Sharpe's Waterloo (1997)

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Released 3-Aug-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War Featurette-Sharpe The Legend
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1997
Running Time 101:20
RSDL / Flipper Dual Sided Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Tom Clegg
Studio
Distributor
Carlton Entertainmnt
Time Life
Starring Sean Bean
Daragh O'Malley
Abigail Cruttenden
Alexis Denisof
Cécile Paoli
Hugh Fraser
Paul Bettany
Oliver Tobias
Case Amaray-Transparent-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

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Plot Synopsis

    Belgium 1815. Napoleon has escaped from Elba, gathered an army and invaded Belgium. Facing him at Waterloo is a ramshackle force comprised of English, Dutch and Belgian soldiers under the command of the Duke of Wellington (Hugh Fraser). Sharpe leaves the farm in Normandy to join Wellington and is assigned as a Lieutenant Colonel to the Dutch forces of the Prince of Orange (Paul Bettany), a vain and ignorant commander. Also answering the call are ex-chosen men Hagman (John Tams), Harris (Jason Salkey) and ex-sergeant major Harper (Daragh O’Malley), who maintains he is there only in an advisory capacity! In the heavy cavalry is Lord Rossendale (Alexis Denisof) who has brought with him to Brussels Sharpe’s wife Jane (Abigail Cruttenden). Jane is determined to be free of the threat of Sharpe and urges Rossendale to find a way to kill Sharpe during the coming battle.

     After a preliminary skirmish at Quatre-Bras, Wellington falls back on Waterloo. Sharpe and the chosen men find themselves in the centre of the defensive line at the La Haye-Sainte farm house where they take part in the desperate battles to hold the position. Meanwhile, the Prince of Orange twice shows his incompetence as a commander resulting in the needless deaths of many men of the South Essex Regiment. As the fierce bloody battles rage and Napoleon throws in his Imperial Old Guard in an attempt to break the allied line, old friends die and Sharpe must take life or death decisions as he and Harper make a final stand.

     Sharpe's Waterloo is an exciting, action packed climax to the Sharpe series. Filmed in Turkey, the battle scenes look tremendous and, while as a TV movie the budget cannot stretch to thousands of extras, the film makes excellent use of smoke and the numbers it does have to create a rousing experience. And of course, by now we know and identify with Sharpe, Harper, Hagman and Harris, not to mention Wellington, so that we are drawn into their world as they fight for survival. As usual, Sean Bean and Daragh O’Malley are excellent and they get tremendous support from John Tams, Jason Salkey and Hugh Fraser. As well, the sets, uniforms, weapons and drill seem reasonably accurate. With a good cast and rousing battle action Sharpe's Waterloo is a breathtaking climax to the Sharpe series.

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Transfer Quality

Video

Sharpe's Waterloo is a made for TV movie and is in an aspect ratio of approximately 1:55.1. It is not 16x9 enhanced but it is an acceptable print. Colours including skin tones are natural, if flat, and although blacks are solid shadow detail is only adequate. Sharpness is good although camera pans tend to lose a lot of clarity. There is occasional grain but nothing to spoil the enjoyment of the film.

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 surround encoded. It is a good track 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 cannon fire and explosions.

The music includes an electronic score by Dominic Muldowney plus some period songs by John Tams. 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

Sharpe The Legend (90:20 minutes).

This feature length extra was produced by Carlton Television in 1997 and is included on the second disc of the box set with Sharpe’s Waterloo. It takes the form of Rifleman Cooper (Michael Mears) in character in a tavern reminiscing about Sharpe; his lovers, friends and enemies, supported by extended clips from the various films in the series. The quality of the video varies in line with the original source material. Sharpe The Legend works fine as a summary of the series.

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 that includes Sharpe The Legend 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 Waterloo is an exciting, action packed climax to the Sharpe series. It has a good cast, excellent attention to detail and impressive set piece battle sequences. Sharpe's Waterloo is presented on a DVD with acceptable video and audio and one feature length extra on the same disc of the box set. Sharpe's Revenge is included with Sharpe's Justice on one disc, Sharpe's Waterloo and Sharpe The Legend on the other. The box set presents fantastic value for money for Sharpe fans or anyone interested in the period of the wars against Napoleon.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ray Nyland (the bio is the thing)
Tuesday, February 23, 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

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