Overall | Sharpe's Regiment (1996) | Sharpe's Siege (1996) | Sharpe's Mission (1996)

Sharpe's Regiment/Sharpe's Siege/Sharpe's Mission (1996)

Sharpe's Regiment/Sharpe's Siege/Sharpe's Mission (1996)

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Released 4-Jun-2007

Cover Art

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Overall Package

    This two disc set has Sharpe's Regiment and Sharpe's Siege on one disc, Sharpe's Mission on the other. Sharpe's Regiment, Sharpe's Siege and Sharpe's Mission are three of a series of made for TV films based upon the characters created by Bernard Cornwell. The three films in this box set share good casts, with Sean Bean as Sharpe and Daragh O'Malley as Sergeant Harper, and impressive attention to detail with the sets, uniforms, weapons and drill reasonably accurate and realistic to the period. They have are not 16x9 enhanced but nonetheless have acceptable video and good audio but no extras. Sharpe's Siege and Sharpe's Mission especially are terrific additions to the Sharpe series which makes this box set an excellent buy for fans of Sharpe or anyone interested in the historical period of the Napoleonic Wars.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, February 01, 2010
Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sharpe's Regiment (1996) | Sharpe's Siege (1996) | Sharpe's Mission (1996)

Sharpe's Regiment (1996)

Sharpe's Regiment (1996)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 4-Jun-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 101:49
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tom Clegg
Studio
Distributor
Time Life Video & TV
Shock Entertainment
Starring Sean Bean
Daragh O'Malley
Abigail Cruttenden
Michael Cochrane
Nicholas Farrell
Caroline Langrishe
James Laurenson
Mark Lambert
Julian Fellowes
Case Amaray-Opaque-Dual
RPI Box Music Dominic Muldowney
John Tams


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.56:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Sharpe's Regiment is one of a series of made for TV films based upon the character created by Bernard Cornwell. Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) joined the British army as a private and fought in Flanders and India. In a range of adventures, mostly during the wars against Napoleon, Sharpe rises from the ranks to become an officer in Wellington's army.

     Spain 1813. The South Essex Regiment has suffered numerous casualties in their battles against the French. When no replacements arrive from England the South Essex face the prospect of being disbanded and its remaining men transferred to other regiments. As a last resort Sharpe and Sergeant Harper (Daragh O'Malley) are ordered to England to investigate. In England Sharpe uncovers corruption at the highest levels and finds that the most deadly enemies are not necessarily those who face him with a gun, that friends are not always what they seem and that support can come from the most unlikely sources.

     Arriving in England Sharpe and Harper discover that although 700 men have been recruited on paper for the South Essex there are only 11 in the depot and that the others have been marched to an unknown location. When Sharpe reports his suspicions to the Prince Regent's Secretary of War Lord Fenner (Nicholas Farrell), Fenner orders a cover-up and Sharpe's death. Sharpe escapes and to prove his suspicions he and Harper enlist as new recruits. They discover that the missing men are being trained by Colonel Girdwood (Mark Lambert) and are then auctioned off to other regiments at a handy profit by Sharpe's old enemy, the corrupt Sir Henry Simmerson (Michael Cochrane). But the game turns deadly as Sharpe and Harper try to obtain the evidence to prove the corruption and escape the brutal training. Can he trust Lady Anne Camoynes (Caroline Langrishe), a woman with her own agenda? Can he trust his own feelings for Simmerson's niece Jane Gibbons (Abigail Cruttenden)? Can he get the evidence of corruption to the Prince Regent (Julian Fellowes) and save his regiment, his career and the army in Spain?

     Although there is a battle sequence in Spain at the end, Sharpe's Regiment is not primarily an action film and is, in fact, an unusual addition to the Sharpe series for a number of reasons. First, the enemy is not the French but the corrupt aristocrats within the upper echelons of the British government and the army who, for their own profit, deny Wellington's forces in Spain the replacements they need to fight the French. Second, the major part of Sharpe's Regiment involves Sharpe's and Harper's enlistment as privates and the brutality and inhumanity of some of the non-commissioned officers who drill the new batch of recruits. The brutal treatment of new recruits in the 19th Century British army is most likely very realistic yet we enjoy the retribution visited upon the brutal non-coms when Sharpe returns in his rank of Major. Third, the real villains of the film, the corrupt upper class aristocrats, are beyond Sharpe's reach leaving unfinished business. Fourth is the addition of a major love interest for Sharpe. All these give Sharpe's Regiment a different feel to most of the series and in fact it is one of the weaker instalments.

     Sharpe's Regiment is, however, not without interest. As usual, Sean Bean is excellent as Sharpe and he receives good support from Daragh O'Malley as Sergeant Harper and Caroline Langrishe as the enigmatic Lady Camoynes. The outside scenes shot in England and Turkey make excellent use of the countryside, especially the English marshes, so that the film does not look, or feel, like a TV movie. Obvious efforts have also been made to appear authentic; the sets, uniforms, weapons and drill seem reasonably realistic. With an impressive cast, good scenery and authentic period detail Sharpe's Regiment is an entertaining 101 minutes.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    Sharpe's Regiment is a made for TV movie in an aspect ratio of approximately 1:55.1 (14:9). It is not 16x9 enhanced but is nevertheless a reasonably good print. Colours are sometimes dull but not excessively so, blacks are solid, shadow detail and sharpness acceptable. There is also some grain, edge enhancement and occasional dirt marks but these are not distracting.

There are no subtitle options.

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

Audio

    The only audio option is English Dolby Digital 2.0. It is a reasonable track and stereo encoded so that the surrounds are utilised for music and sound effects. Dialogue is clear and there are no lip synchronisation problems. There is no subwoofer use.

The music includes an electronic score by Dominic Muldowney that works nicely and provides good support for the film.

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

Extras

None

R4 vs R1

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

    There are various releases of Sharpe's adventures in Region 1 and 2 including a full box set and various dual episode DVDs. All seem to have similar video and audio and some include minor extras although there is nothing that would lead one to go beyond Region 4.

Summary

    Sharpe's Regiment is one of the weaker additions to the Sharpe series but it is still an entertaining 101 minutes. As usual, Sean Bean is believable as Sharpe and he gets good support from Daragh O'Malley as Sergeant Harper. Sharpe's Regiment is presented on a DVD with acceptable video and audio but no extras. Sharpe's Regiment is included in a two disc box with Sharpe's Regiment and Sharpe's Siege on one disc, Sharpe's Mission on the other. Fans of the series will not be disappointed.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Monday, January 25, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sharpe's Regiment (1996) | Sharpe's Siege (1996) | Sharpe's Mission (1996)

Sharpe's Siege (1996)

Sharpe's Siege (1996)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 4-Jun-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 101:42
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tom Clegg
Studio
Distributor
Time Life Starring Sean Bean
Daragh O'Malley
Abigail Cruttenden
Hugh Fraser
James Laurenson
Féodor Atkine
Christian Brendel
Christopher Villiers
Amira Casar
Philip Whitchurch
James Ryland
Olivier Pierre
Danny Cunningham
Case Amaray-Opaque-Dual
RPI Box Music Dominic Muldowney
John Tams


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.56:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Sharpe's Siege is one of a series of made for TV films based upon the character created by Bernard Cornwell. Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) joined the British army as a private and fought in Flanders and India. In a range of adventures, mostly during the wars against Napoleon, Sharpe rises from the ranks to become an officer in Wellington's army. All very fanciful, of course, but that does not stop the books, and the films, from being good escapist entertainment.

     Spain 1813. The English army of Lord Wellington (Hugh Fraser) is ready to invade France. The Prince of Wales' Volunteers (previously the South Essex) under the command of Colonel Bampfylde (Christopher Villiers) is ordered to accompany the Compte de Maquerre (Christian Brendel) to his family fortress in the French Pyrenees; Maquerre has assured Wellington that an English force will encourage the local French people to rebel against Napoleon. Accompanying the Redcoats is the newly married Major Sharpe who has left behind his wife Jane (Abigail Cruttenden) ill with yellow fever. After Bampfylde shows his incompetence with a failed attack upon the fort, Sharpe, Harper (Daragh O'Malley) and their riflemen succeed only to discover in the fort the complicating presence of the Compte's mother and beautiful sister Catherine (Amira Casar). Sent on a scouting mission, Sharpe returns to find Bampfylde and the Redcoats gone and the fort's defences destroyed. When they are surrounded by the battalion commanded by the veteran General Calvert (Oliver Pierre) and his old enemy Major Ducos (Feodor Atkine), Sharpe must prepare the fort for a desperate siege, uncover a traitor and resist the advances of Catherine, all the time worrying whether Jane is still alive.

     Those familiar with Cornwell's novel Sharpe's Siege will be aware that while the basic plot and characters of the film bear a similarity to those of the novel, one pivotal character from the book is missing and the characters of the Compte's sister and mother are added. That said, on its own merits Sharpe's Siege is a superior example of the Sharpe TV film series. It is a tight, exciting, action packed film, blending rousing set piece battles, political intrigue, humour, a good score and a sense of poignant longing and loss. This film is far more than an action film; with the worry about his wife's illness uppermost in his mind Sean Bean gives a deep and nuanced performance as Sharpe that is very touching and effective. As usual, he receives excellent support from Daragh O'Malley as Sergeant Harper and also good are Philip Whitchurch as the one-eyed, toothless Lieutenant Frederickson, Christian Brendel as Maquerre and Oliver Pierre as the French General who, like Sharpe, has risen from the ranks.

     Sharpe's Siege is one of the best of the Sharpe series. It is a tight, exciting, action packed film, blending rousing battles, political intrigue, humour, a good score and a sense of poignant longing and loss. As usual the sets, uniforms, weapons and drill seem reasonably accurate and realistic and the action is well staged. With a good cast and authentic period detail Sharpe's Siege is a moving and entertaining 101 minutes.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    Sharpe's Siege is a made for TV movie and is in an aspect ratio of approximately 1:55.1 (14:9). It is not 16x9 enhanced. This is a flat looking print with muted colours in some scenes although in others they are fine. Clarity and sharpness are reasonable, blacks are solid but the shadow detail is just adequate. There is also minor grain and edge enhancement but artefacts are not prevalent. This is an acceptable print and the issues noted are not distracting enough to spoil the enjoyment of the film.

There are no subtitle options although clear white burnt-in subtitles translate the French dialogue.

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

Audio

    The only audio option is English Dolby Digital 2.0. It is a reasonable track and stereo encoded so that the surrounds are utilised frequently for music and sound effects including gunfire. Dialogue is clear and there are no lip synchronisation problems. The subwoofer was not used.

The music includes an electronic score by Dominic Muldowney plus some period songs sung by John Tams (Rifleman Hagman) which works nicely and provides good support for the film.

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

Extras

None

R4 vs R1

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

    There are various releases of Sharpe's adventures in Region 1 and 2 including a full box set and various dual episode DVDs. All seem to have similar video and audio; some include minor extras but nothing that would lead one to go beyond Region 4.

Summary

    Sharpe's Siege is an excellent example of the series of made for TV films based upon the character created by Bernard Cornwell. It is an exciting film blending rousing action, political intrigue, humour, a good score and a sense of poignant longing and loss. Sean Bean is even better than usual as Sharpe and he gets good support from Daragh O'Malley as Sergeant Harper. Sharpe's Siege is presented on a DVD with acceptable video and audio but no extras. Sharpe's Siege is included in a two disc box with Sharpe's Gold and Sharpe's Battle on one disc, Sharpe's Sword on the other. Fans of the series will not be disappointed.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Friday, January 29, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE
Overall | Sharpe's Regiment (1996) | Sharpe's Siege (1996) | Sharpe's Mission (1996)

Sharpe's Mission (1996)

Sharpe's Mission (1996)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 4-Jun-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 101:10
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tom Clegg
Studio
Distributor
Time Life Starring Sean Bean
Daragh O'Malley
Abigail Cruttenden
James Laurenson
Hugh Fraser
Mark Strong
Andrew Schofield
Nigel Betts
Warren Saire
John Tams
Jason Salkey
Diana Perez
Peter Le Campion
Case Amaray-Opaque-Dual
RPI Box Music Dominic Muldowney
John Tams


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Unknown English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.56:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Sharpe's Mission is one of a series of made for TV films based upon the character created by Bernard Cornwell although in this instance the film is not based upon a Sharpe novel but is an original script. Richard Sharpe (Sean Bean) joined the British army as a private and fought in Flanders and India. In a range of adventures, mostly during the wars against Napoleon, Sharpe rises from the ranks to become an officer in Wellington's army. All very fanciful, of course, but that does not stop the books, and the films, from being good, escapist entertainment.

