The Green Mile (1999)

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Released 27-Sep-2000

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Featurette-Walking The Mile
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 180:57
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (95:17) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Frank Darabont
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Tom Hanks
David Morse
Bonnie Hunt
Michael Clarke Duncan
James Cromwell
Michael Jeter
Graham Greene
Doug Hutchison
Sam Rockwell
Barry Pepper
Jeffrey DeMunn
Patricia Clarkson
Harry Dean Stanton
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Thomas Newman


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/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
Arabic
Romanian
Bulgarian
German
Dutch
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Icelandic
Italian
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Green Mile is based on a novel by Stephen King. Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is the senior guard in the Death Row section at the Cold Mountain Correction Facility, known as The Green Mile. Paul Edgecomb is a good man and he treats all the prisoners on The Green Mile with an amazing respect and kindness. This has to be seen to be fully appreciated. He is primarily assisted by two other guards, Brutus “Brutal” Howell (David Morse) and Dean Stanton (Barry Pepper). The lives of the guards at The Green Mile are forever changed by two events; one is the transfer of the Governor's unpleasant nephew Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison) from the police force to The Green Mile and the other is the arrival of an enormous but gentle inmate named John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan). Coffey has been tried and convicted for the brutal murder of two little girls. The arrival scene of John Coffey is one of the wonderful lighter moments in this film. John Coffey appears to possess the ability to heal others with his touch. The rest of the movie deals with events that occur on The Green Mile after Coffey's arrival.

    Tom Hanks and the whole cast deliver such wonderful performances that this film becomes both heart-warming and sobering.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is extremely clear and sharp at all times, with excellent foreground detail. There is no low-level noise present and the shadow detail never wavers from being perfect.

    The colour and skin tones are perfectly balanced throughout the entire movie. The prison's interior is a little on the drab side, but the lime green floor makes up for this.

    Every now and again some slight grain creeps into the picture, but it is so trivial that I doubt you will notice it unless you are actually watching the background instead of the movie. There are three notable exceptions to this however; the Castle Rock Entertainment introduction screen, the walls at 3:20, and the sky at 4:25. In all of these cases, the grain is easily spotted, but is not overly distracting.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. I only saw three extremely trivial occurrences of aliasing for the whole movie, at 3:51, 10:18 and 134:12. None of these were distracting. Film artefacts were also extremely rare and small, such as at 70:03, 113:42 and 150:51.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring mid-scene at 95:17, in Chapter 29. This is an averagely-placed layer change that does not disrupt the flow of the movie, even through it is reasonably easy to spot.

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

Audio

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD; an English 384Kb/s Dolby Digital soundtrack and a German 384Kb/s Dolby Digital soundtrack. I listened to the default English soundtrack. Why we are still seeing the use of 384Kb/s bitstreams instead of the slightly better 448Kb/s bitstream is beyond me.

    I found the dialogue hard to understand on many occasions. Tom Hanks' dialogue seemed particularly susceptible to this. Some of the worst examples of this can be found at 24:47, 25:56, 75:58, 104:23, 110:58 and 154:51.

    Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on. One occurrence of looping was noticed, but it was trivial and inconsequential.

    Thomas Newman's musical score is moving and suits the movie well.

    The surround channel use is very good for most of the movie, creating a lightly enveloping soundfield. There are many normal and directional sound effects present in addition to the music. Two great examples of directional or split rear channel use can be found at 100:01 and 127:12. There are many scenes and sequences where the surround channels are aggressively utilized for music and effects which creates a wonderful enveloping soundfield, such as at 9:00, 70:39, 97:04-100:01, 114:13, 118:09 and 145:07-146:59. At 112:42, there is a small click in the rear left speaker.

    The subwoofer is very well integrated into the soundstage and is used to subtly add bass to many scenes. It was reasonably active during some of the more dramatic sequences.

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

Extras

    The extras are very limited, consisting of a Theatrical Trailer and a behind-the-scenes documentary entitled "Walking The Green Mile".

Menu

    The Menu is not 16x9 enhanced and has a lead-in video clip, with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. There is also some animation upon making a menu selection. The Main Menu selections are; Play Movie, Scene Selections (53), Special Features and Languages.

    The Special Features menu looks best when viewed in 16x9 mode.

Theatrical Trailer (2:19 minutes)

    The theatrical trailer is of excellent quality. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced with a Dolby Digital 2.0 192kb/s surround-encoded soundtrack.

Behind-The-Scenes Documentary “Walking the Green Mile” (10:39 minutes)

    This is also of excellent quality, and is basically an extended promotional piece for the movie, comprised of interviews with the cast and crew and some interspersed behind-the-scenes details. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 2.0 192kb/sec soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

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 disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     With the R4 disc only missing out on Cast & Crew Biographies and the higher bit rate audio stream, there is no real compelling reason to purchase one disc over the other. Having said that, it is worth remembering that the R1's 448Kb/s soundtrack should sound a little better, speaking from a purist's point of view. Conversely, the R4 version will not suffer from 3:2 pull-down artefacts and will have approximately 20% more picture detail than the R1 version, purely because it uses the superior PAL format.

Summary

    The Green Mile is a wonderfully acted movie, presented on a great DVD.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is very good, with only the clarity of some of the dialogue letting it down.

    The extras are very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Saturday, September 23, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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