturday, November 08, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDHarmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

Other Reviews
The DVD Bits - Shane A
DVD Net - Jules F

Comments (Add) NONE