The Void (2001)

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Released 17-Aug-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 89:50
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Gilbert M. Shilton
Studio
Distributor
Lions Gate Ent.
Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Adrian Paul
Amanda Tapping
Andrew McIlroy
Kirsten Robek
Roger R. Cross
Michael Rivkin
French Tickner
Malcolm McDowell
Desiree Zurowski
Carlton Watson
Apollonia Vanova
Martin Budny
Ulla Friis
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music Ross Vannelli


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    .....It Will Swallow You Hole!

    Things go horribly wrong during a scientific experiment involving particle acceleration, and to try and avert a disaster to the surrounding neighbourhood, Dr Soderstrom (French Tickner) tries to shut down the equipment. Unfortunately for him, nature unleashes its fury by creating a black hole in the lab, sucking him into oblivion. Dr. Thomas Abernathy (Malcolm McDowell) is the single-minded scientist who is in charge of the project and this event is a devastating blow to his life-long work. He is ultimately more furious with the technical failures that lead up to the disaster than with the loss of his colleague.

    Eight years on, the late Dr. Soderstrom's daughter, Eva (Amanda Tapping), is attending college and is madly in love with (who else but) a scientist. There are no prizes for guessing that the boyfriend, Dr. Steven Price (Adrian Paul), is working on the same experiment that sealed her father's fate and which is again being run by none other than (you guessed it) Dr. Abernathy.

    In order to prevent her man from becoming entangled in another disaster, she sets about gathering information on the experiment. The data she digs up convinces her that in fact the first disaster is nothing in comparison to the one that will be unleashed with this current experiment. The black hole will not be content with just a laboratory and a few bodies. This time it will such up nothing less than the entire Earth.

    Now Eva must try and prevent the experiment at all costs, despite the costs to her relationship.

    Yeah, right! Well, that's how it played out, but there is very little here to maintain even a vague interest in the movie due to the poorly worked dialogue and average acting by all concerned. Purchasers or hirers of this disc are punished even further by having to sit through a copyright notice that lasts a very very long 1:26.

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Transfer Quality

Video

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

    The image is a lot crisper than the story itself with quite good detail being evident throughout. There is some minor film grain which can be seen on walls but this is quite mild. Shadow detail is something that is also well controlled with dark areas devoid of any grey which can sometimes make an appearance and spoil the shot. There is some low level noise.

    Colour is also quite acceptable and there was a good level of balance between the the bright objects and their surroundings. The computer graphics made for display on the projectors and monitors in the lab contain ample colour examples and are clear and bright.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing is very rare and very mild when it does occur. Film artefacts are quite rare but still evident throughout the entire movie.

    There are no subtitles on this DVD. If you require them then you will need to go for the Region 1 release which gets Spanish and English subtitle options.

    This is a single sided disc so it is not affected by any layer change.

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

Audio

    There is only the one audio track on this DVD in the form of an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack which is surround-encoded.

    The dialogue was quite clear and was rarely a problem.

    Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.

    There is not much of a musical score to speak of. Instead, the music is more of a backing to the action rather than adding the extra emotional impact that a well-written music score can give. The volume levels did not drown out the dialogue at any point during the movie.

    The surround channels are surprisingly put to good use with directional sound being used wherever possible to match the onscreen action. Examples are heard early on during the movie's introduction where office noises can be clearly heard around the room followed by directional dialogue. At times the effects tend to be a little too loud, and whilst this makes them more obvious, it comes at the price of their being slightly distracting.

    The subwoofer is not used by this soundtrack.

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

Extras

     There is only one extra on this disc.

Menu

    The menu design is themed around the movie but in a full frame ratio of 1.33:1. The main menu features a still graphic and Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio which loops every 1.10.

Theatrical Trailer (1:40)

    This is of good quality, being presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded sound.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The soundtrack difference easily outweighs the NTSC / PAL formatting differences and therefore Region 1 is the clear winner.

Summary

    By now you must have guessed that I was quite disappointed with this movie. It won't put me off watching unheard-of titles in the future, but I feel it is my duty to warn possible watchers to avoid being sucked into a black hole for the duration of this film.

    The video is possibly the best aspect of the film.

    The audio provides some good directional sound, but with a full Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack being available it's frustrating that it was not included instead of the cut down soundtrack we get here.

    The extras are limited to a trailer which was barely worth inclusion.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Saturday, December 18, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Classic Series C31 (Mains); C06 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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