No Man's Land (2001)

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Released 12-Mar-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category War Theatrical Trailer
Notes-Awards and Nominations Listing
Gallery
Trailer-The Cats Meow, Dust, Molokai, The Tracker, Walking On Water
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 93:04 (Case: 98)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (74:39) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Danis Tanovic
Studio
Distributor
Fabrica
Madman Entertainment
Starring Branko Djuric
Rene Bitorajac
Filip Sovagovic
Georges Siatidis
Serge-Henri Valcke
Sacha Kremer
Alain Eloy
Case Click
RPI ? Music Danis Tanovic


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

No Man's Land is about a group of men trapped between enemy lines during the Bosnian-Serb conflict.

A Bosnian relief squad becomes lost during the night while travelling to the front line. When morning arrives, they find themselves out in the open in no man's land. Most of the squad is killed as they try to reach the cover of a nearby abandoned trench. The Serbian troops send two men to search the trench and eventually men from both sides are trapped in an awkward stand-off. Both sides are unable to retrieve their troops and they call in the local United Nations UNPROFOR to try and negotiate the men's return. When the media is alerted to the men's predicament, the situation becomes a media circus. All sides are restricted by their prejudices, language barriers, their orders and the public view presented by the media and there seems to be no way to resolve the situation.

This film received wide critical acclaim and was awarded the 2002 Academy Award and Golden Globe award for Best Foreign Film in addition to the 2002 Cannes Film Festival Special Jury Prize. This film contains numerous comedic moments and shows that there are many different sides to all conflicts and that even simple situations can quickly escalate beyond anyone's control.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

The opening scenes for the film are shot at night in a heavy fog and are understandably quite soft. The remainder of the transfer is extremely sharp with high levels of detail always visible. No low-level noise was detected at any time during the transfer. During the very small number of dark scenes, excellent levels of shadow detail may always be seen.

The colour palette displayed during the transfer is always well saturated but often appears to have a slight brown tinge to the image. This slight tint was intentionally introduced and is not a fault of the transfer.

No MPEG artefacts were seen at any time during the transfer. A number of minor aliasing artefacts may be seen during the transfer. Some examples of these artefacts may be seen at 37:50, 39:52, 49:06, 62:28 and 65:46. All of these artefacts are very minor and are only very minimally irritating. The transfer displays a very small number of minor film artefacts with examples visible at 70:30 and 87:51. Some obvious film grain may be seen during the foggy opening sequence but is never annoying.

A single set of yellow English subtitles is included on the disc and these are always clear and easy to read.

The layer change occurs at 74:39 at a scene change at the start of Chapter 14 and is not disruptive.

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

Audio

A single Dolby Digital 448kbps 5.1 surround track is included for the transfer and features a mixture of Serbo-Croatian, English and French dialogue.

The dialogue is clear and easy to understand at all times during the transfer.

The major fault present during the transfer is a slight audio sync problem that is present throughout. I found this synchronization problem to be most noticeable during the English dialogue segments, such as at 46:26 and 49:28, but the problem is present for the whole transfer. This sync problem is moderately annoying given that this is a dialogue-driven film. No dropouts were detected at any time during the transfer.

The very minimal score by writer/director Danis Tanovic never draws attention to itself during the film.

The surround channels are used effectively during the battle sequences and to provide subtle effects during the dialogue-driven sections of the film helping to create an enveloping mix.

The LFE channel is used effectively to support the explosions and gunshots throughout the transfer.

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

Extras

Menu

The animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer (2:05)

This trailer is presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

Awards and Nominations Listing

This is a four-page listing of the different international awards and nominations that the film has received.

Photo Gallery of Dejan Vekic (3:05)

This is a montage of images from the film's production that are presented in a smaller window in the centre of the 1.33:1 frame with a musical Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

Trailer: The Cat's Meow (2:08)

This trailer is presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Trailer: Dust (1:31)

This trailer is presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Molokai (1:28)

This trailer is presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: The Tracker (2:05)

This trailer is presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.

Trailer: Walking On Water (2:26)

This trailer is presented with an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.

R4 vs R1

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 MGM Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

The Gaumont-Columbia Tristar French Region 2 version of this disc misses out on;

The transfer for the Gaumont-Columbia Tristar Region 2 French release was supervised by the film's Director of Photography Walther van den Ende and is provided with English subtitles for the main feature. While I was unable to determine the languages or subtitles available for the extras on the R2 French version it would still be my version of choice as it does not have the audio sync problem.

Summary

No Man's Land is an enjoyable film about the problems faced by all groups involved in modern warfare.

The video transfer is of very high quality with only a few minor aliasing artefacts present.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is excellent quality but it suffers from a constant slight sync problem.

The extras included provide very little information on the film and are disappointing when compared to the R2 release.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 2109, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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