100 Days in the Jungle (2002)

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Released 8-Oct-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Scene Selection Audio
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 92:36
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Sturla Gunnarson
Studio
Distributor
Imagination Prods
Magna Home Entertainment
Starring Michael Riley
Nicholas Campbell
Brian Markinson
Peter Outerbridge
William B. Davis
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI ? Music Michael Shields


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    This film was apparently inspired by the true story of a group of oil pipeline workers who somehow managed to get themselves kidnapped in Ecuador in 1999. At the request of their oil company, the group headed to South America for a couple of weeks work, to sample a little of the culture, have some fun, and make some good hard-earned cash. The eight (seven Canadians and one American - the packaging incorrectly describes them all as American) workers are ambushed by some rather heavily armed and well equipped Columbian guerrillas while fixing a pipe and immediately are marched off into the jungle.

    The guerrillas' aims are simple. They don't intend to harm their captives (at least not yet anyway), because they want to negotiate a rather large ransom with the workers' oil company. Unfortunately, this negotiation becomes rather protracted, since the oil company isn't willing to pay more than $3 million and the guerrillas start out by wanting some $20 million for the safe return of the eight (plus two female tourists who have also been kidnapped because they speak Spanish). This negotiation starts to drag out and eventually looks like heading past 100 days (hence the title). During this time the group are marched throughout the jungle as their captors try to keep one step ahead of the Ecuadorian army who are looking for the group.

    Rod Dunbar (Michael Riley) becomes the main protagonist in the film. It is through the eyes of his family that we see the effect the kidnapping is having on the families back in Canada. Rod also becomes a sort of de-facto leader of the eight, since their current supervisor has started to crack under the pressure. All manner of problems beset the group, with malaria, infections, rashes, and other unspeakable nasties inflicting all sorts of pain and suffering.

    This is a made-for-television film that did not have a huge budget (around US$5 million) and unfortunately it shows. The script is a little cumbersome and contrived to point the viewer in certain directions. The actors (all unknown to me) all do a reasonable job with what they have in what looks like extremely trying and soggy conditions in Costa Rica (the filming location).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a made-for-television film and it is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It does not feature 16x9 enhancement.

    There isn't a great deal of detail to be seen here. Sharpness is only average with a general softness to many of the scenes. There is the odd problem with some shadow detail clarity during the earlier parts of the film. There is no low level noise.

    Colours are extremely muted and washed-out with little vibrancy or contrast. Green and brown mud colours are dominant in the jungle scenes, but even the city and Canadian scenes lack any real vibrancy or punch. It is obvious that this is a made for commercial television film due to the existence of fade-to-black pauses in the video designed to slot ads into.

    There were no apparent MPEG artefacts. Film artefacts are also mostly absent which is pleasing.

    There are no subtitles present at all, which is a shame for those with hearing difficulty.

    This is a single layered disc, so no layer change is present.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio soundtrack available. It is labelled as an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The surround flag is not enabled in the bitstream but switching on Pro-Logic processing shows up plenty of surround channel processing, both front and rears. There is some really quite clean and solid left/right/centre separation and overall this isn't a bad soundtrack.

    The often rapid dialogue coupled with the mix of Spanish accents makes dialogue a little tricky at times, but none of this is attributed to the mastering of the disc, rather the source recording. There are no audio sync issues.

    Surround activity is mostly evident in the jungle scenes where birds, bugs, and other insect noises abound.

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

Extras

Main Menu Audio

Scene Selection Audio

R4 vs R1

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

    I can't find any reference to this title on either US or Canadian Region 1 sites. From what I can gather, the Region 2 version is identical to this one.

Summary

    100 Days in The Jungle is a fairly low-budget, slightly contrived and overly melodramatic film inspired by a true story of eight oil pipeline workers who get kidnapped while working in Ecuador. It reeks of the sort of film you would find on late night cable television and unless you can get it in the bargain bin or have a special interest in the story, I find it hard to recommend.

    The video quality is average.

    The audio quality is quite reasonable.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Darren Walters (It's . . . just the vibe . . . of my bio)
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5106DO, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationHarmon/Kardon AVR7000.
SpeakersFront - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10

Other Reviews NONE
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