Main Menu Audio & Animation
|Year Of Production||1992|
|Running Time||97:11 (Case: 102)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Bruce A. Evans|
Ric Roman Waugh
Mary Ellen Trainor
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Christian Slater plays George Kuffs, a somewhat lazy, irresponsible, high school dropout who likes to hang out with his girlfriend, Maya (a very young looking Milla Jovovich), and bum money from his brother, Brad (Bruce Boxleitner). So there isn't much left in his life after he does a runner on his girlfriend when she informs him she's pregnant, and Brad gets killed by a local hitman.
George's brother owned the local "Patrol Special" operation, which is basically a syndicated law-enforcement agency, apparently set up years ago in order to provide policing for parts of the city. Since George inherits the business and decides to carry on Brad's work, rather than sell the business, some growing-up is now on the cards for him.
Of course, all George wants to do is find his brother's killer and bring him to justice, but there are far bigger forces at work here, and soon he finds himself very much out of his depth. Bumbling his way around, whilst making lots of enemies, George does eventually manage to get a few leads, and doggedly pursues his goals whether with or without backup.
Firstly let me say that this is not a serious crime movie, but rather a light-hearted vehicle for Slater to charm the audience. A lot of his dialogue is spoken directly to the camera/viewer, and there is even comic bleeping out of swear words in one particular scene. It does have a few quite violent scenes that, although seeming a little out of place, manage to not destroy the mood of the film.
For what it tries to be, it's fairly successful (assuming you don't dislike Slater and his standard "charming" thing), and is easy to watch. It's no masterpiece, but well worth a rental for a Sunday afternoon in winter.
Just as a side note, Ashley Judd gets all of 10 seconds screen time in this film, but I challenge you to notice where she appears without reading the credits. Blink and you'll miss it.
What would have been an acceptable video transfer becomes close to unacceptable due to the incorrect aspect ratio we're given here.
This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which is not the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1. There's no excuse for providing an incorrect aspect ratio for a movie that is so recent, and would therefore provide no issues with finding stock to source from. It looks like this new ratio has been achieved by opening the matte, since I could see no evidence of pan and scanning. (update: I've recently had confirmation that this is definitely an open matte effort).
The sharpness of the image is good for the most part. There are the occasional soft grainy shots (such as at 82:28), but these are the exception. Shadow detail is acceptable and black levels are solid, with no low-level noise evident.
Colours are accurate and solid, with no problems worth mentioning in this department.
MPEG artefacts are absent, but the same can't be said of film to video artefacts. Aliasing is rife, with just a few examples being 6:26, 27:57, 40:21, and 73:28. There is also the occasional instance of moiré, usually involving people's shirts (56:20 for example). Film artefacts are present, but are few and far between.
There are no subtitles on this disc, and the DVD is single-layered, so there is no layer change.
There is just the one audio track on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s).
Dialogue was clear, but unfortunately was often too quiet in comparison to the sound effects and music. This is one of my pet hates, since I hate having to crank up the volume in order to hear what's being said. There are no problems with audio sync.
The music was very Beverly Hills Cop, which gives the movie a bit of a 1980s feel at times, but it's suitable to the type film on display here as it's not exactly heavy material in need of a big orchestral score.
Surrounds get the occasional bit of action with gunshots, music, and even a few ambient sounds.
Your subwoofer will be asleep for the most part, but it did wake up once or twice, most noticeably near the end of the movie, at 90:20.
|Surround Channel Use|
Menus contain music and animation, but like the movie they are not 16x9 enhanced, and presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
A rather grainy 1.33:1 presentation of the theatrical trailer.
19 images of on-the-set "action". Note that if you keep pressing the next button on your remote these 19 images will loop repeatedly.
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;
I had trouble finding Region 1 reviews for this disc, so if anyone can confirm or deny the above information it'd be greatly appreciated. From what I could find it seems that the US version is in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced, clearly making it the best option at this point in time.
A mindless bit of fun that will while away an hour and a half. Fans of Slater will no doubt enjoy it more than those who don't find his cute and charming act quite so cute and charming.
The video quality is pretty good, except for the fact that we're given the wrong aspect ratio, and the transfer is not 16x9 enhanced. Also, haters of aliasing beware.
The sound does its job. Nothing more, nothing less.
There aren't really any extras to speak of.
|DVD||Omni 3600, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252QM CRT Projector, 250cm custom built 16x9 matte screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS797- THX Select|
|Speakers||Accusound ES-55 Speaker set, Welling WS12 Subwoofer|