The Avengers (1998)

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Released 11-Jun-1999

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1998
Running Time 85:44
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jeremiah Chechik
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Ralph Fiennes
Uma Thurman
Sean Connery
Jim Broadbent
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music Joel McNeely


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Arabic
Spanish
Portuguese
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I didn't see The Avengers when it was released theatrically. I heard a number of bad vibes about the movie when it was running. That doesn't normally stop me going to see a movie, however, since I figure that it's not what anyone else thought about the movie that counts, it's what I think of the movie that counts. So, it was with an open mind that I sat down to watch The Avengers.

    The critics were right. This is a really bad movie. All style and no substance at all. It looks and sounds great, but there is no real story here, at least no clear one that I could readily discern - it's all one big mish-mash. And what's with the teddy bear suits?

    Ralph Fiennes (John Steed) is a British Secret Agent for The Ministry. Apparently there's been some sort of problem with the weather, so he picks up Dr Emma Peel (Uma Thurman) and they go about pursuing their quarry, Sir August De Wynter (Sean Connery), a megalomaniac intent on controlling the world's weather. But first, they must speak with uppity English accents and drink lots of cups of tea.

    I reckon this script would have looked good on paper. The problem is that it doesn't translate well onto the big screen at all. Special effects are thrown in for no good reason at all, characters do inexplicable things, and some of the dialogue is just plain silly.

    You have been warned. And don't let the excellent opening credits fool you - they're the best part of the movie. It's all downhill after this. Except perhaps for the mechanical insects which even though they are completely senseless in terms of plot development are a great audio-visual treat. It's almost a shame that the transfer quality is so good.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video transfer of this movie is superb and is virtually of reference quality.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was extremely sharp and very clear at all times. Shadow detail was excellent, and there was no low level noise.

    The colour was well saturated throughout.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some minor aliasing in some views of some of the cars, but nothing excessive. Film artefacts occasionally intruded, but were not too bad.

Audio

    There are three audio tracks on this DVD; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was always clear and audible.

    There were no audio sync problems with this disc.

    The musical score was by Joel McNeely. It was nicely suited to the movie.

     The surround channels were very aggressively used by the soundtrack for special effects, music and for ambience. This is a superbly executed soundtrack, with very well defined sound placement and it was extremely enveloping.

   The .1 channel was heavily used supporting the soundtrack and was very well integrated into the overall mix.

Extras

    There are no extras whatsoever on this disc. The disc cover states that there are Production Notes on this disc. These are not present. Neither are Cast & Crew Biographies.

Menu

    The main menu is plain and functional. It is 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;

    The Region 1 version of this DVD misses out on;

    There is nothing compelling about either version to prefer one over the other.

Summary

    The Avengers is a dud movie. The transfer, on the other hand is exceptionally good. Perhaps Warner Brothers have been taking lessons from Columbia Tristar. I definitely recommend that you rent this before forking over your hard-earned cash.

    The video quality is superb, and is almost of reference quality.

    The audio quality is superb, and is of reference quality.

    The extras are non-existent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
Wednesday, June 30, 1999
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
DisplayLoewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderDenon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
Amplification2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer
SpeakersPhilips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer

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