The Siege (1998)

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Released 23-Aug-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Featurette-Making Of
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 111:15
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (69:05) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Edward Zwick

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Denzel Washington
Annette Bening
Bruce Willis
Tony Shalhoub
Sami Bouajila
David Proval
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Graeme Revell

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/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 Czech
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    New York is under siege from a terrorist group who are bombing buses and buildings. Fear grips the city, and people are afraid to leave their homes. Anthony Hubbard (Denzel Washington) heads the FBI team charged with finding and neutralizing the terrorist threat. Anthony is sharp as a tack and quickly starts to close in on the people behind the bombings.

    The NSA is also carrying out its own investigation in an effort to find the terrorists. NSA agent Elise Kraft (Annette Bening) clearly has more background information on who the terrorists are, but when she fails to co-operate with Anthony, he arrests her for interfering and withholding information from an FBI investigation. Eventually, Elise is more forthcoming and helps Anthony get a better idea of who they are dealing with and why.

    Bruce Willis' part as Army General William Devereaux is much smaller than both Denzel Washington's and Annette Bening's, but he still plays a crucial role in the story and gets more screen time towards the end of the film.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is very sharp and clear at all times, with plenty of detail present. The shadow detail is also very good when the cinematography allows it to be, but overall most scenes exhibit a quick smooth transition to black.

    The colour is rich and deeply saturated. There are a couple of scenes early on in the movie where the colour appears to be ever so slightly flat and muted, but I expect that this has to do with the way it was filmed or the location rather than the transfer itself.

    No grain or pixelization was noticed.

    There were no MPEG artefacts seen. Aliasing was very rare and always extremely mild when it did occur. The most frequent culprit was car chrome, examples being at 1:43, 4:05, 7:47, 17:09 and 61:39. There are a reasonable number of film artefacts, but they are always small and unobtrusive, so they never become distracting. It is worth mentioning that there is some very severe but seemingly intentional moiré effects on any TV footage.

    This disc is an RSDL disc, but the layer change is so perfectly placed and timed that I did not see it when I was watching the movie. It is totally transparent even when you know where it is. This is one of the best-placed layer changes I have come across. Without my Sony's layer display feature I would have never found the layer change, which occurs in Chapter 18, at 69:05, which is on a scene change.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is only one audio track on this DVD which is a 384Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. As this disc only has one soundtrack, I feel it should have had a 448Kb/s bitstream soundtrack.

    The dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout the movie. There are a couple of occasions where the dialogue sounded distorted, such as at 66:00 and 100:13. These occurrences are far from being severe, but they are certainly noticeable. This distortion was also present in my VHS version of this movie, so this is not a transfer problem.

    Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.

    Graeme Revell's music score suits the movie well. In particular, the main theme music is great, as it adds to the on-screen action.

    The surround channels were used frequently which created a good sound envelope for most of the movie, but there are the odd occasions where the soundfield collapses to just the front soundstage. Overall, the surround speakers were mostly used for music and ambient sounds, but there is a good splattering of special effects present too, some of which are directional. There are also several occasions where the left and right front speakers are used to create localized effects. This use further enhances the soundstage. There are many occasions where you are totally immersed in an enveloping soundstage such as at 5:07, 18:08, 23:53, 24:28, 75:50, 77:45, 78:45, 96:45 and 104:36.

    For most of the movie, the subwoofer does not have a lot to do, but there are several scenes where it becomes highly active and really adds to the bottom end.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    The extras are rather limited, with no Cast & Crew Biographies or Filmographies, but it is good to see the inclusion of a making-of featurette.


    The menu consists of a non-16x9 enhanced still picture, with the following main menu selections; Play Movie, Chapter Selection (30), Language Selection and Special Features.

Theatrical Trailer (2:15 minutes)

    The theatrical trailer is of good quality, albeit with the colour looking slightly flat. It is presented in a non-16x9 enhanced 1.78:1 aspect ratio, with a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.

Featurette – Making of "The Siege" (13:55 minutes)

    The Making of "The Siege" picture quality varies from very good to excellent, but isn't as sharp as the movie itself. This is basically an extended promotional piece for the movie, with some behind-the-scenes detail and is presented in varying aspect ratios. The interviews and the On-the-Set video material are presented in 1.33:1, while the film footage is presented in the non-original film aspect ratio of 1.78:1. This featurette is not 16x9 enhanced, and has a 192Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.

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;     The R4 version is an easy choice.


    The Siege is a great movie the first time you see it, presented on an excellent DVD.

    The picture quality is excellent.

    The soundtrack is very good, with no real problems.

    The extras are limited.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Friday, September 08, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDSony DVP-725, using Component output
DisplaySony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SV919THX
SpeakersFronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)

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