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PLEASE NOTE: Michael D's is currently in READ ONLY MODE. Anything submitted will simply not be written to the database.
Lots of stuff is still broken, but at least reviews can now be looked up and read.
The Emerald Forest (Madman) (1985)

The Emerald Forest (Madman) (1985)

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Released 22-Sep-2009

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Adventure None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 109:03 (Case: 114)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (60:22) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By John Boorman

Madman Entertainment
Starring Powers Boothe
Meg Foster
Yara Vaneau
William Rodriguez
Estee Chandler
Charley Boorman
Dira Paes
Eduardo Conde
Ariel Coelho
Peter Marinker
Mario Borges
Átila Iório
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $19.95 Music Brian Gascoigne
Junior Homrich

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Finnish Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Ripe to be retitled "National Geographic: The Movie", The Emerald Forest is the tale of an engineer named Bill Markham (Powers Boothe) whose young son Tommy is taken by an indigenous tribe. Spending all his spare time searching the jungle, ten years later Bill finds his son, who is now a young man (Charlie Boorman, now better known as Ewan McGregor's motorbike buddy) and a fully fledged member of the tribe. The reunification sees Bill discover many of the ancient traditions of the tribe and become painfully aware of the damage big city life is doing to the jungle and its inhabitants. Cue the scantily clad natives, stunning nature photography and plenty of spear verses gun battles.

    The Emerald Forest was a critically and commercially successful pet project for notable (and notably erratic) English director John Boorman, who is better known for (the true classic) Deliverance, (the ever overrated) Excalibur and (so bad it's hilarious) The Excorcist II. Boorman has tread between commercial and arthouse sensibilities throughout his career, frequently attempting to mix the two. For my money, The Emerald Forest is his most successful combination of the two. The film uses a tightly structured and well paced adventure story to hold together all manner of artistic indulgences. It even manages to bang the "Save The Rainforests" drum pretty loudly without sounding particularly patronising or insincere.

    The film has aged surprisingly well. Coupled with the stunning look of the transfer offered on this disc, The Emerald Forest is easy to recommend to almost any audience.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


    The film is presented in its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The video on offer is stunning, particularly for a 25 year old film. In fact the film has been given a better transfer than most brand spanking new films are afforded. The film features a good deal of stunning photography and it has all been near-flawlessly digitised.

    The image is clear and sharp, with an incredibly fine level of filmic grain present. The colours look spectacular, particularly the lush shades of green and golden sun. There is a stunning level of shadow detail visible.

    There are no compression artefacts or undue noise visible in the video. I counted precisely three minute specs of dust in the image throughout the whole film.

    This is an RSDL disc with a layer break, occurring seamlessly between scenes at 60:22.

    The film features bold white English subtitles for the non-English parts of the movie, save for one oddly placed subtitle early in the film, the subtitles seem accurate and are well paced.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The film features a single English/Portuguese/Indigenous Brazillian Dolby Digital 2.0 (224 Kbps) audio track, which is an accurate representation of the film's original audio.

    The audio track is a little heavy in the mid-range frequencies, but generally sounds good. The audio is reasonably clear, the dialogue is easy to understand and it all appears to be well synchronised to the video.

    The film's score could pretty much be described as Vangelis with a layer of jungle drums (although it was actually composed by Brian Gascoigne and Junior Homrich). It sounds a little dated, but fits the tone of the film well.

    There is no surround activity at all, although there is a moderate level of bottom end that reaches subwoofer levels.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Nothing at all, unless you want to count an animated menu. I don't.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 edition features a theatrical trailer for the film, as well as French and Spanish subtitles that are not on the Region 4 edition, but misses the Finnish subtitle track.


    Stunning photography is the highlight of this engaging jungle adventure movie. The Emerald Forest is a minor classic, and one that has aged far better than most "message" movies, thanks largely to its strong narrative.

    The video on offer is stunning - a reference transfer for an older film. The audio is basic, but clean and clear. There are no extras on this disc.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Adam Gould (Totally Biolicious!)
Thursday, October 29, 2009
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 VSX2016AVS. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX2016AVS
Speakers150W DTX front speakers, 100W centre and 4 surround/rear speakers, 12 inch PSB Image 6i powered sub

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