The High Crusade (1994)
|Year Of Production||1994|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||
Universal Pictures Home Video
Michael Des Barres
Debbie Lee Carrington
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.55:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.55:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The High Crusade is based on science fiction writer Poul Anderson's novel of the same name. Unfortunately, the film completely fails to recreate the humour of the book. Instead, it comes off as a rather lame Monty Python rip-off. The story centres around a bumbling group of medieval knights who come into possession of an alien spacecraft. They try and take it to Jerusalem to aid a fellow noble in distress, but end up on one of the alien's colony worlds instead. Of course, our hapless heroes manage to avert an alien invasion of Earth and return home in time for dinner. There are some mildly amusing moments, however some painful characterisations and lazy humour spoil the film's potential. On the plus side, there are some very nice old school special effects sequences (by old school I mean model-based rather than CGI).
The High Crusade is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.55:1 with no 16x9 enhancement
The transfer is really the only stand-out feature of this release. The sharpness and clarity of the on-screen image is very good. There is no noticeable grain or pixelization anywhere and the shadow detail is also good. There are numerous scenes where the lighting is low, particularly on the alien outpost, with the background detail remaining very sharp and clear.
The DVD's colour presentation is also very good with skin tones remaining well balanced against the more garish colours on the alien ship. The original material was obviously of a high quality and the film seems to have been a big budget flop, as it is relatively obscure even though it was released in 1995.
There are virtually no artefacts throughout the film. If you look very very carefully, you can occasionally see very brief, very small spots pop up. However, in normal viewing, the transfer is really very clean.
There are no subtitles on this single layered disc.
The only audio option available for The High Crusade is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. The sound has been mixed well with the dialogue always at the fore and always in sync. English is the only language option on the disc.
There are no clicks or dropouts in the soundtrack and the audio quality of the DVD is as good as its visual quality.
Music plays a very small part in the overall soundtrack but is used effectively enough and always sounds good in context. There is no surround or subwoofer usage.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are no extras on this disc. Heck, there isn't even a menu!
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
After a bit of digging around, I found mentions of a 'making of' documentary on the R1 disc and also of it being a fullscreen only release. Therefore, it is difficult to say which is best. If you are interested in the making of the film, then the R1 version would probably be more attractive, however the 2.55:1 presentation of the R4 disc makes it the best choice if you are only interested in the film itself.
|DVD||Denon DVD-1600, using S-Video output|
|Display||LOEWE Planus 4670 70cm 16:9. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Marantz SR7200. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Luxman LV600 valve hybrid stereo amp for front stereo pair and Marantz SR 7200 for centre and surround channels|
|Speakers||Altec Lansing Model 15's front stereo, matched Krix Centrix front and rear, Krix matched rear surrounds, Sony rear subwoofer (Altec's provide sub for front)|