Biographies-Cast & Crew
Isolated Musical Score
|Year Of Production||1984|
|RSDL / Flipper||FLIPPER (98:54)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Milos Forman|
Warner Home Video
F. Murray Abraham
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The story is presented as the recollections of an old man, Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham in his Academy Award winning role). Salieri was the court composer in the Viennese court, the most influential musical arena in the world at the time. Salieri dedicated his life to the service of God through his music, and his piety. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) bursts onto the Viennese musical scene. He is crude, arrogant, bawdy and brash, but is a musical genius. Salieri hears his music and is convinced that Mozart is expressing the voice of God through his music, something which Salieri has only been able to aspire to do. Salieri cannot reconcile Mozart's musical gift with his crude demeanour. He becomes mad with jealousy, and vows to destroy Mozart by any means at his disposal, renouncing God in the process.
Amadeus is a brilliant film, well-deserving of its eight Academy Awards. It is visually stunning, and spirited on by breathtaking music. The acting is superb, both from the two lead actors and from the superb supporting cast. Two-and-a-half hours long, the movie races past at breakneck speed, never once faltering, and never once feeling over-long. In fact, it is over far too soon, and you are left wanting more, which is a sure sign of a great movie.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer was not as sharp as current generation transfers, but this was consistent throughout the entire transfer, so this was not a major issue. Shadow detail was not as good as current transfers, but also quite acceptable. No low level noise was apparent.
The colours varied somewhat between being somewhat muted in some scenes and vibrant in the more festive scenes. Colour bleeding was never a problem. Overall, I felt that the fidelity was true to the original cinematography so I was happy with the colour balance.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts were a significant problem with this transfer. A significant amount of telecine wobble mars this transfer from time-to-time. Whilst the wobble is not enormous, it is noticeable and slightly distracting. In terms of total time involved, I felt that around 2% of the movie was affected by this artefact, though I did not keep a specific record of the times that this occurred. Minor aliasing was also present, most noticeably when Salieri is looking at Mozart's music for the first time.
Film artefacts were extremely common at times during this transfer, and in some scenes, were very distracting. The scenes that I considered the worst affected were 48:03 - 49:19 and 73:55 - 79:13. Having said that, some scenes were very clean and free of artefacts. I was very disappointed by this aspect of the film's transfer.
This disc is a flipper. The side change is placed at 98:54, just after the opera Don Giovanni finishes. I felt that this was an excellent place for a break, as the disruption to the storyline is minimal. Of course, RSDL formatting would have been far superior.
Dialogue was placed in the centre channel, and was very clear almost all of the time. Very occasionally when the musical score is sounding forth in its full glory, some of the words are a little hard to make out, but the dialogue intelligibility of this soundtrack is remarkably good considering the amount of competition that it often has from the musical score. There was an area of the movie where I felt audio sync was a problem. This was in the scene where Mozart is getting a tongue lashing from his mother-in-law which then segues into The Magic Flute. His mother-in-law appears marginally out of sync, though this is probably an ADR problem rather than a disc mastering problem.
The music is a highlight of this soundtrack, and consists of classical pieces, mainly Mozart's own music. His music evokes a range of emotions, from sadness to joy to fear to anger. The music is wonderfully performed, and considering Neville Marriner's talents, this is no surprise. It is mixed in stereo with some presence in the rear channels, which places you in the midst of the soundtrack. This is very effective in drawing you into the on-screen action, especially since the music is near-continuous throughout this soundtrack.
The surround channels sounded mono, but were well-utilized nonetheless, with music frequently coming from the rear speakers. As stated above, the surrounds contributed effectively to the overall enveloping sound of this soundtrack.
The .1 channel was subtly used for the music, and was only moderately, but very effectively, used.
The video quality is mostly very good, but significant film artefacts mar the transfer somewhat, which is a great pity. This is not enough, however, to detract in a large way from the overall wonderful experience of this movie.
The audio quality is extremely good considering the film's vintage. Dialogue is remarkably clear, and the music is magnificent. My only gripe with the audio in this movie is that the operas are often sung in English rather than their original language.
The extras are quite limited, but interesting nonetheless.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|