Babylon 5-The River of Souls (1998)

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Released 2-Mar-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio
Introduction-J. Michael Straczynski And Various Cast And Crew
Audio Commentary-J. Michael Straczynski, Director And Cast
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 89:50
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Janet Greek
Studio
Distributor
TNT
Warner Home Video
Starring Jerry Doyle
Tracy Scoggins
Jeff Conaway
Richard Biggs
Ian McShane
Martin Sheen
Jeff Doucette
Wayne Alexander
Bob Amaral
Beege Barkette
Joel Brooks
Joshua Cox
T.J. Hoban
Case ?
RPI ? Music Christopher Franke


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/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
German
Arabic
Dutch
Croatian
Slovenian
Portuguese
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

††† The River Of Souls is the second film in a trilogy conceived after the final series of Babylon 5 as a bridge between the original series and the short-lived follow-on series Crusade.

††† Set after the fifth season of Babylon 5, The Wheel Of Fire, but before the events in the episode Sleeping In Starlight, The River Of Souls follows an archaeologist searching for eternal life who breaks into a vault belonging to the Soul Hunters and steals a special artefact. He travels to Babylon 5, where he is met by Michael Garibaldi (Jerry Doyle), now CEO of a large company and looking into various black projects that the company was financing.

††† It soon becomes clear, however, that this artefact is much more than is originally thought, and soon a Soul Hunter (Martin Sheen) is on Babylon 5 to get his peopleís property back. But is he responsible for the strange sights at work on the station? Or has a horrible mistake been made by many?

††† The River Of Souls really gives Tracy Scoggins a chance to shine out from under the shadow of Bruce Boxleitner, and carry a story pretty much on her own. While some fans were not enamoured with this approach, this reviewer found it refreshing as it gives a whole new perspective to the station. Well worth the time.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

††† Transferred in its original 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced aspect ratio, this TV-movie comes up pretty well.

††† Detail is excellent, there is considerably less graininess than the previous TV-movies and the series, definition is nicely rendered, shadow detail is no problem, and colour saturation is right on the mark at last.

††† Transfer artefacts were kept to a minimum, with only a touch of aliasing that was noticeable. There were no MPEG artefacts.

††† There is a tiny bit of dirt present, but nothing really obvious or distracting.

††† Subtitles are available in plenty of languages (listed above) in white with a black border, clear and easy to read, following the dialogue reasonably closely.

††† Again, there is apparently a dual-layer pause here, but I canít find it on my new set up. If anyone comes across it, let me know.

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

Audio

††† There is another great 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack present here, along with French and Spanish in 2.0 Dolby Surround.

††† This is another excellent example of dialogue reproduction, with clear voices and inflection. There are no sync issues that are distracting.

††† The higher bitrate allows for much better dynamic range and more detailed surround information, and Christophe Frankeís score (the last he did for the series) is very nicely reproduced.

††† The subwoofer is put to good use once more, although not quite as much of a work out as it got in Thirdspace.

††† The foreign language soundtracks are lacking by comparison, but still adequate.

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

Extras

Menus

††† All menus are presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with the score in 2.0 Dolby Surround.

Introduction (4:12)

††† Presented in 1.33:1, Full Frame, 2.0 Dolby Surround, this is an introduction to the movie with the cast and crew, predominantly Straczynski.

Audio Commentary

††† Presented in 2.0 Dolby Surround, this commentary is by J. Michael Straczynski, Janet Greek, and Tracy Scoggins. As you would expect, Straczynski tends to dominate this track a little, but the ladies assert themselves well when he slows down.

R4 vs R1

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

††† The R1 release of this movie in this set looks to be identical to the R4 release, barring NTSC coding and region coding. Without a copy I cannot give you an exact comparison.

Summary

††† The River Of Souls is another great standalone Babylon 5 movie.

††† Video is the best of the TV movies yet.

††† The sound gets a great 5.1 Dolby Digital remix.

††† The extras are few but good.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Monday, May 09, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-676A, SACD & DVD-A, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersDigital Accoustics Emerald 703G - Centre, Front Left & Right, Rear Left & Right Satellites, Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
Trilogy - James O