Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-A Special Message From David Hyde Pierce
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Richard Eyre|
Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.85:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
In her younger days (played by Kate Winslet) Iris was a headstrong scholar at Oxford University who exhibited some promiscuous tendencies while researching her books. All the while, John's love for her never wavered as he sought to make a life with Iris throughout their courtship. He always managed to turn a blind eye to her ways of hurting him and through this, managed to become the most loyal and important person in Iris' life.
The film is cleverly told as it jumps from the present, where we see Iris being diagnosed and then battling her illness, to her past where we see her in her powerful days as a gifted author, philosopher, novelist and social adventurer. The choice to film the picture in this way is an effective way to telling a more rounded story to someone who does not know much about Iris Murdoch in the first place. It work well and manages to tell the story in a succinct and effective way - it keeps the pace up and shows the huge difference in character that a crippling disease like this can make for the victim and also the people who love them.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is 16x9 Enhanced.
The picture appears slightly soft for most of the film, but shadow detail is very good for the most part. There is a lot of grain present at 2:43, 6:34, 8:16, 19:28 and 81:42 - these are some of the worst examples on offer here, but there are plenty more. There are no instances of low level noise. The soft picture and the amount of grain evident serve to rob this film of a crisp video transfer which is very disappointing because the production detail is very good.
All colours are strong throughout with steady flesh tones and balanced colours for the duration of the film. Occasionally, characters' faces appear grey, but that would most likely be an artistic choice by director Richard Eyre.
There is a very mild amount of posterization at times through the feature, particularly in the scenes where John and Iris are getting together. There is some slight telecine wobble at 0:23 and 20:08, and some aliasing at 7:12, 19:44, 24:39, 46:35, 46:42 and 49:49. By far the worst problem with this transfer are the amount of film artefacts that flick across the screen for the duration. There are constant flecks of dust and dirt as well as hairs, chunks, and scratches with some examples to be found at 3:04, 3:33, 7:39, 10:56, 18:46, 19:43, 19:53, 35:36, 53:42. For such a new film, the amount of imperfections in this print is unforgivable.
I watched about 15 minutes of the English subtitles and found them to be fairly accurate to the spoken word with the occasional word omitted for pacing reasons.
Despite what is stated on the box, this is a single layered disc, not an RSDL formatted one.
There is only one audio track recorded on this disc - an English 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack at 384 kb/s. Naturally, this is the one listened to.
The dialogue is mostly clear and easy to understand. On a couple of occasions, the dialogue is slightly muffled or distorted, but it is nothing too bad. The audio sync is fine except for some lines that have obviously been looped in post production that do not sound right.
The music in the film, by James Horner, is very similar to his music for A Beautiful Mind. Considering that the two stories are quite similar as well, this gave me a familiarity with the film. The score is quite sad and comes from all speakers.
There are not too many opportunities for the surround speakers to show off, but when they are utilised the sound is well balanced and used effectively.
The subwoofer only gets used in the Miramax logo.
|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 appears very dirty due to the large amount of film artefacts and grain.
The audio transfer is fine, but not very exciting.
The extras are disappointing.
|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|