Mindhunters (2004)

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Released 20-Dec-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Trailer-xXx 2: The Next Level
Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer
Audio Commentary-Renny Harlin (Director)
Featurette-Profiling Mindhunters
Featurette-Stunt Sequence
Featurette-A Director's Walk Through Crimetown
Trailer-The Longest Yard, Layer Cake, The Marksman
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 101:37
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Renny Harlin
Studio
Distributor
Columbia Tristar F/D
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Eion Bailey
Clifton Collins, Jr.
Will Kemp
Val Kilmer
Jonny Lee Miller
Kathryn Morris
Christian Slater
LL Cool J
Patricia Velasquez
Cassandra Bell
DaniŽl Boissevain
Antonie Kamerling
Jasmine Sendar
Case ?
RPI ? Music Tuomas Kantelinen


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Hindi
English Audio Commentary
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

†† Renny Harlinís latest directorial effort comes in the form of Mindhunters, a somewhat flawed but reasonably enjoyable modern take on And Then There Were None. The setting is on a remote island off the east coast of the US that the military uses to train special forces. Once a year, the FBI borrows the facility for the Bureauís best and brightest trainee profilers to train in an intense exercise of crime solving.

†† FBI instructor Jake Harris (Val Kilmer) leads the recruits in their aim to be profilers. He often runs realistic simulations that put the recruits under extreme pressure. The students are expected to notice vital clues that help them track down and apprehend serious criminals. On the remote island, a simulated murder will occur which the recruits are expected to work as a team on and solve. The profilers who handle it well go onto FBI postings. Those who flunk get cut from the FBI.

††† Without wanting to spoil much of what happens, the exercise gets interrupted by a much more sinister and deadly agenda than FBI graduation. The trainee profilers include Christian Slater, Eion Bailey, Jonny Lee Miller, Kathryn Morris, Patricia Velasquez, Cassandra Bell and LL Cool J.

††† I was of two minds going into see this film. Harlin has had some real stinkers, so part of me wasnít expecting too much but on the other hand I had seen the trailer some while back and thought that it looked like it had potential.

†† While definitely not a classic by any means, it is an enjoyable, albeit predictable movie. Considering it was supposed to be an edge of the seat thriller, I often laughed out loud at how preposterous some of the behaviour was by these so-called intelligent people. My wife and I have termed the film Mindless Hunters, but anyway, we still enjoyed it.

††† From a directorial viewpoint Harlin used and reused a lot of cheap tricks to Ďscareí the audience. Itís OK the first time, but unforgivable the second and even worse the third time to use a gimmick to evoke fear. The effect was so bad that it took me out of the film on more than a few occasions. The budget was also pretty tight because the effects in this film were pretty weak. Most TV shows I have seen do effects better than these guys.

†† Donít expect too much and you will have a fun night with some mindless entertainment!

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† The disc is PAL formatted and is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The disc is 16x9 enhanced.

†† The transfer is pretty good.

†† For the most part the picture is pretty sharp, even when the image is quite dark. Most of the film is set at night so thankfully shadow details look pretty good. The darker the shot however, the grainier the image. It's not too much of an issue though.

†† Very few of the shots in the film are in natural light and when they are the picture is pretty washed out. At different stages, filters are used with good effect. The lighting and colour really add to the mood of the film. Skin tones look natural. Black levels seem right.

†† In wider shots (especially outdoors) edge enhancement can be a little problematic. Not a deal breaker though.

†† There were no other problems with MPEG or film artefacts.



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

Audio

†† The audio track was English Dolby Digital 5.1†encoded at 448Kb/s.

†† Overall the sound is pretty decent.

†† Dialogue came through clearly and without any distortion.

†† The music score came through well and added quite a lot to my viewing enjoyment.

†† Surround effects were used well for discrete effects that subtly added atmospheric elements. However, the track disappoints where you want to be blown away by the effects. Helicopters, explosions and gunfire sounded OK, but didn't have the punch that I've grown to expect in audio tracks. In these instances the subwoofer didn't get the range it should have.

†† There were no sync issues.

†† There is also an English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) track on the disc.

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

Extras

Trailers

††† Typical promotional fare; The Longest Yard, Layer Cake, The Marksmen and† xXx: The Next Level trailers

Audio Commentary

††† Harlin's commentary is a little dry, but can be interesting from a technical viewpoint.

Featurette: Profiling Mind Hunters (7:59)

††† Don't watch this before you watch the film. It essentially reveals who the bad guy is within the first 60 seconds. Pretty standard promotional fare.

Featurette: Stunt Sequence (4:40)

††† Short doco on a fight sequence. LL Cool J is way more buff than his stand-in stuntman!

Featurette: A Director's Walk through Crimetown (3:53)

††† Shows the set of the training island, which is laid out like a typical American town. Except it's in the Polish countryside.

R4 vs R1

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

††† It seems the R1 and R4 versions are the same. Buy on price.

Summary

††† The video is pretty good for a movie which did nothing at the box office.

††† The audio is decent, but its lack of range is a little disappointing.

††† The special features are decent enough.

††† Overall, not a bad disc. Some big releases get less features than this did.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

Other Reviews NONE
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