The American President (1995)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1995|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (56:20)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Rob Reiner|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Michael J. Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Polish Dolby Digital 1.0 (96Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Whilst this may not be the most politically correct (or is that incorrect?) story in light of the real life escapades in the White House, director Rob Reiner has managed to craft an immensely watchable film from the nicely crafted story by Aaron Sorkin (they previously having collaborated on A Few Good Men) that is a favourite in our household. Rob Reiner has made some great films in his career, but this would have to be one of his very best. The story moves at a wonderful pace, the story is completely believable and the cast do a sterling job in bringing the characters to life. In some places, this film has been described as having a Capra-esque quality to it, referring of course to the immortal works of Frank Capra (most notably Mr Smith Goes To Washington), and it comes as no surprise then to note that the First Assistant Director is none other than Frank Capra III! Frank Capra's films were noted for the strength of the characters, and this is certainly the case with this film.
The transfer is at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
Overall, the transfer is just a little soft and not as sharply defined as perhaps we have become accustomed to in Universal releases. One soon adjusts to the image however. The transfer comes across as being a little grainy, but this may be associated with the slightly soft definition rather than anything else. Shadow detail is very good throughout.
Colours are quite nicely rendered, although not especially vibrant. The transfer seems a little over bright for my taste which results in a rather pale pallor to skin tones. Since this is so much more detailed than VHS tape, it is difficult to know whether this is a mastering problem or the inherent style of the film - I would suspect the latter. There is certainly no hint of oversaturation in the colours.
There were no MPEG artefacts noted. There were some rather frequent if quite minor video artefacts noted. These comprised mainly aliasing of furniture edges and the like, that if you were not really looking for probably would be unnoticed. They did not detract from the enjoyment of the film. There were the usual film artefacts noted, but overall these were not disruptive to the film.
This is an RSDL formatted disc, with the layer change occurring at 56:20. Had it not been for the jogger in the background of the selected frames, the layer change would have been virtually unnoticeable; it is not at all disruptive to the flow of the film.
There are seven audio tracks on the DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the other options being: German Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound, Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound and Polish Dolby Digital 1.0. I listened to the English default as usual.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times.
Audio sync was not a problem with the transfer at all..
The music score by Marc Shaiman is virtually non-existent and adds nothing to the film at all, apart from a wonderful theme tune.
The surround channels were not especially well used during the film, being balanced very much in favour of the front and centre channels: little use is made of the rears, except during some of the music sequences. This is not the best example of a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that you will hear, but it is by no means the worst.
The bass channel was barely used during the film; it was only noticed during music sequences and then it seemed to be too prevalent in the mix.
The overall video quality is good, but perhaps lacking a little bit of refinement.
The audio quality is good, bearing in mind that this is a dialogue driven film.
The extras were adequate, if not especially memorable.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|