Rules of Engagement (2000)
Dolby Digital Trailer-Canyon
Featurette-Behind the Rules Of Engagement
Audio Commentary-William Friedkin (Director)
Featurette-Rules Of Engagement-A Look Inside
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||2000|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (76:33)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||William Friedkin|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Tommy Lee Jones
Samuel L. Jackson
Philip Baker Hall
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Jump to the present. Hayes, now a colonel, is about to retire after many years of service behind a desk in the marines legal department. At his retirement party, his old friend and now a colonel himself, Terry Childers is there to make the presentation. Childers tells Hayes of his next mission. He is to ship out to the Middle East as the leader of the marines stationed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Wake Island. While on patrol, Childers and his men are called to San'a, the capital city of Yemen where a demonstration at the American embassy has become violent. His orders are to protect the staff and to evacuate them if necessary. Direct confrontation with the Yemeni citizens is to be avoided. Childers arrives at the embassy to find that the demonstration is out of control and that the ambassador and his family require evacuation. Snipers are firing into the building and some of his men are killed as they try and take cover on the roof. Childers goes onto the roof where he too is shot and injured. He looks at the crowd below, which includes women and children and then commands his second, Captain Lee (Blair Underwood), to open fire. Captain Lee questions the order as he has seen women and children in the crowd, but Childers insists and so he and his men open fire. It's a blood bath as the protesters are shot to pieces by the marines.
The media is quick to publish graphic images of slain women and children and the U.S. is faced with a major image crisis which falls to National Security Advisor William Sokal (Bruce Greenwood) to resolve. He feels that it is in the best interests of himself and the U.S. government for the blame for this incident to be directed at an individual, and who better to take the fall than the man who gave the order to open fire. Sokal takes this approach even though he is presented with evidence which proves that Childers was justified in firing upon the crowd. On his return to America, Childers is arrested and charged with several offences including murder. He turns to the only man he can trust, his old buddy Hayes Hodges for help. The government wants a conviction and so calls in their top gun, a crack lawyer named Major Mark Biggs (Guy Pearce) to handle the case and so begins the David vs Goliath battle for justice.
This is a well-written script that is quite compelling and easy to watch. It is of a high standard and reminds me of the movie Courage Under Fire. The performance of Samuel L. Jackson is very good and Tommy Lee Jones is excellent. I should warn you that this is an American film about the American military that contains its fair share of chest beating and flag waving. If this sort of thing annoys you then perhaps you should avoid this film. I would encourage you to look past this however, as this is a solid film and definitely worth a rental.
The sharpness of this transfer is excellent for almost the entire movie, but it was spoilt by a short period in which the camera operator appears to have lost focus. Perhaps the actor wasn't in the spot that he said he would be when the scene was measured - either way Guy Pearce is clearly out of focus during the period 48:35-48:49. At all other times the image sharpness and level of detail presented on-screen is very good indeed. See 01:33-02:09, 08:51-08:52, 29:17-29:34 and 110:31-110:53 for some excellent examples. Edge enhancement has been used and is noticeable at times. I've noted a couple of examples for you to sample for yourselves. One is at 08:56-09:09 and the other at 40:52-41:09. The black level in this film is excellent. There aren't really any night scenes in this film but those that occur in dimly lit rooms or deeply shaded areas show a very good level of detail.
The colour saturation in this transfer is very good. Strong colours, such as those in the American flag, are clear and strong without being overpowering while skin tones are excellent.
MPEG artefacts are present in this transfer, in the form of pixelization, but are not a real problem. Pixelization occurs during some of the court scenes. See 87:05-91:40 for an example. The pixelization is minor and can only be seen against the wall behind the actors. Film-to-video artefacts are restricted to some minor aliasing. The worst examples I saw can be found at 14:15-14:27, 18:45-18:51, 50:30-50:36 and 81:30-81:44. Film artefacts are very rare and very small. I've noted one example of film artefacts for you - see 46:21-46:25. There is some noticeable camera bounce during the scene in which Childers and Hayes are walking in the woods discussing the nature of the modern military. This problem can be seen at 12:28-12:56.
This is an RSDL disc with the layer change occurring at 76:33. It is one of the best I've seen. It is placed on a quick cut to Anne Archer as she sits in court with her head bowed and is very fast indeed.
This audio transfer is very very close to reference quality with only one minor flaw which prevents it from attaining top marks. It is a superb example of what a home theatre audio track should be. Bravo, Roadshow Home Entertainment! I was delighted to see that the Dolby Digital audio track on this disc is encoded at 448 Kb/s. I hope that the distributors of DVDs in Australia can continue to present discs with this bitrate for their Dolby Digital audio.
Dialogue is always clear and always in sync but one short passage of minor distortion was present during the period 12:47-12:57.
The score for this film is by Mark Isham and while no standout is well suited to the film. It has a very military and dramatic sound to it but despite this is very subtle and is only used sparsely.
This is an excellent audio track in which the surrounds are almost constantly used. They are a major feature in the action sequences and add ambience to the quieter scenes such as those that take place in the courtroom. Standout examples of their use in the action sequences can be heard at 04:08-05:00, 15:22-15:35 and 17:40-28:27. Standout examples of their use for ambience can be heard at 02:00-02:34, 03:02-03:20, 05:17-08:05 and 63:30-64:10. Split channel effects are used in many places such as at 63:30-64:10 where flies are buzzing from one channel to the next. I was very impressed with the surround use in this movie. It is a top class effort.
The subwoofer is also used very effectively to support the action sequences. Its use is totally appropriate and well balanced so as to add impact to the on-screen action without overpowering it. Good examples of this can be found at 04:08-04:44, 05:17-07:26, 15:22-15:32 and 17:27-17:32.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video transfer is of good quality with the interview segments having a good level of detail and strong colour. Behind-the-scenes footage is clear but suffers badly from aliasing at times. Segments taken from the film itself also suffer from aliasing and some pixelization as well as having less sharpness than that of the film itself.
The audio for this featurette is Dolby Digital 2.0 surround and is always clear and easy to understand. The surrounds carry a recessed music track rather than any effects for the action sequences. I thought this audio mix was quite clever as the open soundscape, due to the dramatic music in the surrounds, makes this featurette a much more involving 23 minutes than it might have otherwise been.
Overall I thought this offering a step above many of these sorts of extras due mainly to the amount of behind-the-scenes footage.
The video transfer for this particular extra is 16x9 enhanced with an aspect ratio of approximately 2.00:1. The quality of this featurette is basically the same as that found in the Behind The Rules Of Engagement extra. There were some of what looked like analogue tape tracking errors during an interview segment with Samuel L. Jackson that I didn't see during the other featurette. These errors only occur during this 20 or so second segment and occur high to the right of the picture away from the actor.
The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded although only the centre channel is used. The dialogue is always clear and as this featurette is all about interviews the lack of other channels is not an issue. There is always the option of switching to stereo mode if a more open sound is desired.
A solid offering but for me less interesting than the other featurette.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:
The video transfer is excellent and only marred by small flaws which aren't particularly distracting.
The audio transfer is superb and only just falls short of reference quality.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output|
|Display||Grundig MW82-50/8. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Mains and Rears: Tannoy Mercury M1. Centre: Tannoy Mercury MC. Subwoofer: Aaton SUB-120.|