Into the Sun (2005)

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Released 12-Apr-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Dolby Digital Trailer
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 92:43
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By mink
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Steven Seagal
Matthew Davis
Takao Osawa
Eddie George
William Atherton
Juliette Marquis
Ken Lo
Kosuke Toyohara
Akira Terao
Eve Masatoh
Pace Wu
Chiaki Kuriyama
Kanako Yamaguchi
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Stanley Clarke


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Polish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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 English
French
Spanish
Polish
Arabic
Bulgarian
Croatian
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
Greek
Hebrew
Hindi
Icelandic
Norwegian
Portuguese
Romanian
Slovenian
Swedish
Turkish
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

   Despite a reasonably large budget of $35 million, I'm sorry to report that Into the Sun is just as pathetic as Steven Seagal's last few direct-to-video efforts, although few films can ever claim to be as bad as Out for a Kill or The Foreigner.

    Steven Seagal plays Travis Hunter, a semi-retired CIA agent who specialises in Samurai swords and Japanese culture. After the governor of Tokyo is murdered execution style, he is called back into service to ascertain whether there was any possible connection between the assassination and the Yakuza. In the course of his investigation, Hunter finds himself in the middle of a turf war between warring Yakuza and Tong factions.

    The film's faults are glaringly obvious and plentiful. Firstly there is a severe lack of martial arts and traditional action, which for a Seagal film is ludicrous. Granted, in the big man's heyday the plots in films like Out For Justice, Marked For Death and Hard To Kill were rudimentary at best. However, they were all elevated above the norm with fast brutal action scenes and lots of them. Here we are given two or three poorly directed fight scenes that wouldn't please even the most forgiving action fan. Instead, the writers and director unleash a plot so cliched and convoluted that the whole affair becomes basically unwatchable.

    Into the Sun has been directed by some guy known as Mink (a psuedonym that inspires confidence, yeah right) who at the very least manages to make the few fight scenes coherent. This however proves to be the exception rather than the rule, as every other aspect of the film has an amatuerish sloppiness that should have been addressed in post production.

    About the only thing that can save Steven Seagal's career at this point is a simple, back-to-basics sort of movie, preferably under the tutelage of producer extraordinare Joel Silver, which he did with Exit Wounds, because as it stands now, his films seem to be getting progressively worse. Consequently, his fan base must be drying up.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    The film has been presented in its original aspect ratio of 1:78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer has a reasonably sharp image with no aliasing or edge enhancement problems. Shadow detail is above average with strong blacks and well defined background detail. There are no grain or low level noise trouble spots.

    Colours are rich and natural with no image bleeding.

    There are no dirt or film artefacts.

    This is a solid video presentation. However, there is a serious problem with the subtitle option. I discuss this problem in the Audio review section below.

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

Audio

    The film is provided with an English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. Also included are three tracks in French, Spanish and Polish 5.1.

    Dialogue is always clear and there are no dropouts. Now, I could devote hours discussing the other audio problems found on this transfer. For some unexplained reason, at least half of the dialogue in this film is in Japanese. Now this in itself is not unusual, however, what makes it unusual in this case is that the Japanese dialogue appears in conversations where another party is speaking in English. For example: Seagal asks numerous people throughout the film questions regarding the assasination. The questions are asked in English, with the responses coming in Japanese. Columbia Home Video has not hard coded subtitles during these scenes so you are forever trying to double back and select the English subtitle option. If there were only a few scenes with this problem it wouldn't be so bad, but the film is littered throughout with scenes containing dual language conversations. I found the fault unbelievably annoying and it basicaly made the film unwatchable.

    The movie's score is totally forgettable and thankfully unobtrusive, too.

    Surround channel usage is decent, with a wide array of directional effects giving your rear speakers a solid workout.

    The subwoofer adds the appropriate depth to the soundfield.

    As I said earlier, the subtitle fault is beyond distracting and makes a bad film that much worse. This is an early contender for Worst Direct to DVD Presentation of the year.

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.

    From what I can gather, the Region 4 disc is the only one that suffers from the subtitle problem. Other than that all versions are identical, making any version apart from the R4 release the disc of choice.

Summary

    Steven Seagal's film career takes another step towards oblivion with the release of Into The Sun. The disc has zero extras and a poor audio presentation. Basically it has no entertainment value at all. This turkey is suitable only as a beverage coaster.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Greg Morfoot (if interested here is my bio)
Friday, April 22, 2005
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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Comments (Add)
expect to see this on high rotation on Showtime next year when the time comes. -
Into The Sun -
English subtitles for Japanese dialogue scenes fixed - Sean Brady