The Mean Season (1985)
|Category||Thriller||Scene Selection Animation|
|Year Of Production||1985|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Phillip Borsos|
|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||Yes|
Kurt Russell plays Malcolm Anderson, a reporter for a Miami newspaper. Burnt out by reporting local murders, he promises his wife Christine (Mariel Hemmingway), that they'll move to Colorado to a quieter lifestyle. Before Malcolm can hand in his notice, the murderer from his latest article phones him and informs the journalist that he's going to kill again. The phone calls and murders continue, turning Malcolm into a minor celebrity. Malcolm discovers that he's not just reporting the killer's story, he has become the story. The killer, furious with being removed from the spotlight, decides to turn the tables on his would-be biographer. What started as a human interest piece on a murderous sociopath now threatens Malcolm's very existence.
The Mean Season is a better than average thriller from 1985 that features a wonderful cast headed by the always charismatic Kurt Russell. Russell has (in this reviewer's opinion) always been criminally underrated as an actor, so I am not in the least bit surprised to see yet another stellar performance from this gifted thespian. Russell effortlessly inhabits the role of Malcolm Anderson, giving the audience an insight into the sometimes hectic life of a high profile journalist. The supporting cast lead by Richard Jordan, Andy Garcia and Mariel Hemmingway are also noteworthy. The late, great Richard Jordan (Dune, Hunt For Red October, Logan's Run) is superb as the serial killer in need of a documented immortality. Jordan was always great in roles requiring a twisted depth of character. If there is a downside to the film it is in Lalo Schifrin's bombastic score, which becomes intrusive when subtlety would have been more appropriate.
The Mean Season is quite an enjoyable ride that should please fans looking for a story with a modicum of intelligence.
The Mean Season is presented in an aspect ratio of 1:78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
Sharpness levels are reasonable for a film of this vintage, with reasonably strong shadow detail and black levels. There is a certain amount of grain during the night time sequences, but nothing too distracting.
Colours are natural, if a little washed out, but remain well suited to the subject matter, especially the coastal scenes.
There are minor film artefacts throughout the transfer, but these are few and acceptable.
Overall, MGM have provided a very decent transfer for a budget release.
The film has been given five 2.0 Dolby Digital surround tracks. The tracks are in English, German, French, Spanish and Italian.
Dialogue is audible at all times with no audio sync issues to complain of.
The film's music by Lalo Schifrin is intrusive at every turn. The track lacks subtlety and ruins many a tense moment with bombastic overtures that distract from the on-screen action.
Surround channel usage was minimal at best. The only consistent sound occupying the rear channels was the film's score. Directional sound effects were absent, with the majority of sound occupying the front speakers.
The subwoofer lacked consistent bass, causing the overall track to sound weak. Reverberation levels were definitely wanting for an action thriller.
|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 currently available are the same.
Fans of either Kurt Russell or intelligent thrillers should get quite a bit of enjoyment from this little potboiler from the mid 1980's. The disc looks and sound fine, but don't expect any supplementary assistance.
|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|