Project V.I.P.E.R. (2002)

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Released 15-May-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Horror Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 85:05
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jim Wynorski
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Paul Preston
Patrick Muldoon
Theresa Russell
Billy Keane
Tim Thomerson
Curtis Armstrong
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music Neal Acree


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Project V.I.P.E.R. is a pretty standard B-grade sci-fi creature feature; while there is nothing particularly bad about the film, neither is there anything that is particularly memorable, although to give credit where it is due, the special effects are not nearly as bad as I thought they were going to be.

    A group of scientists are working for the government to produce a creature that can be sent to Mars. I think the intention was for the creature to start a terraforming process. The creature is supposed to be the first ever combination of biology and computer and on Mars would take the form of a mould. For some unknown reason, this mould takes a very different form on Earth, and decides that humans are a great snack food. How does the mould get loose on Earth? I am not telling, though the back cover does. The group of scientists are joined by a 'special' agent as they attempt to hunt down the creature before .....

    From this point on the film follows a pretty standard format: build tension, have monster jump out and eat someone and run away. The film did build the tension well enough to make my wife jump every time someone got eaten. The lead scientist is played by Theresa Russell and our tough special agent, with the large arsenal of quips and takedowns, is played by Patrick Muldoon. We have seen Patrick before in Starship Troopers (as bad as parts of this film are it is still a galaxy ahead of that travesty).

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Transfer Quality

Video

    I might have been a little more forgiving of the storyline if the image I was watching had not been square.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Sharpness is good in the foreground but a little lacking in the background, particularly during pans. It is fascinating to watch the background at 72:15 where we start with the camera steady and the background fairly sharp, but as the camera starts to pan left the background loses definition and detail. Shadow detail is good and there is no low level noise..

     The colours are good and free of noise.

    There are no MPEG artefacts in the foreground but occasionally the background does have some minor blocking present. An example is the roof at 8:46. There is no aliasing or telecine wobble and the film master used for the transfer was in good condition. There is no grain and very few spots or any other problems.

    This is a single layered disc and thus there is no layer change.

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

Audio

    There is a single English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack on this disc. The surround flag has not been set but overriding this gives a reasonable surround presence.

    I heard no problems with the dialogue quality with everything said being easy to understand.The audio was in sync with what was on screen.

    The music was pretty standard fare for this kind of movie, building tension and so forth at the right times.

    The surrounds were in use for both music and effects (mono in the rears of course). While not too bad, occasionally the surrounds seemed a little confused with the action going one way and the sound the other.

    There was a reasonable amount of redirected bass present. A note to Foley artists - pistol shots are not accompanied by a deep boom, they have a sharp crack sound. Time spent at any pistol range will soon show the difference.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is quite well done and in keeping with the theme of the film. There is no menu audio.

Theatrical Trailer (1:13)

    Presented at 1.33:1 and not 16x9 enhanced. This is a very revealing trailer that actually includes the ending of the film! The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0.

R4 vs R1

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

    There does not appear to be a Region 1 version of this disc at this time.

Summary

    While nothing to write home about, on a quiet night with none of your favourite serials on Project V.I.P.E.R. might just be worth a rental. This storyline really has been done before and needs something really special (eg Evolution) to make it really worthwhile.

    The video is good considering this is a single layered disc.

    The audio is a standard surround soundtrack.

    In the extras department, the disc is limited.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Sunday, June 09, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252Q CRT Projector, 254cm custom built 1.0 gain screen. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

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