The Fugitive: Special Edition (1993)
Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Derailed: Anatomy Of A Train Wreck
Featurette-On The Run
Listing-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1993|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (70:29)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Andrew Davis|
Warner Home Video
Tommy Lee Jones
|RPI||$29.95||Music||James Newton Howard|
|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)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
One of the absolute earliest DVDs to be released by Warner Home Video in 1998, The Fugitive has now been re-released as a Special Edition with a host of extra goodies to entice us to part with our cash again. For those of you unfamiliar with the plot, a quick summary is in order.
Harrison Ford stars as Dr. Richard Kimble in this movie-length feature based on the early 1960s television series of the same name starring David Janssen. When Kimble comes home from a night of surgery and discovers that his wife has been murdered and that he is suspect number one, his life is shaken up rather dramatically. Despite his protests of innocence and his ludicrous offering of a one-armed man being the real culprit, he is charged and subsequently found guilty of murder. Sentenced to execution by lethal injection, he is transferred by bus to the state penitentiary. Of course, not all goes to plan and the bus crashes, giving Kimble a chance to escape. Will he take the chance and use his new-found freedom to try and find those responsible for his wife's murder? Not if US Marshall Samuel Gerard has his way (Tommy Lee Jones in the role that won him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar). It is Gerard's job to track down all the escapees from the bus crash and bring them back to prison. Kimble proves more elusive than most and will resort to all manner of tricks and daring plans to escape capture. So begins a sizzling cat-and-mouse style chase with Gerard and his fellow Marshals hot on the trail, all while Kimble battles to find the real killer of his wife and more importantly the real reason she was murdered in the first place.
This is the sort of film that doesn't ever seem to date and is just as enjoyable to watch the second, third, or fourth time around. No gimmicky special effects are on offer, just a solid script, liberal doses of humour from the superb main cast, a couple of breathtaking set-pieces, and a simple, yet eloquently related story.
I did a quick comparison of this new transfer to the original and found this one much crisper, with less grain, and a more film-like feel to it. The original disc was crammed onto a single layer, and it showed. This new transfer is dual layered with RSDL formatting and the transfer benefits greatly from it. There was also a major compression problem highlighted in the original release that was subsequently fixed in remastered editions - thankfully this is also no longer a problem.
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, this transfer is 16x9 enhanced.
This is a finely detailed and sharp transfer that exhibits few problems. The shadow detail during the dam chase sequence is a little poor, but this is pretty much guaranteed to be source-related and cannot be attributed to the transfer. There is remarkably little grain, and no low level noise.
Colours are even and well saturated, with no problems to report. With the story taking place in Chicago towards the end of winter, there is a fairly pale and cold feel to many of the colours, so lots of vibrant shades are not expected.
I saw no MPEG artefacts. Remarkably, I noticed only one film-to-video artefact, this being a minor shimmer breakout at 73:29 on the rear wall of the elevator. Film artefacts are present, but are very minor in size and number. In a word, this is a very clean print.
There are lots of subtitle options, including English and English for the Hearing Impaired. I sampled both varieties extensively and while not being 100% accurate, they convey most of what is being said with ease.
This is a dual layered disc with RSDL formatting. The layer change is at 79:29, right when Samuel Gerard is talking to the doctor in the hospital. Not a bad placement, although certainly noticeable.
The original release featured a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and it would appear from listening to both discs that this is the same soundtrack. There is significant separation across all front channels, with the opening credits being a real highlight and among the best opening credits I have seen.
There are four audio tracks present; English, French, and Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks, and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded commentary track. I listened to both English tracks in full.
Dialogue is excellent, with no problems to report. Audio sync is spot-on.
The score is credited to James Newton Howard. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his efforts on this score. With this being a film that really needs a decent score virtually all the way through the story to heighten and convey the sense of the chase, this effort is excellent and does not disappoint.
There was not as much surround channel use as I was expecting. There were occasional bursts here and there, but nothing to get too excited over. Needless to say, when it is there, it is nicely immersive and subtle
The subwoofer receives a decent work-out during the early train crash scene, but isn't overly noticeable after that.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Apart from the inclusion of the Italian 5.1 soundtrack on the Region 4 version, the Region 1 Special Edition is exactly the same. The Region 4 is therefore the disc of choice due to superior PAL formatting.
The Fugitive is still a classic, some nine years after release. It is the sort of film that proves a simple storyline and superb acting will triumph over jazzy special effects every time.
The video quality is excellent and a definite improvement on the original release.
The audio quality is also quite good, though it appears to be the same soundtrack as the original release.
The extras are not really top-shelf, though are a worthy addition to a classic film.
|DVD||Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Calida (84cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front - B&W 602S2, Centre - B&W CC6S2, Rear - B&W 601S2, Sub - Energy E:xl S10|