Romeo Must Die (PAL) (2000)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Listing-Cast & Crew
Music Video-Come Back In One Piece-Aaliyah featuring DMX
Music Video-Try Again-Aaliyah
Featurette-Making Aaliyah's "Try Again" Video
Featurette-Kung Fu Football
Featurette-A Benz, a Bike, a Babe and Some Bad-Ass Kung Fu
Featurette-Master On Fire
Featurette-Jet Li is 'Han'
Featurette-Aaliyah is 'Trish'
Featurette-Anthony Anderson is 'Maurice' aka 'Moron'
Featurette-Inside The Visual Effects Process
Featurette-Diary of a (Legal) Mad Bomber
Featurette-Anatomy Of A Stunt; The Sound Stage
Featurette-HBO First-Look Special: Making Romeo Must Die
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (81:38)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Andrzej Bartkowiak|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Smoking||Yes, this is a gangster movie at heart after all!|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, the start of the credits roll over the final shot.|
We are following the story of Han (Jet Li) and Trish (Aaliyah), the children of rival crime lords who have recently entered an agreement that is set to make them rich beyond their wildest dreams. The relationship is strained however when Han's brother turns up dead, hung from a light-pole. The remainder of the plot consists of the two children finding that they are perfect for each other, much to the chagrin of their parents - hence the Romeo of the title - and battling a conspiracy (consisting of lots of Bad Guys for Han to bash) that threatens to destroy both their families. It is somewhat amusing to see that while Hollywood has stretched as far as having an interracial couple in a major film, the two never so much as kiss, and only even hug once during the entire film - so it would seem there is still somewhat of a hang-up in that regard.
What really makes this movie worthwhile are the action scenes, and these are quite good. While they are certainly not the best of any Jet Li film, they are at least incredibly good looking, and some of the moves that he makes with the assistance of wires, CGI, and his stuntman are quite spectacular - even awe-inspiring. As far as the acting is concerned, it is good enough, with both leads quite comfortable in their roles, although they're not exactly stretching themselves here in playing characters designed around them. The supporting cast pretty much phone in their performances, with the exception of Anthony Anderson who really gets into being the sleazy, no good, two-bit hood.
Finally, mention should be made that this is one of only two films completed by Aaliyah before her tragic and untimely demise on August 25th, 2001. As the other is the truly abominable Queen Of The Damned, this is a far more fitting tribute to her.
Presented in the original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.35:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.
The sharpness of this transfer is very good. Fine detail fairly leaps off the screen, and all subtleties are easily visible. There is somewhat of a problem with grain during certain indoor scenes, such as in Trish's apartment from 38:51 to 40:41, where the grain becomes extremely noticeable and quite distracting. Fortunately this happens on only a few occasions. Shadow detail is equally impressive, showing plenty of depth where the light levels are reduced. This transfer actually presents some of the best examples of night scenes I have encountered on DVD. There is no low level noise present.
Colours are somewhat washed out. The majority of the transfer does not show anything approaching vibrancy, although this is not helped by the mostly overcast conditions in which it was filmed. Night scenes, and artificially lit indoor scenes are the ones that show the best examples of colour, although it could still have been better.
While the transfer is completely free of compression artefacts, aliasing is an entirely different situation. Aliasing is almost constant on straight edges and the like, and gets bad enough that it becomes quite distracting. There are a number of scenes, such as in Trish's office from 28:38 to 28:47, where almost every straight edge in the frame seems to come to life. As the film progresses, both the frequency and severity of the aliasing seem to drop off, however it by no means goes away entirely. There are a few, small, film artefacts present but they flick by quickly enough to not be at all distracting.
The subtitles are relatively close to the spoken word, and on certain occasions even clean up the dialogue a little. At least one joke is missed, however, by the subtitles not following exactly what is said (at one point Anthony Anderson's character Maurice, while looking for Trish, states that he will "find (her) Aaliyah looking ass").
This is an RSDL formatted disc with the layer change taking place at 81:38 during Chapter 31. It is very well placed, even to the point where the break in the audio sounds more like an intentional pause in the music.
There are two audio tracks present on this disc, being the original English dialogue in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 384 Kbps), and an Italian dub also in Dolby Digital 5.1 (at 384 Kbps).
Dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, and that is no mean feat given the numerous situations in which the effects noises rise to extremes. Audio sync was always spot on and never a problem.
The musical accompaniment consists of a score provided by Stanley Clarke and Timberland, and a collection of mostly R&B/Hip-Hop tunes. It is quite effective and works well to push the "east meets west" flavour of the film.
The surround channels are consistently and aggressively used to both carry the score, and to provide the many directional effects used throughout the movie. There is little in the way of ambient noise provided, but given that there are only a very few occasions where there is no music playing, and no action taking place, this presents only a small problem.
This DVD contains the most excessive use of the subwoofer that I have yet encountered. This is most noticeable during the opening and closing credits where the bass present in the music is both deep and loud - this really is one where the sub will literally blow you off your chair. Personally, I think that this track goes a little over-the-top - I like a good bass end on a DVD soundtrack, but this is simply ridiculous.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is mediocre, as the frequency and severity of aliasing is quite distracting.
The audio quality is very good, and the surround mix is extremely aggressive, really becoming too aggressive at times.
While the extras list is impressively long, it is sadly lacking for quality, and really adds little to the overall package.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos 5381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All 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)|