Stormy Monday (Force) (1988)

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Released 21-May-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Menu Animation & Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1988
Running Time 88:58 (Case: 93)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Mike Figgis
Studio
Distributor
British Screen
Beyond Home Entertainment
Starring Sean Bean
Melanie Griffith
Tommy Lee Jones
Sting
Case C-Button-Version 2-Opaque
RPI $19.95 Music Mike Figgis
Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Written and directed by Mike Figgis, Stormy Monday is a terse romantic thriller, which is sometimes rather brutal and confronting.

    If you haven't seen this movie, then I suggest you skip the rest of this plot synopsis. While I pride myself on giving away as little as possible, nothing in this story is spoon-fed to the audience. The plot's exposition is very slow and deliberate, and the connection between the characters is unclear until well into the movie.

    Set in the bleak waterfront area of Newcastle, England, a ruthless property developer and gangster, Cosmo (Tommy Lee Jones) arrives to buy up the area for redevelopment. However, the owner of a jazz club, Finney (Sting) won't sell out. Cosmo starts to place pressure on Finney, and discovers that Finney is not the push-over he was expecting. Soon, Finney's cleaner Brendan (Sean Bean), and his girlfriend, Kate (Melanie Griffith), are drawn into a web of violence and intimidation. Pretty soon, somebody is really going to get hurt . . .

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is severely limited by the source material, and by being non-16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced

    The sharpness is variable and sometimes it is quite soft, for example at 26:12. There is also a problem that I cannot put a name to -- parts of the image (most noticeably a face) appears to stretch horizontally on occasion. An example of this occurs at 73:56. Furthermore, the shadow detail is very poor, for example consider the car interiors at 1:45 and 33:09.

    The colour is very subdued, and appears to be undersaturated.

    While MPEG artefacts were not a great problem, the movie looks like it is highly compressed, and it appears slightly pixelated throughout. Film-to-video artefacts were not a problem, but film artefacts appear infrequently throughout.

    There are no subtitles, and this is a single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio option, English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are fine.

    The original music is provided by the movie's writer/director, Mike Figgis. There is also a lot of jazz (especially free jazz) and blues music used, which suits the movie well, especially as it is largely set in a jazz club.

    There is no surround presence nor subwoofer activity.

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

Extras

    The extras are slim.

Menu

    A very simple menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, non-16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Theatrical Trailer (1:26)

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital stereo audio.

R4 vs R1

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

    Stormy Monday is due for release on DVD in Region 1 in September 2002. The two versions appear to be basically the same, except that the R1 version will include a 1.33:1 transfer as well.

Summary

    Stormy Monday is a moody movie, poorly presented on DVD.

    The video quality is slightly disappointing but still very watchable.

    The audio quality is reasonable.

    The extras are really not worth mentioning.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Thursday, August 22, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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