Jude (1996)

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Released 2-Aug-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 117:16
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (90:14) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Michael Winterbottom
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Christopher Eccleston
Kate Winslet
Rachel Griffiths
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Adrian Johnston


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Jude is an excellent, yet slow and depressing drama, presented on a disappointing DVD.

    Jude is based on the novel, Jude The Obscure, by Thomas Hardy. Set in England, during the late nineteenth century, the story follows a man's attempt to lift himself out of the lower-working class, and his dream of becoming a scholar, something that he admits to normally taking two or three generations. The story deals with issues of family, poverty, failure, frustration, regret, and abandoning one's dreams. As such, I found it depressing, mainly as in many ways, the characters and their stories seem so real.

    Jude (Christopher Eccleston) is a stone mason, trapped into a marriage with Arabella (Rachel Griffiths). Jude leaves his rural life behind him, and pursues his dream of graduating from a University. While at the University he meets and falls in love with his cousin, the fiercely independent Sue (Kate Winslet). Sue initially rejects Jude, but she ends up in a loveless marriage with an older man, and Sue finds some solace with Jude's company. The plot has a few twists and turns, and while I found the pacing of the story slow, it was very unpredictable. The movie is strongly character based, and the acting by the three leads is absolutely superb.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie features some beautiful cinematography by the very talented Eduardo Serra. The pan & scan transfer ruins most of it, and not just the arty shots, but the dialogue scenes as well. For example, at 7:58, there is a conversation between two characters, who would be standing at the extreme left and right of the screen. With pan & scan, the character on the extreme left is shown, and the other character is completely cut off. We can only hear them speak their lines, and we never see them.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, pan and scan.

    The image is a little soft throughout, and the shadow detail is poor. For example, consider the complete lack of shadow detail at 13:28 and 70:38.

    The colour is reasonable, which is good, as colour is used extensively in presenting this story.

    The image appears a little pixelated at times, as though the transfer was heavily compressed. There is also some mild posterization occasionally, such as at 9:32.

    In regard to film-to-video artefacts, aliasing appears occasionally as a slight shimmer, such as on the background windows at 21:38. There is also a little telecine wobble, most noticeably during the credits.

    Film artefacts appear throughout, but they are mostly small, and I did not find them distracting.

    There are only English subtitles present, which are fairly accurate.

    This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed at 90:14. It is smooth, and not disruptive.

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 have no distracting problems.

    The musical score is credited to Adrian Johnston, and it is a good score, with strong elements of folk music.

    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 1.33:1.

Theatrical Trailer

    Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, non-16x9 enhanced, 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.

    Jude was supposed to be released on DVD in Region 1 in May 2002. Other than this fact, I cannot find any reliable information about the R1 version. I will update this review when I can carry out a fair comparison.

Summary

    Jude is a tragedy, and as such, it might not be the sort of pick-me-up-rental on a Friday night that many of us enjoy. That said, it is a good film, based on a good book, but presented on a poor DVD.

    The video quality is ruined by being panned & scanned.

    The audio quality is limited.

    The extras are slim.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Thursday, September 26, 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

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Anthony H (read my bio)

Comments (Add)
Pan and Scan obscenity -
Re: Panned & Scanned obscenity - Steve Horan (hi ho, hi ho, I have a crap bio)
Re: re: Panned and Scaned obscenity -