The Fourth Angel (2001)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-18 minutes of cast and director interviews
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||John Irvin|
Universal Pictures Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Jeremy Irons leads the cast as Jack Elgin, foreign affairs editor for a magazine, whose business combined with family trip to India turns to personal tragedy when his family falls fouls of the hitherto unknown August 15th movement. His grief turns to incredulity and anger when the arrested surviving terrorists are secretly set free and deported. Seeking answers, he turns to industry contacts, a nondescript CIA operative played by Jason Priestley, and the taciturn and feisty ex-Foreign Office operative Charlotte Rampling. After the mysterious gunning down of several of the liberated terrorists, FBI agent Jules Bernard (Forest Whitaker) arrives, and there follows an engaging cat-and-mouse game, and battle of wits between Elgin and himself.
Although lacking (thankfully) the intrigue and convoluted twists of a Le Carre tale, or the extraordinary detail of a Tom Clancy plot, The Fourth Angel nevertheless engages and entertains the viewer for its 90 minute duration. Jeremy Irons, as ever, is superb — every facial twitch or mannerism conveys an emotion. Forest Whitaker is perfectly cast as a foil for the battle of wits: good guy-bad guy, black-white, American smart-alec versus cultured English gentry. Aviation enthusiasts will no doubt cast an interested eye over the flight-deck (complete with flight engineer—redundant since the 747-400 series), and gawk at the amazing cross-wind landing at 6:23. The message, all too relevant in light of previous and present events, is that the good-guy, bad-guy distinction is seldom well defined. Trust no one — the truth may very well be out there, but seek it at your own risk!
The transfer is in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and is 16x9 enhanced.
Detail is reasonable, but it's certainly not the sharpest transfer I've seen and I think the encoding bit-rate has been kept down to allow the feature to be released on a DVD-5 disc. Shadow detail is reasonable, and there was no low-level noise.
The colours were natural, certainly not vibrant, reflecting the rather dreary locations that the feature was filmed at. There was no chroma noise nor over-saturation.
In keeping with the resolution limits there is little by way of aliasing — just the occasional shimmer on rooftops as at 3:28. There were no other MPEG artefacts of note. The film is very clean and I could pick up no film artefacts of note.
There were no subtitles.
The review copy of this disc was, in fact, dual-layered, but all the feature was fitted on layer 0 so I suspect the release version will be on a single layer DVD-5.
There are two audio tracks on this DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. There is also a Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded version.
The dialogue was clear and easily understandable, apart from the foreign language middle-European dialogue.
There were no problems with the audio synch.
The film was scored by long-standing film composer Paul Zaza, who was responsible for the music accompaniment to such notable films as Porky's and Saltwater Moose. The ambience of the score very effectively set the varying emotional mood of the film, but wasn't particularly memorable.
The surrounds were used in a low-key fashion to augment the action scenes but this is not a disc to show off your sound system.
The subwoofer was quiet for the majority of the film but sprang into life effectively at the appropriate times to support explosions.
|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:
In the absence of any definitive information regarding R4 censorship, our local version would appear to be the clear favourite.
The video quality is good but could have been better with an RSDL presentation.
The audio quality is good, but the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is probably an overkill and the 2.0 surround version doesn't miss out on much.
The extras are minimal, the bare minimum acceptable for anyone with an interest in movies.
|DVD||EAD 8000 Pro, using RGB output|
|Display||NEC MP3. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Audio Decoder||Naim AV2. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Theta Digital Intrepid|
|Speakers||ML Aeon front. B&W LRC6 Centre. ML Script rear. REL Strata III SW.|