Heaven's Pond (2003)

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Released 17-Jun-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 88:20
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Joel Viertel
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Kip Pardue
Tara Reid
Meredith Baxter
Dan Gunther
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $39.95 Music Louis Febre


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles 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

    Heaven's Pond (AKA Devil's Pond) opens with a wedding between Mitch Olsen (Kip Pardue) and Julianne (Tara Reid). The wedding speeches are used to fill in the back story and establish the nature of their brief relationship. They then head off on their honeymoon to a remote cabin that is situated on a small island, in the middle of a lake.

    Two weeks alone on a small isolated island is enough time for any couple to get to know each other well and it is no different for our newlyweds. Julianne soon realises that Mitch is hiding something from her and begins to suspect that there is more to him than meets the eye.

    In short, Heaven's Pond is a psychological thriller that is slowly paced and full of predictable clichés. Of course there is no mobile phone reception and to make matters worse Julianne has a fear of water, so she can't just swim to shore.

    With just four listed cast members, Kip Pardue and Tara Reid are left to carry the movie on their own. Julianne's mother Kate (Meredith Baxter) and the priest (Daniel Gunther) only appear briefly during the wedding scene.

    Interestingly, neither my DVD Player nor Windows Media Player displayed the elapsed time for this movie, so it is impossible for me to accurately indicate where the video and audio anomalies occur.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer is very good.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is sharp and it contains a reasonable level of shadow detail. Unfortunately there are a few night scenes where the blacks are anything but black.

    Colours look good without being overly bright. Skin tones look natural.

    The transfer is clean and free from MPEG artefacts and aliasing. There was some minor telecine wobble during the opening credits and the occasional film artefact in the form of a speck or two.

    The only subtitle stream available is English for the Hearing Impaired. The subtitles are well placed, easy to read and they accurately reflect the spoken word.

    This is a Single Layer Single Sided disc so there is no disruptive layer change.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is very good.

    English Dolby Digital 5.1 is the only audio track available.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. I did not notice any audio sync problems with this disc.

    Louis Febre's musical score succeeds in creating an atmosphere of suspense, even during scenes where nothing is happening on screen.

    The surround channels are used to good effect when it comes to ambience, particularly in the later stages of the movie once things get moving.

    The subwoofer is actively used in the later scenes to recreate thunder claps and gun shots. The low frequency rumble when Mitch approaches the car is very effective, even if it is a little too loud.

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

Extras

    Apart from a theatrical trailer there are no extras on this DVD.

Menu

    The menu is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced. It is not animated and contains no audio.

Theatrical Trailer (1:37)

    This high quality theatrical trailer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, and it is accompanied by an English Dolby Digital 2.0 sound track.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

    Heaven's Pond was marketed elsewhere as Devil's Pond and I wonder if this is why the Region 4 DVD misses out on so many extras. Rather than reworking the extras that contained references to "Devil's Pond" it might have been considered easier to just cut them.

Summary

    The plot for Heaven's Pond feels contrived and never reaches any great heights. While the video and audio transfers are surprisingly good, they alone can't save the movie.

    The video transfer is very good.

    The audio transfer is very good.

    The only extra available on the disc is the theatrical trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Aaron Devereaux (read my bio)
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-533K, using Component output
DisplayInFocus Screenplay 7200 with ScreenTechnics 100" (16x9) screen. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to Amplifier. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC -A11SR
SpeakersJamo D6PEX wall mounted Speakers and Powered Sub (7.1)

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