The Three Musketeers (1993) (Remastered)
|Year Of Production||1993|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (55:23)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Stephen Herek|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
This retelling of Alexandre Dumas' classic Three Musketeers story is a strictly by-the-numbers affair. It's basically a watered down, kid-friendly version for the MTV generation, but somehow still manages to entertain. Musketeer wannabe D'Artagnan journeys to France to join the King's personal guard, the Musketeers. Upon arrival, D'Artagnan discovers the Musketeers disbanded, the empire in turmoil and a plot to assassinate the king by his trusted confidant, Cardinal Richelieu in motion. D'Artagnan befriends the three greatest Musketeers in Aramis, Athos, and Porthos, who are now in exile, and together they must fight to save the kingdom. Of course, this is all done to the warbling of Bryan Adams' `All For Love'.
The Three Musketeers as directed by Stephen Herek (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, The Mighty Ducks) is a light-weight family romp where bloodshed is minimal, the villains are the personification of evil, and the heroes wisecrack their way through tight situations. To his credit, Herek directs with a sure hand. The film is never boring and is often gorgeous to look at, but did it have to be so frivolous? The cast do what they can with the material. Charlie Sheen, Kiefer Sutherland and Oliver Platt cut dashing figures as the swashbuckling heroes in exile, and Tim Curry as Richelieu makes for a hissable villain. The always reliable Michael Wincott as Rochefort, a disgraced Musketeer, provides our titular heroes with a worthy adversary. It is in the casting of Chris O'Donnell as D'Artagnan where the film suffers the most. O'Donnell is a bland, uncharismatic performer and this hurts the overall film as his character occupies the majority of screen time.
As bland as The Three Musketeers is, I still can't bring myself to dislike it, and the kids will love it, so if you're looking for a family adventure you could do a lot worse.
The Three Musketeers is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2:35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness levels are adequate, with some reservations. The previous release of this DVD had numerous aliasing issues, and I'm sorry to report that they have not been corrected. Any scene involving a sword, brimmed hat, or tracking camera move over the king's palace shimmers and jumps to an annoying degree. Shadow detail was average at best. A lot of detail was lost in darker scenes, but thankfully grain was kept to a minimum. I did not detect any low level noise interference.
Colours were vibrant and added greatly to the feel of the film. The costumes and locations leapt off the screen.
There were occasional film artefacts, but nothing that was overly annoying.
Overall, this is a disappointing transfer. On the one hand, it is nice to be able to replace that God-awful flipper with a dual-layered disc with the well-placed layer change at 55:23, but we get the same lousy transfer.
The film has been given two audio tracks; English and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital surround.
Dialogue is always clear and there are no audio sync problems.
The films music is by Michael Kamen and Bryan Adams. Kamen weaves a reasonable score around Adams' weak chart topper. Just don't expect too much and it should satisfy.
Surround channel usage is reasonable. The directional fields are well utilised, with the rear speakers getting a solid workout during the battle scenes.
The subwoofer adds the required bass.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
All versions of this DVD are basically the same.
The Three Musketeers is light family entertainment, helped by a decent cast. The disc is bare bones and could do with a re-mastered picture. The audio is decent, but is nothing spectacular.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||LG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie|