Rising Sun (1993)

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Released 24-May-2000

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 124:04
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (58:27) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Philip Kaufman
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Sean Connery
Wesley Snipes
Harvey Keitel
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
Kevin Anderson Mako
Tia Carrere
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Toru Takemitsu


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.0 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Czech
Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
Hebrew
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The movie opens in a Karaoke bar with a Japanese man singing Don't Fence Me In, with a very bored American woman looking on. When the woman gets up and leaves, Eddie Sakamura (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) is forced to stop singing and chase after her. After a small argument, they drive off in a red sports car, with the camera zooming in on a particular skyscraper in the city.

    Next we find ourselves in a boardroom where the sale of MicroCon Corporation is in progress. The potential buyer, Nakamoto Corporation, is using hidden cameras and microphones to pick up what the American sellers are saying. This information is then translated and relayed back to Ishihara (Stan Egi), a Nakamoto employee. When Ishihara hears that the primary American negotiators want to stall, he sends around one of his negotiators to help wrap the sale up, which ends up being unsuccessful.

    There is some concern about the sale of the MicroCon Corporation to a Japanese company, as it would place some of America's advanced military weaponry in the hands of the Japanese. This is shown through a television debate featuring Senator John Morton (Ray Wise), who is adamantly opposed to the sale of MicroCon to a Japanese company.

    As you can probably gather from my synopsis so far, there is a strong us (American) versus them (Japanese) sentiment in this movie. This is a crucial part of the movie's story line, as it is trying to show the audience the differences between the way the Japanese and the Americans do business and the resentment between the two. I particular enjoyed this aspect of the movie.

    That night, the American sales team is invited back to the Nakamoto Corporation building for a party. During the night's festivities, Cheryl Lynn Austin (Tatjana Patitz), the Karaoke-loving Eddie's girlfriend, is murdered on the boardroom table and the police are called in to investigate the matter. This is where we are introduced to John Connor (Sean Connery), Web Smith (Wesley Snipes) and Lieutenant Tom Graham (Harvey Keitel).

    It is now up to John Connor and Web Smith to unravel the mystery that surrounds the murder of Miss Austin. With the Japanese culture, nothing is as straightforward or simple as it may seem. There are several layers to this story which unfold as the story progresses.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this movie is very good, with only minor problems.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture is extremely clear and sharp at all times. There is no low-level noise present and the shadow detail never wavers from being perfect. Picture brightness is also spot-on, which is important for this movie, since many scenes take place during the night. I would recommend that you watch this movie in a controlled lighting environment to enable you to see all of the picture detail.

    The colours are beautifully saturated, rich and vibrant throughout the entire film. No edge bleeding or excessive edge enhancement was noticed.

    There were four scenes where some minor background grain could be seen; at 77:47, 79:30, 85:17 and 91:54.

    At 2:56, a minor but visible MPEG artefact occurs on a brick wall. By pausing and then stepping frame by frame I was able to see that the individual bricks that made up the wall were replaced with a smearing effect for several frames and then the individual bricks re-appeared again. There is also a very minor moiré effect that occurs on a television set at 2:35, but it is not distracting at all.

    Several scenes suffer from aliasing, which for the most part was minor and unobtrusive. There are however, a couple of scenes where aliasing does become more noticeable and distracting. These scenes usually contain venetian blinds or car chrome. The sharpness of this transfer could have resulted in aliasing being a major problem, but overall it is well controlled. I feel this transfer would really shine if it were played using a progressive scan DVD player.

    Overall, the number of film artefacts is low. Most are small and unobtrusive with just the odd one or two being big enough or positioned badly enough to be noticed. One of the more noticeable film artefacts comes in the form of a white scratch that makes multiple appearances in the top left quadrant of the screen during one sequence.

    This is a RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 58:27, in Chapter 12. I did not even notice the slight pause when I was watching the movie, thus I must say that the layer change is very well placed and is not disruptive at all to the flow of the movie.

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

Audio

    The audio is of good quality. It is clear and clean at all times but is mostly up-front.

    There is only one audio track on this DVD, which is an English Dolby Digital 5.0, 384Kb/s soundtrack.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.

    Audio sync was not a problem with this transfer, but be warned - there are several scenes where the dialogue has been changed.

    The musical score is by Toru Takemitsu, and it suits the movie well. The Taiko drums are particularly noteworthy.

    Before I discuss the surround channel usage, we need to be aware that the original movie was recorded in the Dolby Stereo SR (surround) format. You can confirm this by checking the credits, as I did. The sound mix has been decoded and stored as a Dolby Digital 5.0 soundtrack on this disc.

    The surround channels are basically only used for music ambience, with a few sound effects thrown in. The surround speakers are really only audible during sequences that contain music. Consequently, the sound stage is front-heavy for large portions of the movie. Afterwards, I re-listened to several scenes to confirm my impression of the overall sound mix. I was surprised at how limited the mix really is, as the movie sounded quite reasonable, even if it was somewhat front-heavy. What I did find was that the surround speakers do contain some very low-level background noises, but these background noises are set at such a low level that they become totally inaudible from the normal viewing position.

    As this soundtrack did not have a .1 channel, I did not bother to turn my subwoofer on. I never missed it or ever thought that more bass was needed.

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

Extras

    Extras are limited to one Theatrical Trailer.

Menu

    The Menu is 16x9 enhanced and has some initial startup animation and audio. The menu selections are; Play Movie, Scene Selection (26), Language Selection and Theatrical Trailer.

Theatrical Trailer (2:33 minutes)

   This is of  excellent video quality, and is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4:3), with a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     The 16x9 enhancement clearly tips the scales in favour of the Region 4 version.

Summary

    This was my second viewing of this movie, and I must say that I enjoyed it more this time around.

    The video transfer of this movie is very good, with only minor problems.

    The audio is of good quality. It is clear and clean at all times but is mostly up-front.

    Extras are limited to one Theatrical Trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Sunday, April 16, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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