Red Water (2003)
|Category||Thriller||Trailer-Anaconda, Bats, Infested, La Bamba|
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4,5||Directed By||Charles Robert Carner|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Lou Diamond Phillips
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
A bull shark with a taste for human flesh has made its way upriver in deep southern USA. Whilst the authorities and local fishermen begin a manhunt for the creature John Sanders' (Lou Diamond Phillips) ex-wife, Dr Kelly Raymond (Kristy Swanson), makes him an offer he can't refuse. Kelly needs John to give up his life as a fisherman temporarily and help her out on her oil exploration rig. He's the best in the business, but a tragedy years earlier had driven him away. Only his near bankruptcy now will drive him back.
Meanwhile, somewhere tropical, gangster enforcers Ice (Coolio) and Brett (Kirk Langwood) are told to track down someone who owes them millions of dollars. Millions of dollars that he has hidden in the river bed a few metres away from a certain oil exploration rig...
It's not long before the two parties cross paths and a fairly generic made-for-TV hostage drama unfurls, the one twist being that a shark occasionally eats some people.
Red Water is a rather disappointing entry in the low budget creature movie arena. Poor direction and low production values, even for a movie of this calibre, mar the surprisingly good-humoured story and decent acting (again, for a movie of this type). The effects vary between halfway decent and pretty bad.
The biggest disappointment by far comes from the shark itself. It's just simply not enough a part of the story and, subsequently, doesn't feature enough in the movie. Its appearance rarely gels with the rest of the story when it does feature. As a result it's not worth recommending to even those who like a good Z-grade creature movie.
The film is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
The video quality is very poor for a film of its age.
Most of the problems appear to stem from poor source material. The film appears to have been mostly shot using natural light and not colour balanced. The light levels frequently change (most notably in a scene starting at 14:10) leading to a smoky picture riddled with grain and low level noise. Indoor and night scenes, which unfortunately make up a significant portion of the film, are the worst affected. Interestingly, the underwater scenes have fared quite well.
In a number of scenes, incredibly grainy footage is cut together with quite clear footage (e.g. at 37:19). Similarly, a number of scenes are cut together with footage at different lighting levels (e.g. at 68:00). This inconsistent video quality is frustrating.
The poor lighting has also led to poor shadow detail and colour depth.
A wide range of subtitles are provided that cover both the main feature and the bonus trailers.
The audio tracks are Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s) in English, French, Italian and Spanish.
The audio is quite basic, but of a reasonable standard.
The dialogue is clear and stands out. There is a lot of obvious ADR usage, but the sync is never bad enough to be distracting.
Surround channels are not used and the subwoofer barely registers, despite a considerable number of explosions and lots of heavy machinery.
The score is good. It is well suited to the action on-screen and clearly recorded.
|Surround Channel Use|
Trailers for Anacondas, Bats, Infested and La Bamba (3 other creature features and one random Lou Diamond Phillips movie) are included.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 version of this title misses out on the 3 non-English audio tracks and several subtitle tracks. Region 4 misses nothing, making it the winner.
Red Water is a disappointing made-for-TV creature feature that is unlikely to please fans of the genre or fans of any of the cast. Needs more shark.
The video quality is surprisingly poor for a film of its age but the audio transfer is good.
|DVD||LG V8824W, using S-Video output|
|Display||LG 80cm 4x3 CRT. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Pioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 10 inch DTX powered sub|