Wild Wild West (1999)

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Released 3-Apr-2000

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Featurette-It's A Whole New West
Featurette-Wardrobes Of The West
Featurette-Good Guys' Gadgets
Featurette-Loveless' Ladies
Featurette-Evil Devices
Theatrical Trailer
Gallery-Photo
Music Video-Wild Wild West-Will Smith/Dru Hill/Kool Moe Tee
Music Video-Bailamos-Enrique Iglesias
Featurette-Newswrap
DVD-ROM Extras-Website mirror
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 101:34
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (90:21) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Barry Sonnenfeld
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Will Smith
Kevin Kline
Kenneth Branagh
Salma Hayek
Ted Levine
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Elmer Bernstein


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Spanish
German
Italian 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

Wild Wild West mainly revolves around five characters.

James West (Will Smith) is a man of action, who theory is to shoot first, shoot second, shoot third, and then ask questions. He has been waiting for a week to apprehend (or should I say kill) the man responsible for murdering his parents, but on the night that he finally shows up, James is entertaining a female guest up in the train station's water tower.

Atremis Gordon (Kevin Kline) is a thinker and an inventor. I'm sure you'll recognize many of his inventions. However, his naming convention for these devices is far from perfect, as you will discover. Atremis also works as a U.S. Marshal, and he has been investigating a case where renowned scientists have been disappearing.

Kenneth Branagh plays Dr Arliss Loveless, a legless megalomaniac that wants to take over the United States of America. To accomplish this, he is creating new weapons of immense power and destruction, the likes of which no one has seen. He is assisted in his quest by four beautiful women, Munitia (Musetta Vander), Miss East (Bai Ling), Miss Lippenreider (Sofia Eng) and Amazonia (Frederique van der Wal).

General McGrath (Ted Levine) is Dr Arliss' right hand man, who has seen plenty of action by the looks of him.

Rita Escobar (Salma Hayek) is trying to rescue her father, a renowned scientist, from Dr Arliss Loveless.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The video transfer of this movie is excellent, but is not reference quality due to several trivial problems.

The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

The picture is clear and sharp at all times. Shadow detail was excellent for most of the movie, but there were two scenes where I though it could have been a fraction better.

Picture brightness is also excellent, but I would recommend you watch it at night or in a room where most of the light came be blocked out, as there are several sequences that are quite dark. The opening three chapters are good examples of this.

No low-level noise was noticed.

There is some grain present in the picture, but it is not at all distracting and for the most part of the movie I was totally unaware of its presence. It was only when I specifically looked for it that it became apparent.

There is some minor edge enhancement present in a couple of scenes but it is not detrimental to the overall picture quality.

The colour is excellent. It is beautifully saturated, rich and vibrant.

No MPEG artefacts were seen. Aliasing is rare, and mild when it does occur. Only two occurrences stand out a little, at 53:50 and 57:27. I am quite surprised that aliasing was not more of a problem with this transfer, as the subject material, especially the mechanical spider, and the sharpness inherent in this transfer would lend itself to aliasing being a real problem, but this artefact is well-controlled.

Film artefacts are very rare. So rare, in fact, that I was going to say that there were none, but I spotted one small one when I re-watched Chapter 3, so I guess there might be a couple more lurking around somewhere that I missed.

This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed between Chapters 21 and 22, at 70:21. Even though the layer change occurs mid-scene, it is only slightly disruptive to the flow of the movie.

The Italian for the Hearing Impaired subtitles are described as English for the Hearing Impaired on the packaging.

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

Audio

This is a magnificent audio transfer, and is easily of reference quality.

There are two audio tracks on this DVD; English and Italian. Both soundtracks are Dolby Digital 5.1, 384Kb/s. I listened to the English soundtrack. There is no mention of the Italian 5.1 soundtrack on the packaging.

The dialogue was extremely clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie.

There are no audio sync problems with this transfer.

Elmer Bernstein's musical score is excellent. It enhances the on-screen action beautifully.

The surround channels were very aggressively used for ambience, music and lots of special effects. Directional effects and precise sound placement within the sound field are excellent, putting you right in the midst of the action, so don't forget your bullet-proof jacket.

The subwoofer is continually being used to add bass to most scenes, and is highly active during the action sequences, which by the way there are a lot of.

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

Extras

There are plenty of extras on this disc, but it is very disappointing that we did not get the Director's Audio Commentary as the Region 1 version did.

Menu

The main menu is not 16x9 enhanced and is made up of several video clips from the movie playing in the background, set to one of the movie's theme songs. The menu selections are; Scene Selections (31), Special Features, Languages and Play Movie.

Theatrical Trailer (2:02 minutes)

The quality of the Theatrical Trailer is very good. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced with a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded 192Kb/s soundtrack.

Cast & Crew

This section contains Filmography Highlights for; Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Salma Hayek, Jon Peters (Producer) and Barry Sonnenfeld (Director).

It's A Whole New West "HBO First-Look Special" - Hosted By Salma Hayek (14:19)

This is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced and has a 256Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack. The picture quality is excellent, and the sound quality is good.

Loveless Lair - Extras

These are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4x3) with a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded 192Kb/s soundtrack. The picture and sound quality of the four sections varies from good to very good. Each section is made up of interviews with cast & crew with some behind-the-camera scenes and actual movie footage. I felt these four sections were the most interesting extras on the disc. The four sections are titled:

Stills Gallery (66)

This consists of pictures of the cast, sets and movie stills.

Music Video Wild Wild West By Will Smith/Dru Hill/Kool Moe Dee (7:27)

This is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4x3) with a 256Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack.

Music Video Ballamos By Enrique Iglesias (3:49)

This is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with a 256Kb/s Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack.

Newswrap Making of Will Smith's Wild Wild West Video (3:23)

This is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4x3) with a 256Kb/s Dolby Digital 1.0 soundtrack.

DVD-ROM Extras

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; It is very disappointing that we missed out on the Director's audio commentary. We are left with the choice of either a Director's Audio Commentary with a lesser resolution NTSC picture or an almost pristine PAL transfer with no audio commentary.

Summary

Kick back, and don't take this action/comedy movie too seriously and you should enjoy it as I did.

The video transfer of this movie is excellent, but is not reference quality due to several trivial problems.

This is a magnificent audio transfer, and is easily reference quality.

There are plenty of extras on this disc, but it is very disappointing that we did not get the director's audio commentary as the Region 1 version did.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Williams (read Paul's biography)
Friday, April 28, 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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