Mutant X 1.9 (2001)

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Released 24-Mar-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 85:54
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Ken Girotti
Jorge Montesi
Studio
Distributor
Force Video
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring John Shea
Victoria Pratt
Victor Webster
Lauren Lee Smith
Forbes March
Tom McCamus
Case Brackley-Opaque-Lipped
RPI $29.95 Music Louise Natale
Donald Quan


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    If you haven't read any of the other reviews of this series then this is as good a place to start as any. As with the other discs in this series, 2 episodes on a bare bones release is the order of the day. The presentation is almost precisely the same as all the episodes I've reviewed with very slight variations in sound and picture quality. The cast and scripts remain on a par, i.e.: decent without being exceptional. A more reasonable way of releasing this series would have been, as in other regions, to do a boxed set, but for some reason the powers-that-be decided to initially release the series on single discs. For those interested, Mutant X is not meant to be in any way associated with the X-men or that franchise and has been deliberately separated from it. Marvel Comics still have a lot of input into the series but there are no tie-ins (even though both are about mutants and mutant powers). Anyway, on with the review...

Episode 17: 42:37 - Presumed Guilty

    A mutant named Griffin is on the run and set to meet with Adam when his girlfriend, Megan, accidentally falls and dies. Adam, who comes across the tragedy is attacked by Griffin who exhibits the power to steal the memory of anyone with whom he comes in eye contact. Leaving him unconscious, Griffin flees but not before calling the police. After waking up just as the police arrive, Adams finds his memory missing about the events that transpired, and with no other choice he flees the scene in order to allow himself some time to regain his lost memory. About this time, other members of Mutant X are becoming concerned by Adam's lack of visibility and the fact that he isn't answering his link, so Emma and Brennan go to investigate only to find the police at the scene and Adam's comlink covered in blood. Over at Genomex, Eckhart is also interested in Griffin and his abilities, so dispatches his own agent (Lena) to aid in his apprehension, only to be thwarted when Adam rescues Griffin from the agents as he tracks him down to ask him about his lost memory. Unfortunately, Griffin is a real lost cause and refuses to help Adam, walking out on him only to be picked up by Eckhart's people. While he is being interrogated, he offers Eckhart the memories he has stolen from Adam to help destroy Mutant X.
Guest Stars: Paul Popowich (Griffin), Tiara Sorenson (Lena), Jocelyn Snowdon (Megan), Dir: Ken Girotti

Episode 18: 42:57 - Ex Marks the Spot

    After one of the sanctuaries set up by Mutant X is broken into by the GSA, Brennan and Jesse take out a small measure of revenge and in the process collect a mutant named Zack Lockhart, who it seems has some history with Shalimar and a very special talent that the GSA are anxious to make use of. Zack shows off his power, the ability to make a hologram of anything, even if hidden by a wall or door - the perfect safecracker. Over at Genomex, Eckhart isn't impressed with Lockhart's ex-partner, Artie Hill, who has failed to deliver the mutant and threatens him. Shalimar goes to visit her ex for some lumps and bumps and Emma finds out that Zack is telling the truth about being asked by the GSA to break into a vault and obtain a Faberge Egg. When Adam finds out about the egg he becomes interested, especially since there is a mysterious bidder for the extremely expensive egg and that bidder is actually Eckhart. A little more digging uncovers the fact that the egg used to belong to a Russian geneticist who evidently discovered the gene that controls free will. Now it is a race to see who can crack the vault and retrieve the secret of the egg. The trouble is, Eckhart doesn't have Zack and Mutant X have Shalimar to deal with.
Guest Stars: Callum Keith Rennie (Zack), Michael Anthony Rawlins (Artie Hill), Dir: Jorge Montesi

    As I've mentioned in previous reviews, this is very much eye candy and relatively harmless. There are no major hassles with either the plots or the acting given the structure under which it is working. Selling advertising to pubescents is definitely the name of the game and a show like this will do that easily. I can't see anything changing after watching a dozen episodes so far, but Series 2 might see some changes, especially in the cast. Still, if it works and it sells you can't ask for more than that. For most people this isn't something that will end up on their "must buy" list, but it certainly isn't the worst series I've ever seen.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Another typical effort in regards to the video quality. It has the same decent production values but nothing outstanding, but then budget-wise that's not surprising. As with the other episodes though, it does still have some good qualities.

    A 1.33:1 transfer, not 16x9 enhanced, is what is presented here.

    The general clarity is decent without being overly sharp. No obvious edge enhancement was noticed. The backgrounds still display that slightly soft look with a certain shapelessness at times. Fine detail is again missing due to the softness but this is not going to strain your eyes so it's not a major problem. Grain again is fairly persistent but not too obtrusive and pretty indicative of the series as a whole. No low level noise was noted.

    The palette used was pretty much the same as in all previous episodes - a slightly washed out appearance for the outdoor shots and a better look on interiors. It wasn't a wide array of colours but what colours there were were used effectively. Skin tones were very even and no bleed or noise was evident.

    There was some jerkiness in the first minute of Ep17 but apart from that no major glitches were noted in regards to video or film artefacts which was a pleasant surprise. Some aliasing was noted in Ep18 at 0:10 and there was a lot of shimmering on many straight lines during the episode. Again, apart from this minor flaw there were no other major glitches to speak of. So, as with the other discs in the series, this maintains a pretty high transfer quality.

    There were no subtitles on this disc.

    This is a single layered disc and therefore there is no layer change.

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

Audio

    The standard series soundtrack accompanies the video. As previous reviews, it follows the same format with the opening title track and variations on the same theme. The soundtrack is presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0 at a reasonable bit rate of 224 kilobits per second. As previously, there isn't a lot of variety on offer but some bite in the low range was noted, although not much. There is some separation across the front speakers with the dialogue in the centre channel. There isn't much width overall and the soundfield appears very monaural in nature.

    There are no problem with the dialogue or the syncing.

    The music for the series is by Louise Natale (theme) and Donald Quan (theme and score) with some minor variation between episodes. Another identifiable soundtrack for the fans but nothing outstanding. No major changes were noted between this and the other discs.

    There was no surround channel or subwoofer activity noted on this disc.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio & Animation

    Typical of all the other discs with a static picture of Mutant X with some animation in the background and theme music overlay.

R4 vs R1

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

    As with previous reviews, it appears that both the Region 1 and Region 4 discs are bare-bones releases (in the single disc format). There is a boxed set due out soon. Buyer's choice on whether to wait for the boxed sets or go for the single disc format.

Summary

    As with other discs in this series, a competently made series with only a little variety in the plots but plenty of eye candy to satisfy the most demanding of viewers. The acting is reasonable without being exceptional and the transfer to DVD is on a par with this. It's good, without being brilliant with a decent audio track accompanying it. No extras to speak of which will bum out a few of the fans (it might be better to wait for the boxed set, which promises a whole lot more features). Overall, this is one for the fans.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Wednesday, December 03, 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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