Rose Red (Stephen King's) (2002)
Featurette-Making Of-Bad House-The Making Of Rose Red
Featurette-Unlocking Rose Red: The Diary Of Ellen Rimbauer
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||
Dual Disc Set
|Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Craig R. Baxley|
Warner Home Video
Kimberly J. Brown
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
To counter this trend, and maybe to fuel his creativity, King turned to ABC television in the US and started to remake his films as mini-series for the network. The Stand was the first of these, and then The Shining a few years later. Rose Red is the latest instalment of this kind; a very long and drawn-out horror story about yet another science experiment inside a haunted house.
Although this plot has been covered a few times recently in cinema, King still thought it necessary to try again to see if people were interested. Originally written at Steven Spielberg's request, King eventually sold the screenplay to ABC television after Spielberg distanced himself from the project.
The story of Rose Red starts with an expedition to a haunted house called Rose Red that has a long history of paranormal activity since its construction in the early 1900s. Inhabited by John & Ellen Rimbauer, the huge mansion has long been the cause of disappearances and accidental deaths until the mid 1970s.
When Joyce Reardon (Nancy Travis), a psychologist obsessed with the paranormal, conducts an expedition to Rose Red to try and unlock the paranormal that has laid dormant for 30 years, you can guess what starts to happen....
The production values of this film are very impressive. I would love to see the budget for this film, as it truly is a great looking spectacle. The sets and (most of) the effects are great and the cast and crew are very expansive. But for all the great aspects of this mini series, it probably has more pitfalls than positives - at 4 hours, it is amazingly long, and not enough happens to keep the viewer's interest. It also feels very disjointed and sloppy in its story telling.
For a TV movie though, it is a solid performance, and worth checking out if you love this sort of thing - otherwise you may have to take a few breathers like I did!
The main fault with this transfer is its lack of a sharp and crisp picture. The picture loses focus a couple of times throughout the disc 1 at 56:06 and 111:48. There is a very light grain present for the majority of the film, which causes a slightly soft look. Even with this apparent grain, the shadow detail presents pretty well with the film's very dark nature. There is some edge enhancement, with the worst example being on Joyce's right cheek at 101:42 on disc 1.
Colours are steady throughout, with the film holding a brown and red palette which is very strong. There is no colour bleed and flesh tones look natural.
There is one MPEG artefact to be found, in the form of Gibb Effect at 1:04 on disc 1. There are plenty of film-to-video artefacts in the form of aliasing. There are heaps of examples, ranging from the obvious to the subtle. Here are some time references that show a good cross-section of examples: 46:56, 48:18, 48:38, 62:00 and 152:54 on disc 1 and 39:06, 49:19, 52:40 and 77:35 on disc 2.
I watched quite a lot of the English subtitles and found them vary from the spoken word significantly. Rarely was there a line of spoken dialogue that matched its subtitle.
Both discs are RSDL formatted with the layer change occurring at 80:54 on disc 1, which is perfectly placed between episodes 1 and 2 as it fades to black. I could not find the layer change on disc 2 - I would presume that episode 3 is on one layer and the extra features are on the other.
As this film is made for TV, every so often the screen fades to black and then comes back up at the next scene - this is where ad breaks would have been. For me, this detracts from the viewing experience and probably could have been tightened up for the production of this DVD. It would not have been too hard to go back into the editing room and bring these breaks together to help the flow of the film and give it more of a theatrical feel.
The dialogue quality is solid with rarely an instance where dialogue is inaudible - occasionally, I had to replay a line to find out what was said, but this problem can be attributed to the delivery of the line as opposed to the production of the DVD. There were no problems with audio sync.
The musical score of this film is uninspiring and not particularly memorable. Composer Gary Chang had a big job to do to keep the feel of the music level with the feel of the surroundings.
For a 5.1 soundtrack, there is little to no surround activity. Obviously, the film was not designed to use these channels, but having a soundtrack of this sort probably could have meant that we get a little more from these areas. Mostly used for quiet musical cues, there was only one time when I really noticed the surrounds: at 47:37 on disc 2.
The subwoofer was hardly used.
|Surround Channel Use|
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 disc misses out on;
The video transfer is flawed but ultimately OK.
The audio is under-used.
The extras are decent, but I did not care about the film enough to find them really interesting.
|DVD||Sony DVP-S525, using Component output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos (81cm) 16:9. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS797- THX Select|
|Speakers||Jamo X550 Left and Right, Jamo X5CEN Centre, Jamo X510 Surround|