|Year Of Production||2000|
|Running Time||86:06 (Case: 90)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||John Terlesky|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Mario Van Peebles
Daniel Hugh Kelly
|RPI||$36.95||Music||Joseph Stanley Williams|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
While this film is not going to be nominated for an Academy Award it is not that bad. The story line is a boilerplate to some extent: evil spirit is released from tomb, takes over people's bodies causing the usual confusion when friends turn nasty, has plans to take over the world and so forth. However, they have managed to add a few interesting twists to the story that will actually keep your interest focused on the film.
The action on-screen has also been influenced by recent films with the now-obligatory wire work being included. It is also interesting to browse around the writer's credits and the actor's credits for the people involved in this film.
Mario Van Peebles plays an L.A.P.D. detective called John Kross. John served with the marines during the Gulf War. He was a member of the reconnaissance battalion that worked behind enemy lines pointing lasers at targets so that the smart bombs could hit them. While on one of these missions, he observes an archaeologist digging up a large coffin marked 'do not open'. At the same time, he sees that the archaeologist's wife has just given birth to a baby and he moves in to rescue the civilians before the smart bomb arrives. Unfortunately, all does not quite go to plan. While trying to rescue the baby, John is wounded, the coffin is opened and the bomb arrives. While lying half-conscious, he sees a strange woman take the baby, and when he wakes up in hospital he finds that someone has carved all sorts of interesting symbols into his chest.
We move forward a number of years and find John working as a detective trying to track down the source of a new drug called Chaos. Taken in quantity, this drug causes people to run around killing others. At about this time, the evil spirit from the coffin turns up in L.A. From here, the story takes some mildly interesting turns and twists so I will say no more.
The sharpness is not too bad. There is a slight lack of really fine detail but overall it is pretty good. The shadow detail is good but the blacks are not absolutely black, and almost look like 7.5 IRE level black to me. There is no low level noise.
The colours are also pretty good although the colour balance changes occasionally, sometimes being a little cool and sometimes a little hot, although this could be intentional to suit the mood of a scene - it's hard to say.
There are some minor MPEG artefacts, although surprisingly few for a single layered disc. There is some pixelization present but not constantly through the transfer. You can see some examples of this at 8:40 and at 41:04, surprisingly both during close-ups of our hero. The pixelization occurs about every 16th frame and may be because the compression ratio was raised, maybe a little too far, because there was no action on screen. There is also some edge enhancement present such as on the jacket at 26:08.
The film master for this transfer is basically spotless with no marks, flecks or grain visible.
There are no subtitles.
This is a single layered disc..
There are no transfer problems with the soundtrack but occasionally the diction of the actors makes things a little hard to catch.The audio was in sync with the on screen action.
The music was not particularly noticeable though it did add a reasonable backdrop to most scenes.
The surrounds really sounded more like a matrixed track rather than a discrete mix. There were no split effects and while it drew the soundstage somewhat away from the front it did not really immerse the viewer in the action.
The LFE meter was almost constantly showing some activity but this was not reflected in what was heard. The bass lacked any real slam or impact.
|Surround Channel Use|
Presented at 1.85:1 and not 16x9 enhanced, the trailer runs for 1:53 and is accompanied by a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. As usual, the trailer gives away too much but other than that it does represent the film reasonably well. It also reminds you that the film is not in the right ratio.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;
While I can't see anyone laying out the dollars to import this one, we do have a Region 1 winner here.
I found that the interesting mythology that they chose to include in Guardian added quite a lot to what is basically a direct-to-video production. As long as you approach this film in the right state of mind, there is a reasonable night's entertainment available, assuming that you can stand the non-widescreen picture.
The video transfer is not too bad.
The audio is pretty boring.
A trailer is all the extras that you get.
|DVD||Skyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252Q CRT Projector, 254cm custom built 1.0 gain screen. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.|
|Speakers||B&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)|