     Sharpe's Mission starts in 1810 in Portugal. A patrol under the command of Major Brand (Mark Strong) including Sharpe is ambushed by the French. Brand shows conspicuous bravery in an attempt to save the life of a fellow officer winning Sharpe's respect and admiration. Three years later, Sharpe is newly married Major but his wife Jane (Abigail Cruttenden) is unhappy with army life and wondering how Sharpe would adopt to being a civilian. She becomes attracted, despite herself, to the smooth talking reporter Clarence Shellington (Warren Saire) while Sergeant Harper (Daragh O'Malley) is having his own troubles with his wife Ramona (Diana Perez).

     Brand, now a Colonel, brings to Wellington (Hugh Fraser) an audacious plan to march a force of Redcoats behind French lines to blow up a vital powder magazine that would open up France to invasion. In reality, Brand is a traitor (this is not a spoiler as his true allegiance is shown in the first 4 minutes) and the magazine bait set by French Colonel Cresson (Peter le Campion) to capture Wellington's Head of Intelligence Major General Ross (James Laurenson). Wellington takes the bait and Brand leads a force including Ross, Sharpe and the disfigured explosives expert Major Pyecroft (Nigel Betts) behind French lines into a French trap. Yet just who is the bait and who is the hunter is not altogether clear as the mission becomes a deadly game of bluff and counter bluff with Sharpe caught between a traitor, a powder cache and a French battalion.

     Sharpe's Mission is a terrific addition to the Sharpe series. It has humour, a plot with many strands, bluff and double dealing, interesting characters and an impressive set piece battle at the powder magazine. As usual, Sean Bean is excellent as Sharpe and he gets good support from Mark Strong as Brand and Nigel Betts as Pyecroft while Jason Salkey as Rifleman Harris has a very unusual duty to perform. In contrast Warren Saire as Shellington is simply over the top and not believable, which undermines that section of the story. As usual, the sets, uniforms, weapons and drill seem reasonably accurate and realistic and the outdoor scenes filmed in Turkey are impressive. With a generally good cast, a good plot, authentic period detail and a rousing battle Sharpe's Mission is an exciting and involving 101 minutes.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    Sharpe's Mission is a made for TV movie and is in an aspect ratio of approximately 1:55.1 (14:9). It is not 16x9 enhanced but is quite a good print. Early on the colours in some outdoor scenes look flat but this improves and the indoor scenes especially have very good colour and clarity. Sharpness is better than usual, blacks are solid and the shadow detail in night scenes acceptable. There is occasional grain and minor aliasing at one point (47:33) but on the whole this is one of the best prints I have seen in the Sharpe series.

There are no subtitle options although burnt in subtitles translate the French dialogue.

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

Audio

    The only audio option is English Dolby Digital 2.0. It is a good track, stereo encoded and the surrounds are utilised frequently for music and sound effects including gunfire. Dialogue is clear and there are no lip synchronisation problems. My subwoofer did support the explosions.

The music includes an electronic score by Dominic Muldowney plus some period songs sung by John Tams (Rifleman Hagman). This works nicely and provides good support for the film.

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

Extras

None

R4 vs R1

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

    There is various releases of Sharpe's adventures in Region 1 and 2 including a full box set and various dual episode DVDs. All seem to have similar video and audio; some include minor extras but nothing that would lead one to go beyond Region 4.

Summary

    Sharpe's Mission is a terrific addition to the Sharpe series. It has a great cast, humour, a plot with many strands, bluff and double dealing, interesting characters and an impressive set piece battle at the powder cache. Sharpe's Mission is presented on a DVD with good video and audio but no extras. Sharpe's Mission is included in a two disc box with Sharpe's Regiment and Sharpe's Siege on one disc, Sharpe's Mission on the other. A must for any Sharpe fan.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDSony BDP-S350, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderNAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationNAD T737
SpeakersStudio Acoustics 5.1

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE