Wishmaster 3: Devil Stone (Beyond the Gates of Hell) (2001)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer-New Best Friend, Soulkeeper, Dirty Deeds
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Chris Angel|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Archaeology student Diana Collins (A.J. Cook) has earned the privilege of helping her mentor, Professor Joel Barash (played by Jason Connery) set up the newly arrived antiquities in the museum exhibition. Whilst waiting for the professor, her eyes are drawn to a strange octagonal box, covered with ancient Aramaic inscriptions. Well, it's not letting too much out of the bag to describe how Diana manages to open the box, letting out the principal of the evil race of Djinn, vanquished by the angel hordes centuries ago, and now free to rampage around the campus. Should the 'waker' of the Djinn have 3 wishes granted, then the remaining demon horde are released and Hell will ensue on Earth. The catch is that wishes may be granted to others, but unsuspecting grantees of wishes by the Djinn normally don't have quite the result they hoped for! Naturally the good guys have to find out the secret of how to prevent Armageddon and get that damned Djinn back into the box before it creates chilli jam out of most of the Faculty!
It's all pretty standard evil/horror stuff really - but I liked this film as it had a good storyline, steeped in genuine Biblical and Classical Greek tradition, and there weren't gaping holes or illogicalities in the storyline. Andrea Cook plays the 'good gal', a bit like a rather limpid, decidedly non 'kick-ass' Buffy - the other young Canadian actors play typical Uni freshmen and I thought Jason Connery was a very convincing and sinister mad professor. John Novak's first go as the Djinn (Andrew Divoff took that role in the prequels) I thought was rather good - charming, sinister with a black heart and a black sense of humour. In case you're not sure what a Djinn looks like, either check out the DVD front cover or else imagine a cross between a Klingon and a Ferengi. If you're not into the story or the gore, then there's a taste of soft-porn, with a few bare-breasted demons (watch out for those teeth!) and students knocking around. All in all, I'd definitely respect the MA rating for this film when considering the intended viewing audience.
The aspect ratio of this transfer is 1.33:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced - I fear this may be a pan and scanned version as it certainly looks that way on screen.
The film was adequately sharp for the feature. There is no razor detailing of the gore, but there is enough detail to know what was going on. The nocturnal outdoors scenes were reasonably detailed but we did suffer some low level loss and noise in an interior darkened room at 31:19.
Colours were slightly muted in keeping with the sombre tone of the film but mostly adequate save for a few of the sunny outdoors scenes which looked decidedly washed out. This variation in the colour palette may be responsible for a very pale bloom around the heads of the figures - maybe these were intended as haloes!
The only significant MPEG artefacts of note were occasional mild pixelization, for instance on the Corinthian columns of the museum at 11:31 - probably a result of the compression needed because of the single layered disc. There was no aliasing of note and the film stock was pretty clean with just a few black flecks to be seen
There were no subtitles.
The disc was a DVD-5 so there is no layer transition point.
The audio track was good and capably rendered the explosions, fire and gory bits even though it was lowly Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. There were, however, a few brief audio dropouts (I counted 3 throughout), for example at 2:33 and 38:36 but you might not hear them.
There is just the one soundtrack in English.
The dialogue was clear and without significant sync errors.
The music score was credited to Daryl Bennett and Jim Guttridge and was suitable modern and trendy - I'm afraid I don't recognise the type of music or any of the featured artists but it sounded like the sort of thing I probably would have liked if I was 25 years younger.
There was no surround or subwoofer activity - with good front mains I'm not sure they were greatly missed.
|Surround Channel Use|
1:22 for Wishmaster 3 and 3 others for Overseas distributed films; Soulkeeper, New Best Friend, and Dirty Deeds.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The video was of good quality.
The audio track did reasonable justice to the effects-rich soundtrack.
The extras were confined to trailers of this and 3 other movies.
|DVD||Panasonic DMR-E20, using RGB output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T50W1 (127cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Yamaha RX-V995. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||B&W 602 front/rear. B&W LRC6 Centre / Solid (AKA B&W) 500 SW|