A Boy and His Dog (1975)

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Released 17-Oct-2005

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-LQ Jones (Director)
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-The Time Guardian, Biggles, First Man Into Space
Trailer-Atomic Submarine
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1975
Running Time 90:35 (Case: 87)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (55:00) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By L.Q. Jones
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Don Johnson
Susanne Benton
Jason Robards
Tim McIntire
Alvy Moore
Helene Winston
Charles McGraw
Hal Baylor
Ron Feinberg
Michael Rupert
Don Carter
Michael Hershman
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Tim McIntire
Jaime Mendoza-Nava


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    It is 2024, 18 years after World War IV, and the world has turned into a barren wasteland. 18 year-old Vic (Don Johnson) and his trusty old companion Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire), a world-weary mutt, roam the wasteland in search of food and women. Vic and Blood communicate telepathically and Blood is as much Vic's mentor as he is Vic's companion.

    After a particularly dry spell in the bedroom department, Vic is lured beneath the surface of the planet by a curvy lass and finds himself kidnapped by a society of underground dwellers who are trying to preserve life as it was before the bomb. Unfortunately, all that time underground hasn't helped their sanity.

    A Boy and His Dog won a Hugo award, one of the sci-fi community's most respected accolades, in 1976 for it's deliciously black interpretation of Harlan Ellison's novella of the same name. Today it stands as one of the more obscure cult sci-fi flicks out there, but one that holds up fairly well to a modern audience. The acting and editing are both a little stilted, but this is made up for by strong characters, good pacing and a wicked sense of humour. Sci-fi fans and cynics at large will get a kick out of this one.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality on this disc is extremely poor and occasionally calls for a bit of perseverance to sit through.

    The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio but is not 16x9 enhanced. The lack of 16x9 enhancement for this wide ratio has resulted in a noticeably poor image resolution.

    The image is very soft, which looks pretty awful when combined with the low resolution due to the lack of 16x9 enhancement. Shadows lack detail and black areas generally swallow a lot of surrounding image. The level of grain visible varies between scenes but isn't generally too bad, although a degree of low level noise is occasionally noticeable in many of the backgrounds.

    The colour is very washed out and contrast is quite poor. The extent to which the colours are washed out varies throughout the feature and a number of scenes feature a noticeable flicker in the colour levels for a few frames.

    A constant stream of dirt, dust and other film artefacts are visible throughout the film. The video has been mastered from a release print rather than a negative, which is made obvious by reel change markings and a significant increase in the size and quantity of film artefacts near the end of reels. Mild pixelation is noticeable, but it is largely overshadowed by the incredibly soft focus of the image.

    There are no subtitles on this disc.

    This is a RSDL disc. The layer break occurs at 55:00 but was not noticeable on my equipment.

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

Audio

    One English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448 Kbps) audio track available for the film. Don't be fooled by the unusually high bitrate (which seems likely to be an authoring error on the disc), this is a rather tinny mono affair with a noticeable crackle. The sound on offer is rather reminiscent of listening to a worn vinyl record.

    The dialogue is at an audible level but the flat, tinny nature of the sound and slight crackle occasionally muffles the dialogue. The dialogue appears in reasonable sync.

    The music is a rather jumbled affair, a mixture of laid back country (as is evident in the film's theme song) and an awkwardly dated sounding synthesizer affair. The softly distorted nature of the soundtrack is quite evident in the musical score.

    There is no surround activity or noticeable subwoofer usage.

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

Extras

Audio Commentary with director LQ Jones

    Character actor LQ Jones turned his hand to directing for A Boy and His Dog, one of only a couple of times he did so throughout his long career. Here he, along with film critic Charles Champlin, provides a reasonably interesting commentary on his experiences doing so though the pair tend to ramble a bit and wander off topic.

Theatrical Trailer

    A rather long-winded theatrical trailer for the movie. It features a similarly poor transfer to the film itself.

Umbrella Trailers

    Trailers for other Umbrella cult sci-fi releases; The Time Guardian, Biggles, First Man Into Space and Atomic Submarine.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    An identical release is available in Region 1, save for the rather forgettable Umbrella Trailers.

Summary

    A quirky post-apocalyptic tale, told with a deviously black wit. Alas, this disc does not give the movie the presentation it deserves.

    The extras are minimal. The video presentation is rather awful and not 16x9 enhanced when it should be. The audio is mono and rather tinny, but seems accurate to the original source.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Friday, October 26, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDSony Playstation 3, using HDMI output
Display Samsung 116cm LA46M81BD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderPioneer VSX-D512. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, and a 100W centre and 2 surrounds, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

Other Reviews NONE
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