Johnny Skidmarks (1998)
|Category||Mystery||Main Menu Audio|
|Year Of Production||1998|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||John Raffo|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Michael D. Weatherred
Bill Lee Brown
William Preston Robertson
Anthony Di Pippo
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Johnny “Skidmarks” Scardino (Peter Gallagher) is a freelance photographer that specialises in working for insurance companies and the police, photographing car accidents and crime scenes. Johnny is completely impassive about his work, showing no empathy towards the people involved. They are just victims waiting to be photographed. He is however a perfectionist when it comes to his work - the photographic prints must be just right.
By night Johnny takes photos of a different kind. He works for a blackmailing ring, taking photographs of prominent people in compromising positions with prostitutes. Johnny is able to detach himself emotionally from the process of ruining other people’s lives and simply sees the job as a means of making money. The true instigators of the blackmailing ring are Walter Lippinscott (John Kapelos) and Ernie (Michael Weatherred). As a team they have stung so many people that they can’t even recall how many there have been.
When Ernie and Lorraine (Charlie Spradling), a prostitute working for the blackmailing ring, turn up dead Johnny begins to suspect that one of the blackmail victims is involved. Unfortunately he is unable to turn to his friend Sergeant Larry Skovik (John Lithgow), the principal Police investigator, due to his involvement in the blackmailing ring.
Feeling increasingly isolated Johnny turns to Alice (Frances McDormand) for comfort, despite having only recently met her at the Burger Clown restaurant.
Director John Raffo brings together a cast of interesting characters that, in addition to those already mentioned, include Jerry (Jack Black), the owner of Burger Clown, and Detective Woody Washawski (Geoffrey Lower).
At times the plot appears to move along quite slowly but what is really happening is character development. I found myself growing attached to many of the characters and although the ending was a little predictable, I thoroughly enjoyed Johnny Skidmarks. Recommended viewing.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is sharp and the shadow detail is good. There is no low level noise, with blacks appearing black.
The colour palette is a little subdued but this actually suits the noir style of the movie. Skin tones look natural.
MPEG artefacts are almost non-existent with just a touch of grain in the darkened apartment at 57:21. There are no film-to-video artefacts to speak of and the only real problem with the transfer is the film artefacts that occur evenly throughout the movie. Although they are quite noticeable if you look for them they are not intrusive.
There are no subtitles available on this disc.
The test disc provided was single layered so there is no layer change to report.
The single English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) audio track is surprisingly good and more than adequate for what is a dialogue driven movie.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand most of the time. The only problem I detected was some high frequency distortion on some of John Lithgow’s lines. An example of this occurs at 21:50.
I did not notice any audio sync problems with this disc.
Numerous original songs accompany the musical score by Brian Langsbard. The various components are well mixed and pleasing to listen to.
Being a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track the surround channels and subwoofer are not utilised.
|Surround Channel Use|
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;
Director’s Audio Commentary
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (Surround) Audio
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;
As 16x9 enhancement appears to have fixed many of the reported video flaws attributed to the Region 1 version of this disc I am inclined to nominate the Region 4 version the winner, despite its obvious lack of extras.
The video transfer is very good.
The single English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track is surprisingly good.
There are no extras on this disc, not even a trailer.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-533K, using Component output|
|Display||InFocus Screenplay 7200 with ScreenTechnics 100" (16x9) screen. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to Amplifier. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVC -A11SR|
|Speakers||Jamo D6PEX wall mounted Speakers and Powered Sub (7.1)|