Nine Miles Down (Blu-ray) (2009)

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Released 1-Dec-2010

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller None
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 86:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Anthony Waller
Studio
Distributor
Seven Arts
Icon Entertainment
Starring Everett De Roche
Anthony Waller
Kate Nauta
Adrian Paul
Meredith Ostrom
Amanda Douge
Anthony Waller
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI Box Music Andrew Fisher
Stephen W. Parsons


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (2304Kb/s)
English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1 (3254Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

"Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil..."

     Thomas (Jack) Jackson (Adrian Paul) is a security guard hired to find out why a scientific drilling team in the Sahara desert seems to have disappeared. It doesn't take him long to discover that something is seriously wrong, especially if he'd seen movies such as The Omen or The Exorcist beforehand. In the base he uncovers the classical signs of demonic activity; that is, ceremonially sacrificed animals and strange wall scribbling in an unknown script. The dead body in cellophane is also a bit of a clue.

     After an unsound night’s sleep Jack finds that he is not alone after all. A very attractive scientist Dr. Jennie Christiansen (Kate Nauta), or JC for short, appears from nowhere and warns Jack that they must leave straight away as everyone is dead. Unfortunately for Jack his boss instructs him to stay until the authorities arrive, a development that JC is not happy about. Given no choice but to hang around Jack proceeds to inspect the drilling base to try and find out what happened to the other inhabitants. Oddly enough a flock of carnivorous birds constantly circling not so far away doesn't pique his interest enough to have an immediate look at what is occupying them. He does however find some recordings taken by the digging crew which reveals strange wailing and screaming noises emanating from the drill hole. Surely they couldn't have drilled all the way down to hell? The mysterious JC also doesn't appear on the staff list so is she really a base scientist, or something far more evil?

     When Jack begins to have strange visions and dreams of his dead wife he begins to wonder if he's actually going crazy, or perhaps been drugged. On top of this he develops a romantic attachment to JC which further clouds his grip on reality. Events deteriorate with Jack and JC ultimately engaging in a duel to the death where the hero and villain roles are not clear. Is Jack really crazy and is JC really a she-devil or just an innocent survivor? The final act of Nine Miles Down doesn't really conclusively answer these questions and ultimately it really didn't make sense.

     Director Anthony Waller has done a reasonable job with this movie however he is let down by the loose script and the average performances of both leads. Nauta in particular is rather wooden and delivers her lines as if reading off an auto-cue. Fortunately she looks good while doing so. Paul is somewhat better in the acting department but kept reminding me of Nicholas Cage (not a good thing). The special effects were quite limited but good enough for what was required. There were also plenty of frights and scares to be had to keep things rolling along so that the ninety minutes didn't drag too much. The drilling environment itself was also quite interesting with the deserted buildings and desert winds reminding me of a Sahara version of the Antarctic base in The Thing. Ultimately however, what began as an interesting foray into a psychological thriller finishes as a confusing muddle of dreams and reality.

     Nine Miles Down is the leading movie included as a double-header disc along with Knife Edge.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     This film is presented in its cinematic 2.35:1 aspect. This is a very good transfer with clean sharp images throughout. Blacks were very good with the varying shades of black and grey easily defined. Colours were excellent especially in the outdoor scenes with the clear desert environment ensuring a crisp and bright palette. Flesh tones were also excellent with the freckles on JC's face and stubble on Jackman clearly defined. There was some digital noise evident although it was barely noticeably. Overall the video quality is rated as excellent.

     This is a dual layer disc but I could not see the layer change using my equipment.

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

Audio

     This audio track overall is excellent. The default DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 at around 3,500Kb/s delivers an excellent audio experience with plenty of directional effects and good utilisation of the subwoofer to add some thump. The alternative Dolby Digital TrueHD 5.1 at around 2,300Kb/s is very similar to the DTS offering and so I would not prefer one over the other.

     Dialogue was clear and understandable at all times and the audio synchronisation was fault free. There were no clicks or dropouts or any other audio problems that I noticed. The original music by Andrew Fisher and Stephen W. Parsons complements the on screen action well. The front sound stage was very good with main voices coming from the centre channel and effects used appropriately from all directions. Surround channel use was appropriate and complemented the action very well. The subwoofer was used effectively.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu featured looping audio with static background.

R4 vs R1

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

    This Blu-ray twin movie offering does not seem to be duplicated elsewhere however there are Nine Miles Down movie only versions available on Region 1, Region 2 and Region 4 DVD. If you have a Blu-ray player than I think this version would be the best option although the DVDs have a range of extras available.

Summary

     Nine Miles Down had a lot of potential with an interesting plot premise and a couple of attractive lead actors. Ultimately though, it's the loose script and lead actors that let the movie down with neither Paul or Nauta really convincing as the security guard and scientist respectively. The script tries hard to keep the plot moving but ultimately loses itself about sixty minutes in. The final scenes raise more questions than answers and left this viewer ultimately unsatisfied. Nevertheless it's a fairly enjoyable romp with some nice eye-candy thrown in as a bonus. There are no extras apart from the "bonus movie" Knife Edge but I'd class this movie as recommended if you can find it at a discount price.

     The video quality is excellent. The audio quality is excellent. Extras are confined to the "bonus" movie Knife Edge.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mike B (read my bio)
Monday, November 15, 2010
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910 and Panasonic BD-35, using HDMI output
DisplayPanasonic TH-58PZ850A. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).
AmplificationDenon AVR-3808 pre-out to Elektra Theatron 7 channel amp
SpeakersB&W LCR600 centre and 603s3 mains, Niles in ceiling surrounds, SVS PC-Ultra Sub

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