Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989)
Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Unholy Alliance: A Retrospective
|Year Of Production||1989|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Peter Bonerz|
Warner Home Video
George R. Robertson
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.75:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The city is under siege (hence the movie's title) by a group of criminals robbing banks and causing mayhem in an area of town. They elude capture every time, with the police unable to do anything about the situation. Enter Commandant Lassard and his team of cadets (I wish they would stop calling them cadets - they have been real police for several years now). Because of Lassard's success at being a better police officer than a police trainer, he and his team are enlisted to stop the criminal element. Their plans are foiled, leaving the impression that there is a mole leaking information.
It would not take a genius to work out the rest of the plot. Without spoiling it, I think it is safe to say that the cadets save the day. I could explain every part of the plotline and not be spoiling too much, but I shall leave it to you to watch the movie. And watch you should. There is still nothing too bad about this movie, despite the fact that the quality of the films is on the decline.
The gang is almost all back, with Nick Lassard returning as the Mahoney replacement. Hightower, Hookes, Tackleberry and Callahan are still here, with Procter and Harris still bumbling about. Those who remember the first three movies would recall Fackler, who did not have a successful movie career in between these movies. The accident prone policeman returns, with his accidents feeling more forced and less funny.
Lassard’s nephew Nick must have been a worthy successor to Mahoney, as he has now been transferred from Miami, taking a step back career-wise and now working with the rest of the cadets. The strange thing is that this movie has no mention of the cast being police cadets. In fact, there is no mention of Lassard’s academy, nor any scenes filmed there. The movie should have been called Police 6 as there is no academy involvement whatsoever.
Jones now has a moustache. His bad dubbing and karate antics have grown tired over the last couple of instalments, with this one finally showing that they should cease once and for all. However, with one more movie left in the series, I believe we will see it one last time. The good news is that he does a little bit of stand-up in a comedy bar, which shows that Michael Winslow belongs on the stage where his talents can be used to their full extent.
Hightower and Hookes attempt bad rap. Callahan is still showing off her breasts, with more men than ever chasing her. Fackler has returned after his absence from the previous two movies. Being more of a bumbling idiot than Proctor, the show's creators have decided to go for more slapstick humour than usual. Fackler's performance feels forced, and therefore is not as funny as his first few movies.
Police Academy 6: City Under Siege appears to have been planned as the final movie in the Police Academy franchise. This is quite obvious from the final scene, which has Harris flying away in his seat with an abundance of balloons attached to the back, with all the cadets saluting him. A large shot of the city is in the background, with his chair floating away (with bad special effects and all). While hard to explain to those who do not know the scene, it has the feel of the closing of an era. If it had ended with this one, I doubt it would have been classed as ending on a high. I am sure the reason for a five year gap between this movie and the next would be explained by the creators trying to resurrect the series, albeit too little too late.
Escaping the fullscreen transfers of the previous two instalments, Police Academy 6 is back to form with a 1.75:1 aspect ratio transfer and 16x9 enhancement. Once again, this is not exactly the same as the 1.85:1 theatrical ratio, but is close enough that the difference will not be noticed.
While a major improvement in quality and quantity is evident with the widescreen print, the transfer is nothing to boast about.
The majority of the print is reasonably clean. Dirt and scratches pop up throughout, though not as badly as the fullscreen counterparts of previous installments. I expected a whole lot more, but it all depends on the treatment of the negative, and if the film underwent digital restoration (which it did not).
Colours are quite vibrant for a lot of scenes, however the majority of the scenes filmed in the streets of the city utilise many greys, which are quite bleak, so half the movie is quite good, the other half dull.
Shadow detail is quite good, with night scenes easy on the eyes. Edge enhancement is still evident, however if you watch the movie without zooming in, it will not be too much of a distraction.
MPEG compression is quite good, with no obvious blockiness. Despite the transfer being confined to a single layer, the bitrate does not fall so low as to cause problems.
Some of the special effects used are the worst I have seen, especially for the era. At 32:40 the robbers use a blue laser to cut through the bottom of an armoured truck to steal a diamond. While I have never seen this colour laser cut through anything, it is badly composited. Also, at 27:30, Harris and Procter are on the side of a building, with Harris dangling above the street, on one of the worst blue screens to date. Digital effects as a standard were still a few years away, but plenty of effects companies were around that could still do a good job of such scenes.
Subtitles again are English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Arabic, Bulgarian, Romanian, English for the Hearing Impaired and Italian for the Hearing Impaired.
Being a single layered disc, there is no layer change to interrupt your viewing pleasure.
Despite being released in 1989, this series is yet to emerge from the mono era. Once again, with language options of English, French and Italian, the audio is in the form of Dolby Digital 1.0 at a 192kbps bitrate.
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand, while in sync with the action on screen.
There are no clicks or dropouts. The soundtrack is easy on the ears.
Being a mono track, the lack of subwoofer or surround activity is not surprising in the least. No stars yet again in those fields.
|Surround Channel Use|
Usually it is fine having a director mention his inspirations for certain scenes. But when this feature is 90% about the director, with every memorable scene being inspired from another film, it gets a bit annoying after the 5th mention of this. It lets me believe that nothing is original at all about this movie. Apart from the director, only one cast member is interviewed for this featurette. With this gradual decline in involvement, it will be interesting to see if there is a feature at all on the next movie. 4x3 fullscreen, 192kbps 2.0 Dolby Digital.
The trailer once again keeps up the same standards as the first three, and the previous one, however there is a bit more film grain than normal. 16x9 enhanced 1.75:1, 192kbps 2.0 Dolby Digital.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
As before, no region seems to have any advantage over the other.
At the end of this movie, I got the impression that the cast was preparing for this to be their last movie of the series. This may have been true at the time, with a five year gap between this one and Mission to Moscow.
Average video, adequate audio, missable extra features.
|DVD||SONY DVP-NS575P, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX-76PW60. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||Jensen SPX-9 Front, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 Rear, Jensen SPX-17 Sub|