ZigZag (2002)

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Released 19-Aug-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 96:53
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Anatoly Niman
Studio
Distributor
Franchise Classics
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Robert J. Nowac
Andrei Gradov
Hugh B. Holub
Anastasia Martino
Doug Mears
David Starzyk
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English 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

     The screenwriter David S. Goyer, who was responsible for penning the Blade vampire movies, chose a slightly more humanistic vehicle for his directorial debut. ZigZag is a film of urban despair, with the title character (aka Louis, played by Sam Jones III) as a fifteen year old black lad with a mild mental deficiency. Terrified and demoralised by his brutal father (Wesley Snipes), he is petrified of being thrown out of home if he does not find a way to come up with $200.00 for rent money.

      Our young lad is a numerical savant (isn't every "special" kid in Hollywood language?) and he sees a solution to his plight when he sees and instantly memorises the combination of the safe at the restaurant where he works. Once his objectionable boss The Toad (Oliver Platt) has locked up for the day, ZigZag breaks through the roof and makes off with over $9,000.00. (If he's so good with numbers, how come he doesn't just take the "2-0-0"?)

      ZigZag's only real friend in the world is his volunteer from the Big Brother program, Singer (John Leguizamo), who is horrified when he learns of what his young pal has done. He swoops ZigZag under his wing and exhorts him to tell no one of his deed until they can get the money back. However, Singer has significant problems of his own - contending with malignant testicular cancer.

      This film is an adaptation of a novel by Landon J Napoleon, and in many ways as a film it seems to lack sufficient narrative content to be truly engaging on the screen. The disparity between ZigZag's stilted capacity to communicate with others and his relative fluency as a narrator jars quite considerably, and many of the roles seem to descend rapidly into stereotype. Somewhat clumsy editing exacerbates the jarred nature of the story, and tends to alienate the viewer from the characters. Sam Jones performs a credible turn as ZigZag, and Platt is suitably odious as the Toad, but the overall effect is not particularly impressive or engaging.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

     This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 16x9 enhanced.

     The presentation is relatively crisp, with no low level noise, but it's also rather flat and compressed, resulting in a somewhat monodimensional effect. There is some grain present, although not at unacceptable levels.

     The colour range is actually quite good, with excellent skin tones and a full palette range expressed. Some of the interior shots are rather rich and warm, which enhances the overall feel of the film.

     This transfer is marred by quite significant dust specks and transfer artefacts, which do rather spoil the overall visual quality.

     This is a single layered disc, with no layer change to distract.

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

Audio

     The soundtrack is delivered in English Dolby Digital 5.1, and it's a pretty good show.

     The dialogue is relatively clean, and there are no significant audio sync problems. The subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired are pretty good - accurate, delivered in a timely manner, and providing some additional information about atmosphere for those who may not so easily hear it.

     There is no one credited with the music, and that's pretty much how I felt about it too - a non-player really.

     There is surprising amount of direction from the rear speakers, and some fairly intense punch from the subwoofer - a rather rich and satisfying audio experience really.

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

Extras

Menu

     The menu is static and silent.

Trailer - (1:26) 

R4 vs R1

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

      The R4 version misses out on:

      The R1 version misses out on:

       Okay - Spanish subtitles don't do much for most people, and the inclusion of the 2.0 sound option is probably a negligible benefit. Production notes may be of value to someone who truly-rooly loves this movie. But, for this little black duck, I'd prefer a PAL presentation to such scant improvement on extras, so I shall award the gong to R4.

Summary

     The inclusion of Wesley Snipes feels like a bit of a charity effort in this film, as though his association with Goyer in the Blade films sparked an agreement which may have affected funding for the project. I haven't read the book, though I can imagine that it may read better than it necessarily played out on film. It's okay - but that's about as far as I can go. Sam Jones III is rather good, but within the bounds of limited material.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDSinger SGD-001, using S-Video output
DisplayTeac 76cm Widescreen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationTeac 5.1 integrated system
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

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