Under Suspicion (1992)

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Released 19-Apr-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Menu Animation & Audio
Gallery-Photo
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 95:59 (Case: 101)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Simon Moore
Studio
Distributor

MRA Entertainment
Starring Liam Neeson
Kenneth Cranham
Laura San Giacomo
Maggie O'Neil
Alphonsia Emmanuel
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $29.95 Music Christopher Gunning


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    When we first meet Tony Aaron (Liam Neeson), he and his partner Frank (Kenneth Cranham) are policemen on surveillance in Brighton, England in 1957. But Tony is also a womaniser who has struck up a relationship with Hazel (Maggie O'Neill), the wife of the person he is watching. On evenings when the subject of the surveillance is not at home Tony enjoys Hazel's company, until one fateful night when her husband comes home unexpectedly to find the two of them together. In the ensuing fracas, a fellow policeman is shot dead.

    Fast forward two years and now Tony is a disgraced former policeman who is scratching out a living as a somewhat shady private detective. He is also now married to Hazel. Tony's specialty is divorce work, specifically helping people to get around the strict divorce laws that existed at the time. Tony's part is to help the husband to fake an affair in order that he may be able to prove adultery to the satisfaction of the court, and thus obtain a divorce. The evidence Tony provides is a photo of the husband in a hotel room with his wife, Hazel.

    Unfortunately, one of Tony's divorce jobs goes wrong, resulting in the murder of both his wife and the client. It turns out that the client was a wealthy artist who has left behind a wife, Selina (Alphonsia Emmanuel) and a mistress, Angeline (Laura San Giacomo). Before long, Tony finds himself Under Suspicion for the crime, with only his ex-partner Frank believing in his innocence.

    As thrillers go, this British-made effort has a few tense moments that will have you on the edge of your seat. Liam Neeson and Laura San Giacomo both put in commendable efforts. Well worth a view.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this transfer is adequate but not up to the standard that is possible from DVD technology. It should also be noted that this disc has been mastered with no time information encoded, consequently rather than displaying the elapsed time, (and for some movies even more importantly, the remaining time), it's likely that your player will display only the word "PLAY". About 5 minutes into the movie, there is a short segment where you will see faint horizontal bands across the screen that slowly move down the picture. I'm not at all sure if this is a problem that was introduced in the transfer or if it was inherent in the source material.

    This title is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced. I wasn't able to determine with absolute certainty what the correct aspect ratio for this movie is, as there seems to be some confusion in the usual sources between this title and another film from 2000 which shares the same title. However, my guess, based on the letterboxed display of the opening title sequence is that this film was shot in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1.

    While there were no problems with low level noise, I found that the shadow detail varied considerably. Darker shots lacked shadow detail and consequently had a very flat appearance. The sharpness was adequate but not as good as is possible. It was pleasing to see that there was no edge enhancement used on this transfer.

    The colour palette was extremely muted and lacking in vibrant colours. The overall appearance could best be described as washed out. As I've never seen this film in any other format, I can't comment on whether this is a problem with the transfer or an intentional effect on the part of the director. This drab washed-out look certainly gave the film a very sombre feel.

    No MPEG artefacts put in an appearance in this transfer. There was some occasional relatively minor aliasing noted, however this was very far away from being a major problem. There were also some occasional film artefacts in the form of some small marks, but these were minor in nature. There is also film grain visible throughout the movie.

    There are no subtitles available on this disc. I did try to select subtitles while the disc was playing and was surprised to see the DVD player indicate the presence of English subtitles, however selecting them did not result in any test appearing on the screen so I can only assume that this is a minor mastering error.

    This is a single layered disc, so there is no layer change to disrupt your enjoyment of this movie.

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

Audio

    This disc is graced with a single audio track, which is quite adequate for the task of getting the story across.

    A single English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448kb/s) audio track is provided on this disc.

    The dialogue was perfectly clear at all times. I didn't note any problems as far as the audio sync is concerned.

    The music by Christopher Gunning was fairly uninspiring and pedestrian in nature.

    While there did appear to be some faint sound coming from the surrounds occasionally, they didn't add anything to the overall soundfield which was concentrated in the forward channels, and even then mostly in the centre channel.

    As long as you've set your amplifier or receiver to direct bass sounds to the subwoofer, then you will get an occasional well-placed thump and support for the musical score issued by the sub as and when required by the soundtrack.

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

Extras

    You wouldn't buy this disc because of the vast array of quality extras that are included. The extras are limited to some stills from the movie as well as a theatrical trailer.

Menu

    The menu is, like the movie, displayed in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and features Dolby Digital 2.0 audio. Animation which utilises the opening title sequence of the movie is provided. Since the movie was apparently shot in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and the titles occupy the full width available from this aspect ratio, the beginning and end of the various titles are of course cropped when displayed at 1.33:1.

Gallery-Photo (3:20)

    A sequence of still shots from the movie displayed in no particular order. An aspect ratio of 1.33:1 is used. There is no audio to accompany these, nor are there any navigation options to allow you to skip forward or backward through the available images.

Theatrical Trailer (2:19)

    A standard trailer which, like the movie, is displayed in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 without 16x9 enhancement. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0. The picture is quite grainy and has a significant number of film artefacts.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is coded for all regions. A search of the usual sources resulted in no hits as far as this title is concerned (although there are plenty for the year 2000 movie of the same name) so it appears that this is the only available version.

Summary

    While Under Suspicion is not a bad movie and certainly has several very suspenseful moments, it is presented on a fairly unimpressive DVD.

    The video quality is only average and suffers from a very washed-out look.

    The audio quality is adequate.

    The extras are almost non-existent, being limited to a trailer and some stills from the movie

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Cole (Surely you've got something better to do than read my bio)
Thursday, June 06, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-995
SpeakersFront L&R - B&W DM603, Centre - B&W LCR6, Rear L&R - B&W DM602, Sub - Yamaha YST-SW300

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