Caravan to Vaccares (1974)
|Year Of Production||1974|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Geoffrey Reeve|
Geoff Reeve Prods.
Manitas De Plata
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
I have enjoyed some Alistair MacLean novels in the past, and my husband is quite a fan, so, in deference to his many hours of patiently enduring my kind of films, I thought I'd give him a treat and review something more to his taste. Hence, Caravan to Vaccares was duly delivered for our consideration. Because it's not really my genre, I shall deliver the basic plot, but will leave the more aesthetic considerations to my husband.
David Birney is Neil Bowman - an American bon vivant who has become disconsolate with the values of his home nation. In an attempt to reinvigorate himself, he sets out on a European junket, only to become embroiled in international drama and intrigue, finding himself attempting to protect a scientist who has developed a formula with epic economic ramifications.
The baddies come out thick and fast - there is no one to trust. He encounters the beautiful British photographer Lila (Charlotte Rampling) who matches his own guile with charm and intelligent calm.
There is some lovely scenery, but the plot line is thick, wooden and heavily delivered. My tolerance was constantly stretched by the leaden Birney, and I found I just didn't care what happened by the end.
But what were my husband's more experienced comments about this film? "Load of s***e - let's go and eat." Hmm - you have the word from the expert here.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and looks suspiciously like a Pan and Scan version.
The overall quality of this transfer is appalling. There is a consistent ripple line along the bottom, like the videotape source had suffered tape stretching. The vision was washed out and limp with poor compression and a flat, mono-dimensional look. There was low level noise and grain consistently present.
The colours are washed out and pallid with poor rendition of skin tones. Blacks are muddy and whites are greyish with no depth or tonal range to spice up this dull presentation.
There is frequent evidence of aliasing, a significant number of splice marks and dust spots, and the aforementioned tape crimp problem. There are also a number of scratch lines and poor compression. The picture is extremely soft and completely dead.
This is a single sided disc with no layer change.
The soundtrack is presented in English Dolby Digital 2.0.
The dialogue is relatively clean and easy to hear but the audio sync is absolutely terrible. There are no subtitles available, and this may present you with some difficulties, since the baddies speak French with no translatory assistance.
The music here is woeful. It's hammy, trumped up and vile.
There was virtually no subwoofer presence at all, with all the tinny sound being delivered flatly over the front two speakers.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu is static and silent.
9 pictures that are all better quality than the film.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
There doesn't appear to be an R1 version of this movie, so this is your lot.
This film made 92 minutes feel terribly, terribly long!
|DVD||Singer SGD-001, using S-Video output|
|Display||Teac 76cm Widescreen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Teac 5.1 integrated system|
|Speakers||Teac 5.1 integrated system|