Young Blades (2000)

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Released 10-Dec-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-The New Guy, Dark Blue World, Mr Deeds
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 96:00 (Case: 92)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Mario Andreacchio
Studio
Distributor
Le Sabre
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Hugh Dancy
Sarah-Jane Potts
Scott Hickman
Anthony Strachan
Callum Blue
Ben McCosker
Ben Cross
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Frank Strangio


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown 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

    The premise here seems to be that if a film includes young people then it will appeal to young people. I am not entirely sure that this is correct - maybe they can empathise better when the actors appear to be of their age group, but it would also depend on the quality of the story and the acting. Unfortunately, with this film neither seems to be present.

    There have been a series of films and other shows made depicting characters that we know as adults based on when they were younger. Not all of them work, and just off the top of my head the only one that comes to mind that is good is the Muppet Babies! In this movie we have the story of the three musketeers told as if they were about 17 or 18 years old. The three musketeers are students at the musketeer school and D'Artagnan has snuck out of his father's castle at night after having 'borrowed' his sword.

    D'Artagnan gets himself into trouble when he meets a band of robbers in the local forest; he loses his dignity, his clothes and of course, his father's sword. He is discovered by the three young musketeers and, after challenging them to a duel (which he loses), they take him back to the college to recuperate. He insists on going out to find the band of robbers and retrieve his father's sword.

    Meanwhile, back at the palace, a young King Louis is upset because his mother, acting Regent, will not allow him to go to the border of France to meet his new bride that will be arriving tomorrow. Cardinal Rickalou is of course involved and has hatched a plot to start a war by kidnapping the new bride and blaming it on a band of local robbers that hang out in the local forest (see a connection coming here?). While trying to retrieve the sword, and helped out by our three young musketeers who could not in all conscience allow D'Artagnan to go alone, they all become involved in the plot and set out to rescue the princess. The band of merry men is rounded out by a tomboy daughter of the band of robbers and a Jedi-like figure in the form of a brother of the priesthood that is the headmaster of the Musketeer school.

    Along with the other problems that this film has, the sword work, a key element of swashbucklers for me, was nothing short of atrocious. There was one scene, a fight between a knight and the Jedi-master that was actually very good, but this just threw the rest of the sword work into darker relief. Overall, a very great disappointment, though I have no idea just why I expected more.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    There is something very wrong with this transfer and it is not related to the bitrate which is not too bad. I suspect it might be something to do with an NTSC to PAL conversion. Pans and moving objects are terribly blurred, but it is not consistent. The blur strobes around every three or four frames with the object moving leaving a ghost behind or in front. Even slowly moving objects have this very objectionable blur and strobe.

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Information on this title is scant to say the least, and I have no information on the original aspect ratio.

    Sharpness is affected heavily by the motion blur. Examples of the blur and pixelization that occurs abound - a clear example is at 6:25. Another is at 7:03, showing that the movement does not have to be fast to create the problem. Shadow detail is acceptable and there is some low level noise.

    Colours are a little drab and also affected by the blur and noise.

    If there are MPEG artefacts then they are hidden by the main problem. Film artefacts are restricted to some minor grain and the occasional fleck.

    There are no subtitles on this disc.

    This is a single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There is a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack present on this disc.

    Dialogue quality is good as is the audio sync.

    The music varies somewhat. The sections accompanying the action were not too bad, but I found the music accompanying the quiet and dramatic parts did not seem to match what was happening on screen.

    The surround material with Pro-Logic II applied was not too bad and included the music and some ambience.

    The subwoofer received some redirected material but only in the upper register.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is static and presented at 1.33:1 with no audio. It has a picture of D'Artagnon on the left with the menu selections on the right.

Theatrical Trailer (1:50)

    Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, the trailer is a reasonable representation of the film aided by a voiceover.

Trailers

    Three others trailers are included: The New Guy (2:28, 1.33:1, Dolby Digital 2.0), Dark Blue World (1:58, 2.35:1 letterboxed, Dolby Digital 2.0) and Mr Deeds (1:58, 1.78:1 letterboxed, Dolby Digital 2.0).

R4 vs R1

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

     There does not appear to be a Region 1 version of this disc.

Summary

    Even for a teen film this is rather disappointing. Some of the adults do not do a bad job, but overall there is little to recommend this film.

    The video is shocking.

    The audio is all right.

    We have only a trailer by way of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Sunday, January 25, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR800
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

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