Framed (2002)

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Released 5-May-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 87:30
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Daniel Petrie, Jr.
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Sam Neill
Rob Lowe
Alicia Coppola
Peter MacNeill
Dorian Harewood
Janet Wright
Stewart Bick
Scott Gibson
Kandyse McClure
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Joe Kraemer


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, well... almost
Annoying Product Placement Yes, anyone for a Zip disk?
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Framed would appear to be a direct-to-video release, going by the year of production listed in the credits and other such indications, which is a pity, because while it is not the best crime story I've seen on film, it is still head and shoulders above anything Quentin Tarantino can churn out. With some likeable actors, a halfway decent script, and a good action sequence or two, it really isn't a bad way to waste eighty-five minutes. Unfortunately, listings of who played who on the IMDB regarding this film are extremely lean, as is information as to how it was filmed, or any comments as to its quality. There is also a dearth of information regarding a DVD release in any other country.

    For my part, I thought Framed was actually an interesting film that doesn't overstay its welcome, and the two leads in particular give strong performances - Rob Lowe is in his element as the detective with a shady past, and Sam Neill is his usual devilish self as a crooked banker. The story essentially revolves around a detective (Rob Lowe) who has just got his gold shield back after he was implicated in an attempt to bribe his partner, and a banker (played with aplomb by Sam Neill) who has been in a money laundering operation used by the Russian Mafia. Essentially, the former spots the latter's boat while on vacation in what looks like the West Indies, and investigations result in the latter being arrested.

    Of course, if it were as easy as just arresting the banker, then this film would be over pretty quickly. The banker happens to have a lot of important tidbits hidden on a Zip disk in a safe deposit box. The detective goes through all sorts of tribulations, including threats to his family and visits with the banker's wife (and her girlfriend), in an effort to get the disk which would put his career back on track. As in any good crime story, things don't quite go the way anyone plans for, and there are numerous double, even triple, crosses before everyone gets what they want, or so it might seem. It would be bad manners on my part to give away much more than this, but suffice to say that Framed is a DVD I wouldn't mind renting while the window is in effect.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The IMDB indicates that this film was shot for TV. If that is the case, I would hazard a guess that the film was shot on 35 millimetre film and matted into a 1.78:1 shape for broadcast on digital television.

    The transfer is presented in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and as should be mandatory for all widescreen films, it is 16x9 enhanced.

    This is a sharp transfer, with plenty of vivid detail to catch the eyes of the videophiles, which is good considering that significant parts of the film are set on beach resorts, or in houses out in forest areas. The shadow detail, although very rarely called for, is very good, and there is no low-level noise.

    The colours in this transfer are very vivid and bright, reflecting the richer environments where most of the action takes place. Some of the locations, such as the house where Rob Lowe and his on-screen family are living, are a bit dingy, but this only serves to highlight the vibrancy of other scenes. No composite artefacts or smearing were noted.

    MPEG artefacts were not noticed in this transfer, except for one specific problem where I cannot decide whether it is an MPEG artefact or a film artefact. At 10:16, when Rob Lowe is told "it's your case", a handbag catches the eye because it is considerably brighter and blockier than the rest of the picture. After a brief appearance of looking partly like a small macro-blocking and partly like a big mark on the picture, it returns to a normal appearance - a most puzzling effect. Discounting this problem, and the moderately frequent small marks or hairs on the picture, this is a very clean transfer. There are precious few instances of aliasing or other film-to-video artefacts.

    No subtitles of any kind are provided on this DVD, leaving Hearing Impaired viewers out of luck when it comes to viewing this film. This is a pity, as anyone with a spare eighty-five minutes should give this film a spin.

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

Audio

    There is only the one soundtrack available on this DVD: the original English dialogue in Dolby Digital 2.0 with surround-encoding and a 224 kilobit per second rate.

    The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times, which is especially important in a film such as this one. No audio sync problems were noted.

    The music in this film is credited to one Joe Kraemer, a name I am not familiar with. There is also use of a contemporary number that I recognise, but cannot for the life of me find the name of. The music overall is very good at building a mood and keeping it, so I will give it full marks for working within the confines of the film.

    The surround channels are used in moderation to support the occasional directional sound effect and the music, with the usual monaural wrap-around that can be expected from a matrixed soundtrack. While they are not worked especially hard, they do help with the overall effect of the film. I quite enjoyed this soundtrack in spite of the fact that it is not a sterling example of what DVD is capable of, which is to be partly expected from such a dialogue-heavy film.

    The subwoofer was not used by this soundtrack.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu is static, 16x9 enhanced, and accompanied by Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Trailer

    This one minute and forty-five second trailer is presented in the aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

R4 vs R1

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

    It doesn't appear that this title is available in Region 1, which is a real shame for them.

Summary

    Framed was a very pleasant surprise, especially considering its direct-to-TV origins. Sam Neill really steals the show with his usual debonair manner, but the whole film is a very pleasant way to spend eighty-five minutes. I recommend it.

    The video transfer is not bad.

    The audio transfer is good.

    There are no real extras to speak of.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Dean McIntosh (Don't talk about my bio. We don't wanna know.)
Saturday, October 05, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySamsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony STR DE-835
SpeakersYamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer

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