The Mean Season (1985)

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Released 18-Jan-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Scene Selection Animation
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 99:43
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Phillip Borsos
Studio
Distributor

MGM
Starring Kurt Russell
Mariel Hemingway
Richard Jordan
Richard Masur
Richard Bradford
Joe Pantoliano
Andy Garcia
Rose Portillo
William Smith
John Palmer
Lee Sandman
Dan Fitzgerald
Cynthia Caquelin
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $14.95 Music Lalo Schifrin


Video Audio
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
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
French
Dutch
Swedish
Finnish
Portuguese
Greek
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

   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.

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Transfer Quality

Video

   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.

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

Audio

    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.

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

Extras

     There are no extras.

R4 vs R1

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.

Summary

   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.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Sunday, December 05, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using Component output
DisplayLG 76cm Widescreen Flatron Television. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony HT-K215. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony HT-K215
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

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