Instinct (1999)

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

Released 3-Apr-2000

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 118:28
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (68:39) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jon Turteltaub

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Anthony Hopkins
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
Donald Sutherland
Maura Tierney
George Dzundza
John Ashton
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Danny Elfman

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Czech 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
German for the Hearing Impaired
French Titling
Italian Titling
German Titling
Czech Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    This is a truly difficult movie to do a plot synopsis on. How much can you say? How do you describe a scene that is pure emotion?

    Whether you like this movie or not, the outstanding quality of the acting has to be acknowledged. Sir Anthony Hopkins' acting is simply astounding, as is Cuba Gooding, Jr's. In fact, the entire cast seem to have been born for the roles they play. This movie relies on character development and emotion to keep it rolling along. I soon forgot that these were merely actors playing a role.

    A noted anthropologist, Ethan Powell (Anthony Hopkins) disappears while studying a group of gorillas. Two years later, he is found by Rwandan soldiers, attacking them as if he himself were a wild animal. Ethan is captured and kept in a Rwandan prison for a year after he is deemed criminally insane. Ethan is then turned over to two US State Department personnel for transportation back to America. He has not spoken a word since the day of his capture.

    Theo Caulder (Cuba Gooding Jr.), an up-and-coming psychiatrist is assigned to examine him. Theo is intrigued by the man, but the real question is - can he stay alive long enough to find out what is behind the rage and the silence of Ethan Powell?

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

Transfer Quality


    The video transfer of this movie is superb, and would be of reference quality if it weren't for the enormous number of film artefacts present in the transfer.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture colour, sharpness, brightness and shadow detail are all perfect. It is worth noting, however, that there are a couple of scenes in which the camera focus is a little unusual, which puts the remainder of the picture slightly but noticeably out of focus, however this is a deliberate cinematographic choice on the part of the director rather than a transfer fault.

    There was no grain, low-level noise or excessive edge enhancement noticed, making this a truly beautiful transfer.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Aliasing is occasional but minor when it does appear. The subject material and the sharpness inherent in this transfer would lend itself to aliasing being a real problem, but this artefact is well-controlled.

    The only let-down with this transfer is the excessive film artefacts. Film artefacts are everywhere. The opening sequence is the worst affected - press the pause button at the 26 second mark and you'll see what I mean. Would you like a picture with your film artefacts?  Thankfully, the film artefacts meter soon comes off critical overload and back to a better level. Even so, there are still way too many film artefacts in this movie, and they spoil what would have otherwise been an exemplary transfer.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 68:39 in Chapter 13. There is a definite pause, which is disruptive to the flow of the movie, but it is far better than having to get up and turn over the disc.

    Special Note: The packaging does not mention the German For The Hearing Impaired subtitles.

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


    This is a great audio transfer, which makes good use of the surround channels to create an enveloping sound field, especially during the action and dramatic sequences.

    There are five audio tracks on this DVD; English, French, Italian, German and Czech. All soundtracks are Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s except for the Czech soundtrack, which is Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/sec surround-encoded. I listened to the English soundtrack.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie.

    There are no audio sync problems with this transfer.

    The musical score is by Danny Elfman. I felt it was always adding to or enhancing the on-screen action.

    The surround channels are used well to create an excellent sound field during the action and dramatic sequences. During the quieter or dialogue-driven sequences, which there are a lot of, the soundstage does become front-heavy, but the surround channels are still filled with noticeable background effects, thus keeping an acceptable balance.

    The subwoofer was surprisingly active for this type of movie. It was used to subtly add bass to the quieter passages and is highly active during the dramatic sequences.

    Special Note: The packaging does not mention the Czech soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Absolutely NONE, not even a biography.


    The Menu is not 16x9 enhanced and has a still close up of Sir Anthony Hopkins' face. The Menu selections are; Chapter selection (21), Setup and Play.

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;     No contest on this one - the Region 4 version is an easy winner due to it being both PAL and 16x9 enhanced.


    I was disappointed with this movie the first time I saw it (at the cinema), but I must say I really enjoyed watching the movie this time around.

    The video transfer of this movie is superb, and would be of reference quality if it wasn't for the enormous number of film artefacts.

    This is a great audio transfer, which makes good use of the surround channels to create an enveloping sound field, especially during the action and dramatic sequences.

    There are absolutely no extras, not even a biography.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Thursday, April 20, 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)

Other Reviews
DVD Plaza - Reemus
DVD Vibes - DVD Vibes
DVD Net - Vincent C

Comments (Add) NONE