The Hot Spot (1990)
|Year Of Production||1990|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Dennis Hopper|
Charles Martin Smith
John Lee Hooker
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Hot Spot is an entertaining drama which plays homage to the American Film Noir of the 1950s. Directed effectively by Hollywood bad boy Dennis Hopper, the film stars Don Johnson, Virginia Madsen and Jennifer Connolley.
Johnson plays Harry Madox, a grifter / con artist who seeks refuge in a small Texas town. He immediately gets a job as a used car salesman and begins an affair with the boss' wife, played by Virginia Madsen. Always on the lookout for his next big score, Harry sets his sights on the local bank. The only thing stopping him from committing the perfect crime is the manipulative Madsen and the used car lot's young female receptionist Gloria Harper, played by the alluring Connolley, who has fallen for Harry's slick veneer. With the police closing in, Harry's choices are becoming limited, and his next move may decide his ultimate fate.
The Hot Spot is a slow burning drama that relishes the opportunity to develop its characters. With the exception of Connolly's character, who is relatively innocent in nature, the rest of the cast are fairly unscrupulous. Don Johnson and Virginia Madsen's performances are unquestionably the film's highlight. Johnson in particular delivers a well crafted characterisation that is miles apart from that of James Crockett, the smooth Detective he made famous in the long running series Miami Vice.
As one of the great character actors, Dennis Hopper obviously realises that the strength of this particular genre belongs with the narrative and performances, so it is not surprising that as the film's director he takes great pains to establish story and characterisation. The Hot Spot is a well made film that deserves a look.
The Hot Spot has been presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced for widescreen viewing.
The transfer is relatively sharp with some minor reservations. There is a constant although minor edge enhancement throughout, but it is not overly noticeable. Shadow details are reasonable with strong black levels and there is very little in the way of grain. I did not detect any low level noise problems.
Colours remain natural, but have become slightly muted with age.
The transfer does contain minor film artefacts, but they are small and not intrusive.
The film has five audio tracks in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround. The tracks are in English, Spanish, German, French and Italian.
Dialogue is clear with no audible dropout. There are no signs of audio sync deficiencies.
The film's music is well geared to the story's atmosphere and supports the on-screen performances well.
Surround channel usage is minimal, but more than acceptable for a film of this type. There are few directional effects, but the ones found are well placed. The rear channels mainly consist of background noise and film score.
The subwoofer does an adequate job of supporting the surround mix.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
All versions of this DVD available are currently essentially the same.
The Hot Spot is an enjoyable drama with some well rounded performances and a satisfactory conclusion. The disc has a solid audio / visual presentation with no extras. For a budget release its not too bad.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using Component output|
|Display||LG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie|