Angel Eyes (2001)

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Released 23-Apr-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Romance Menu Animation & Audio
Dolby Digital Trailer-Rain
Audio Commentary-Luis Mandoki (Director)
Theatrical Trailer
Trailer-The Caveman's Valentine; The Wedding Planner
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 98:38
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (83:02) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Luis Mandoki
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Jennifer Lopez
Jim Caviezel
Sonia Braga
Terence Howard
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $34.95 Music Marco Beltrami


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    There are some occasions when, as a reviewer, you ask to review a disc because you cannot possibly believe all the bad things you have heard about the movie. Angel Eyes was one such disc for me. Unfortunately, although it is quite rare, sometimes everything you heard turns out to be true, and every so often, it turns out to only be a mild reflection of the depths to which the movie sinks. Angel Eyes is, again, one such movie. The only upside to such a movie (apart from getting to throw the DVD across the room) is the revenge that can be exacted in writing the review.

    Firstly, let's get the objective part out of the way - the plot. Jennifer Lopez is a Chicago cop, Sharon Pogue, who patrols the mean streets with her partner Robby (Terence Dashon Howard). She has no life, living only for her job. That is, until one day she is saved from death at the hands of a gun-toting crim by the "mysterious" Catch (Jim Caviezel). From there, as she comes to realise that she is falling in love with Catch, she equally comes to realise that she knows nothing about his background. Who is this man? Where is he from? Where does his money come from? Meantime, her own personal life is not going well, with her parents deciding to renew their vows, even as her father still refuses to acknowledge her as his daughter. This is an emotionally challenging time for Sharon, but will it all work out our will it all end in tragedy?

    Well, what is there good to say about this film? The performances are good. Jim Caviezel is very likeable and he does brilliantly with the abominable material that he has. I do, however, think he should fire his agent for signing him up for this film. Jennifer Lopez is also very good, and it is nice to see her easily slipping into a less glamorous role. Aside from that, well, I suppose that it has a story. Better than nothing.

    The problems - where to begin? The biggest one can be summed up in a single word - boredom. This movie is paced at about the speed of a slug race. It starts fairly casually and only gets slower. It really does seem more like three hours than the hour and a half it is. I would be surprised if there is enough material here to make an interesting TV-episode length presentation. There are many occasions when the script, the actors, indeed the entire movie is quite literally doing nothing. I realise that the story does not have to be moving forward at all times, but this movie takes this to the point of being ridiculous. This sort of lingering reflection may well be suited to movies that are high art, but as this is a mainstream romance it really falls flat. My second biggest complaint is to do with the marketing. If you saw any of the ads, read the back cover blurb, or indeed saw anything to do with the promotion of this movie, you would note that it was promoted as a "psychological thriller" or a "romantic thriller". Well, the only psychologically thrilling thing about this movie is wondering how many other people have had to sit through it. There is absolutely, completely, utterly, nothing thrilling about it. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Scratch. This movie is a pure romance - and never forget it. It is possible that if I had expected a romance I may not have been as totally appalled by this movie as I am, but even as a romance it is bad. When you find yourself yelling "hurry up!" at the screen after only half an hour, that is a very bad sign - regardless of the type of movie it is.

    I cannot imagine anyone could like this movie, but as surely as I hate it, there will be some of you. To those people I say thank you - I know that I did not watch this movie in vain. Now you will know if you favourite movie is worth purchasing. To everyone else - stay away from this movie. Never - ever - have anything to do with it, and you lives will be much better for it. Trust me - strike one.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Angel Eyes has been dealt a very good transfer. It is by no means perfect, as there are a few too many artefacts of various flavours, but overall it is a very pleasing transfer.

    Presented in the slightly cropped aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (the theatrical aspect ratio was 1.85:1), this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.

    This transfer is very sharp, showing a commendable level of detail. Grain is only a very minor problem, usually not even noticeable as a background presence. The only time it really becomes apparent is between 82:40 and 82:50. Shadow detail is also very good, providing more than enough picture information to clearly comprehend the night photography. There was no hint of low level noise.

    Colours were generally very good, although they did appear to be somewhat muted at times. This is partly attributable to the choice of the filmmakers in using a bleach process to bring out more contrast during night scenes. For the remainder of occasions it still appears to be a deliberate choice (the director enthuses during his commentary that anything we see is exactly how it was intended), possibly to make Vancouver look more like Chicago.

    The only compression artefact evident was a small amount of Gibb artefacting on power lines during the opening sequence at 1:00 to 1:10. There are a number of instances of aliasing, although only the blinds at 36:56 are particularly distracting. There are also a few film artefacts present, such as at 80:11 and 89:05 which is a little disappointing for such a recent film.

    The subtitles are easy to read, and follow the dialogue for the most part, only abbreviating for pacing reasons.

    This is an RSDL disc with the layer change occurring at 83:02 between Chapters 24 and 25. It is placed on a scene change, but is still not transparent as the momentary loss of audio easily gives its position away.

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

Audio

    While not quite as impressive as the video transfer the audio transfer is still of a very good quality, easily providing the necessary backing a movie such as this needs.

    There are two audio tracks present on this disc. The first is the original English dialogue in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 448 Kbps), while the second is an audio commentary track in Dolby Digital 2.0 (at the extremely high bitrate of 320 Kbps).

    Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times. There are no problems caused by inadequate mixing, as the score and sounds from the louder sequences never threaten the dialogue.

    For the majority of the transfer audio sync was not a problem, but on a few occasions it does become noticeably out. By far the worst occurrence is on Monet Mazur's dialogue between 48:43 and 49:31 - during these scenes she is speaking loudly and emotionally, and it is quite obvious that the current dialogue was looped in later. There are also other occasions on which the audio sync goes out, but they are not as noticeable and do not last as long.

    The score is provided by Marco Beltrami who is better known as a composer for B-horror movies, but the score for Angel Eyes is certainly adequate, being well-paired with the movie and never drawing attention to itself. There are also a number of contemporary songs used throughout the movie, and as is usually the case where the music is not specifically written for the scene, some work quite well while others fall flat.

    Surround use is good, but not great. There are many opportunities for surround usage that are missed, and most annoyingly a high level of hiss can quite often be heard with the ambient noise mix.

    The subwoofer stirs only occasionally to back some of the contemporary songs used in the score and the odd effects noise. Certainly not a reference subwoofer track, but then again it is not really necessary for a movie of this nature.

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

Extras

    This comes with only two extras in addition to the theatrical trailer - one is marketing pap, and the other the worst commentary track I have ever encountered. Strikes two and three then - this disc is out.

Menu

    The menu is animated, 16x9 enhanced, features Dolby Digital 2.0 audio and is themed around the movie. It is also very boring.

Audio Commentary - Luis Mandoki (Director)

    Until I put on this commentary track, I had never truly known what it was to be stupefied. Well, now I do - and it is really not a good thing. This effort is, quite literally, soporific as the director drones on and on about anecdotes that are - quite frankly - embarrassing. At least it quite effectively proves why Angel Eyes is such a dud of a movie - this human sleeping pill was in charge.

Theatrical Trailer (2:17)

    Presented at 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced and featuring Dolby Digital 2.0 surround audio, this trailer is of high quality. Unfortunately it gives only a small indication of the problems with the movie it is promoting.

Previews

    These are more trailers, this time for:     Both are presented in 1.85:1, are 16x9 enhanced, and feature Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

R4 vs R1

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;     There is no reason to prefer one over the other here (although staying away from both is my recommendation). The R1 is a single layer disc, but given the late placement of the layer change on our disc, the extra space afforded by the additional layer does not appear to have been used. Additionally, the bios included on the R1 are apparently inaccurate.

Summary

    Angel Eyes is one of the most boring, slow, and frustrating movies I have ever seen. The disc has quite literally been flung across the room in punishment on more than one occasion. If I had been at the cinema I would have walked out, and I have never walked out on a movie before. It is that bad. On the upside, for those who do like it (I'm sure there are some of you out there), it is presented on a very good DVD.

    The video quality is excellent, only let down by a few too many artefacts.

    The audio quality is also very good, although there are some problems with the surround channels, and the audio sync is not always perfect.

    The extras are neither plentiful, nor of a high quality. The quality of the remainder of the disc, however, at least partially makes up for this.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Thursday, April 18, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using Component output
DisplayLoewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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