The Whistle Blower (Umbrella) (1986)
Main Menu Audio-Michael Caine
Trailer-Year Of The Gun, Without A Clue, The Professionals
Trailer-Farewell To The King
|Year Of Production||1986|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (63:06)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Simon Langton|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.66:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
This 1980s espionage thriller has previously been released in Region 4 by a different distributor in a vastly inferior previous release. A direct comparison of the two releases reveals the following differences:
Pan & Scan
1.78:1 16x9 enhanced (close to OAR of 1.66:1)
Good quality for the age
A few Bits & Pieces
Despite the extras going missing (which were crap anyway), the new version is a significant improvement and is definitely recommended over the previous one. If you are a fan of this film, it is certainly worth an upgrade.
There is an excellent plot summary in the previous review linked above.
My opinion on this film is that it is an effective and intriguing espionage/conspiracy movie with an excellent cast, featuring Michael Caine, John Gielgud, James Fox, Gordon Jackson and Nigel Havers. It relies upon characterization and plot rather than action, so don't go into it expecting big stunts and you will come away feeling quite well entertained.
Well worth a look if you enjoy films from this era and genre.
The video quality is good.
The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is close to the original aspect ratio of 1.66:1 as reported by IMDB.
The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout although some long shots seemed a bit soft. There was no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was reasonable. There was a little light grain in some scenes.
The colour was pretty vibrant however there was some chroma noise, a little cross colourization and some areas where backgrounds showed colour variation such as parts of the beige wall at 51:36 showing as slightly pink.
Artefacts are significantly improved over the previous version with most of the problems mentioned in the previous review being cleaned up. There are still some occasional white and black specks and some mild aliasing such as at 14:35 on blinds, 29:48 on a car grille and 39:05 on a jacket, but that is all.
There are no subtitles which is the same as the previous version.
The layer change occurs at 63:06 between scenes, but caused a slight pause.
The audio quality is good but mastered at a very low volume.
This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s.
Dialogue was clear and easy to understand once I turned the volume up quite significantly and there was no problem with audio sync.
The score of this film by John Scott is quite good without being exceptional.
The surround speakers added some mild atmosphere when played using Dolby ProLogic II.
The subwoofer was not used.
|Surround Channel Use|
None of any note.
The menu included music and the ability to select scenes.
Trailers are included for 4 other Umbrella releases.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 and 2 current releases of this movie are very similar to this one except that the region 1 release does include subtitles. If you need subtitles Region 1 is your only option..
The video quality is good.
The audio quality is good.
The disc has only non-related trailers as extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output|
|Display||Sony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Monitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer|