Victory (1981) (NTSC)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Notes-Fate Brings "Victory" To Sylvester Stallone
Notes-Stallone's Goalkeeper Preparation
Notes-Other Soccer Stars
|Year Of Production||1981|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Sided||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,4||Directed By||None Given|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Victory, or Escape To Victory as I remember it being originally titled, is a great escapist movie in the true sense of the word.
The plot is fairly simple: Set in WWII German-occupied Europe, a soccer-loving German Officer challenges some Allied POWs to a soccer match. Originally designed to be just a 'friendly' game, it is soon seized upon by the Nazis as being a great propaganda opportunity. To prove their delusions of 'Aryan superiority', the German National Soccer Team is to play (and humiliate) an Allied team drawn from former soccer stars now scattered throughout various POW camps. The POWs have their own agenda -- but will they use the opportunity to attempt an escape, or will they play, and seize this match as an opportunity to publicly crush German pride?
Directed by the legendary John Huston, the movie features a great ensemble cast, including Michael Caine, Sylvester Stallone, Max Von Sydow, and quite a few soccer stars, including Pele', Bobby Moore, Osvaldo Ardiles, Paul Van Himst, Kazimierz Deyna, and Hallvar Thorensen. While some of the soccer scenes are a little fanciful, it is a movie after all, and the soccer action is choreographed by Pele', so these scenes are fun and enjoyable.
The only really annoying feature of this movie is Stallone, who is really miscast. While he is brilliant in a few movies, such as Rocky and Cop Land, I cringed every time he appeared on screen here. I understand that a US Star was required for the movie to get the green light, and Stallone was chosen, but he really sticks out like a sore thumb.
The transfer is aged, grainy and NTSC. A few Region 4 DVDs have recently been released with NTSC transfers, and I hope this trend doesn't catch on because I absolutely loathe NTSC transfers. Give me the far superior PAL any time!
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. In addition to this, a 1.33:1 'pan & scan' transfer is provided on the reverse side of the DVD, but for the purposes of this review, I have ignored it in favour of the widescreen version of the movie.
The sharpness is reasonable for its age, but the shadow detail is quite poor. For example, consider the scene in the wash room at 47:35.
The colour is reasonable for its age, but flesh-tones have a slightly red or orange appearance.
There were no MPEG artefacts to really complain of. Film-to-video artefacts are present in the form of aliasing, such as the shimmer on the stadium at 84:08. There is also slight telecine wobble, most noticeably during the opening credits. Film artefacts appear throughout, and some are quite large and nasty.
Three sets of subtitles are present, and the English subtitles are accurate.
The audio sounds quite aged, and there is a slight background hiss throughout.
Apart from the English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded audio track, there is also a French Dolby Digital 1.0 audio track.
The dialogue quality and audio sync are okay on the default English audio track.
The musical score is credited to Bill Conti, and it is a melodramatic and rousing score, well suited to a WWII movie.
There is a surprising amount of surround presence and activity. The rears are used subtly but effectively to help carry the score, and to provide ambience. The subwoofer never called attention to itself.
|Surround Channel Use|
There seem to be a few extras, but apart from the trailer, they're all just text.
A very simple menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. It is static and silent.
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital 1.0 audio.
Fate Brings 'Victory' To Stallone
Stallone's Goalkeeper Preparation
Other Soccer Stars
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Victory was released on DVD in Region 1 in November 2001. Apart from the Region coding, the Region 1 and Region 4 discs appear to be identical.
Victory is a fun and exciting movie, in the style of those great WWII matinee movie pot-boilers of yesteryear. It will have you cheering along, and with an SRP of under $20, it is a worthy purchase if you're already a fan like me.
The video quality is slightly disappointing but still very watchable.
The audio quality is very good, albeit quite front-heavy.
The extras are really not worth mentioning.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||Grundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-545|
|Speakers||Sony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer|