Nick of Time (1995)

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Released 3-Jul-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1995
Running Time 85:14
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (48:08) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By John Badham

Paramount Home Entertainment
Starring Johnny Depp
Christopher Walken
Charles S. Dutton
Peter Strauss
Roma Maffia
Gloria Reuben
Marsha Mason
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Arthur B. Rubenstein

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Arabic
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Nick Of Time is a film about a man whose daughter is kidnapped. He is then told that he must kill a prominent politician if he wants to see her again.

    Gene Watson (Johnny Depp) returns to Los Angeles with his young daughter after attending the funeral of his ex-wife. Upon his return, he is confronted by two people posing as police officers and is convinced to leave with them. It quickly becomes clear that these people are not police officers and he is told that he must kill a prominent local governor within the next ninety minutes if he wants to see his daughter again. With only limited time, Gene must quickly decide what he is to do while he is closely monitored by Mr. Smith (Christopher Walken). As his time runs out, Gene does not know who he can trust as it is revealed that numerous people are involved in this plot.

    This movie unfolds in near real time with Gene having to kill the governor within the time remaining. Nearly all of the movie has been shot with a handheld camera, making most of the shots visibly shaky. This was presumably done to help give the film a sense of urgency but I personally found this to be distracting on numerous occasions. Christopher Walken as the menacing security officer makes his presence felt throughout the film in a standout performance, and he is complemented by impressive performances by all of the main actors. Despite these performances, however, this film always seems to be lacking a certain element with a lacklustre, predictable script and with the audience rarely feeling a real connection with the characters portrayed. While the film is enjoyable, it is quickly forgotten and does not leave a lasting impression upon its audience.

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Transfer Quality


    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is slightly soft throughout and this is accentuated by the excessive use of smoke during a number of scenes. Average levels of shadow detail are visible at all times but this does not pose any real problem for the viewer as the vast majority of the transfer is brightly lit. No low level noise was detected at any time during the transfer.

    The colour palette displayed during this transfer always appears to be slightly muted and in a number of scenes exhibits very high contrast. Due to the relatively recency of the film, the presence of these problems are surprising and it is unclear if they are due to the originally source material or a fault of the transfer.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any stage during the transfer. No instances of aliasing were detected at any time during the transfer.

    A number of obvious film artefacts may be seen throughout the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 0:27, 2:42, 5:06, 8:05, 12:06, 13:10 and 15:14. Due to their frequency, these artefacts are moderately distracting to the viewer. Obvious film grain is also present throughout the transfer but this is only very slightly distracting to the viewer.

    Twenty four subtitle streams are included on this disc. I extensively sampled both English streams and found them to be consistently accurate.

    The layer change occurs part way through Chapter 10 at 48:08 during a scene change and is not distracting to the viewer.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    An English Dolby Digital 448 kbps 5.1 soundtrack is provided in addition to German, Spanish, French and Italian Dolby Digital 192 kbps 2.0 surround tracks. I listened to the English track in full and briefly sampled each of the other tracks.

    The dialogue was always clear and easy to understand at all times. No dropouts or problems with audio sync were detected at any time during the transfer.

    The original score by Arthur B. Rubinstein is effective as it helps to build the tension by its near-constant presence.

    The surround channels were utilised throughout and helped to create an effective enveloping soundfield. The subwoofer channel was used to support effects but it never drew attention to itself.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu is presented at either 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 depending upon player setup.

Trailer (2:14)

    This trailer is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both versions of this film appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version.


    Nick of Time is a slightly disappointing film that does not leave a lasting impression upon viewers.

    The video transfer is acceptable but the frequent film artefacts are moderately distracting to the viewer.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is effective and suits the material presented.

    Disappointingly, the only extra provided is a trailer.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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