The Mighty Quinn (1989)

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Released 15-Sep-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Mystery Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1989
Running Time 94:42
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Carl Schenkel

Starring Denzel Washington
James Fox
Mimi Rogers
M. Emmet Walsh
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Art Evans
Esther Rolle
Norman Beaton
Alex Colon
Robert Townsend
Tyra Ferrell
Carl Bradshaw
Maria McDonald
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Anne Dudley
Bob Dylan
Taj Mahal

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Auto Pan & Scan Encoded English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital
French Dolby Digital
Italian Dolby Digital
Spanish Dolby Digital
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 English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Xavier Quinn (Denzel Washington) is the chief of police on a small Caribbean island. A wealthy businessman named Patina is found in his resort hotel with his head cut off. Another businessman with considerable influence on the island, Elgin (James Fox), seems determined to ensure that there is no scandal, and no autopsy. Elgin also has problems with his philandering wife (Mimi Rogers). Quinn is put-upon by the Governor who wants no trouble either. Quinn's wife doesn't like her husband's unreliability. She is hopeful of a singing career and sings the title song at one point, in homage to her husband.

    The chief suspect in the killing is a childhood friend of Quinn named Maubee (Robert Townsend), one of those layabout types who seems to survive and thrive without putting much effort into it. He disappears, and while searching for him and for the truth, Quinn is also shadowed by an employee of Patina (M. Emmet Walsh) ostensibly sent in to investigate his employer's death.

    I wanted to review this film mainly because of the presence of Mimi Rogers in the cast, as it was one of the few films of hers that I had not seen. Sadly, she is barely in this film and when she is she shows none of the ability that almost made her a star in the early 1990s. The film is basically a star vehicle for the up-and-coming Washington and a pretty mediocre one at that. It has a half-sketched plot, some fairly annoying characters and the resolution when it comes is pretty lame. Washington is fairly relaxed and charming here, though his Jamaican accent seems to disappear from time to time. Fans of the actor may be more interested in seeing this than the general viewer. The film looks good thanks to colourful sets and costumes, and to being filmed on location.

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Transfer Quality


    The film is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer for this film is quite reasonable though it is short of being of demonstration quality. The image is quite clear and sharp, and detail levels are satisfactory. Shadow detail is a little less than ideal, but mostly this is filmed in bright sunshine. Contrast levels are acceptable.

    Colour is pretty good. There are a lot of bright primary colours in the film, and these come across very well. Blacks look to be quite solid without any noticeable low level noise.

    The only noticeable film to video artefact was some chroma noise, visible in the sky during the confrontation between Quinn and Elgin from 37:40, mainly behind Quinn's head.

    Film artefacts are limited to minor print damage, such as white flecks, and some occasional small bits of dirt. Nothing of any real significance.

    Subtitles are provided in clear white text and seem to match the dialogue well. They also include song titles and artists, a nice touch which may be handy for those interested in the soundtrack.

    The film is presented on a single-layered disc, so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The default audio track is English Dolby Digital 2.0. This stereo track also has surround encoding.

    Audio is pretty much exemplary, with a good frequency response and dynamic range. The sound is quite involving, especially with Pro Logic engaged, and there is good stereo separation. There is not much in the way of surround effects, with some music directed to the rear channels and some of the music drawing some thumps from the subwoofer. There appears to be some distortion to the dialogue at 85:20, where it sounds quite rough.

    The music score is credited to Anne Dudley, but mostly seems to be a compiled one, using numerous songs in Reggae style. Denzel Washington even gets to sing at one point. The score adds to the ambience of the Caribbean locale, but I don't think I will be rushing out to buy the soundtrack.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


Theatrical Trailer (1:23)

    A short trailer that makes the film seem better than it is. It is in 1.85:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

    Judging by the handful of reviews available, the UK Region 2 is identical to the Region 4. I have not found any reviews of the US Region 1, but it also seems to be identical to the Region 4, so there is no reason not to purchase locally.


    A mediocre film that will only be of interest to admirers of Mr Washington.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The sole extra is a trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Philip Sawyer (Bio available.)
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-S733A, using Component output
DisplaySony 86CM Trinitron Wega KVHR36M31. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony TA-DA9000ES
SpeakersMain: Tannoy Revolution R3; Centre: Tannoy Sensys DCC; Rear: Richter Harlequin; Subwoofer: JBL SUB175

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