Out for Justice (1991)

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Released 10-Jan-2000

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action None
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 87:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By John Flynn
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Steven Seagal
William Forsythe
Jerry Orbach
Jo Champa
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $24.95 Music David Michael Frank


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Italian
Dutch
Arabic
Spanish
Portuguese
German
Romanian
Bulgarian
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    There is something comfortable about a Steven Seagal film. You pretty well know the plot before you start, you pretty well know what is going to happen in the film before you start and when the film is all over, it sort of feels like a Chinese meal. And every time another incarnation of the Steven Seagal patented story appears in Region 4, one has to question why the largest number of DVD releases in Region 4 seem to come from two of the worst actors around - JCVD and SS. Still, with SS you occasionally luck out with an incarnation of the patented SS story that actual turns out to be an enjoyable enough film (unlike the patented JCVD story). Regrettably this is not one of those occasions.

    If you really need the plot for this non-epic, I would suggest that you look up any of the previous reviews of his films. Doesn't matter which one, the story will be pretty much the same. Hard To Kill or The Glimmer Man will do. Just change the cast a little, change the bad guys a little and you are basically there. This particular incarnation sees Gino Felino (Steven Seagal) hunting down the cold blooded murderer of his cop buddy Bobby Lupo (Joe Spataro) and using it as an excuse to beat the living daylights out of an improbably large number of hood-like characters (without getting a scratch), tossing in a number of gratuitous murders - err, justifiable homicides - of his own. The bad guy in this effort is drug-crazed Richie Madano (William Forsythe). Naturally the good guy wins and the bad guys lose - hey, what else do you expect? Oh sorry, yes there are some decent looking babes to add some floss here and there. And that is about all you have to know about the plot.

    And of course given the completely formulaic nature of the patented SS story, we get an equally formulaic display of what in the loosest possible way is described as acting. We all know that SS cannot act to save his life (must have taken lessons from JCVD) but the rest of the cast do their damnedest to prove that lack of acting ability is an absolute requirement for a part in an SS film. Being cynical, the only reason that SS continues to appear in films is because he produces the d*** things. Nothing else about this effort is remotely worth worrying about, as you are not seeing anything remotely close to good film making here.

    Even by Steven Seagal's comparatively low standards, this is a pretty poor effort. He did make a couple of better films and they are coming out shortly, so if you really need a fix of Steven Seagal just wait a little while longer and get Under Siege or Under Siege 2. They are demonstrably better incarnations of the patented SS story.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Well, I may have serious reservations about the film but I have no reservations about the transfer. I know it is a shocker.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is (apparently) 16x9 enhanced.

    This is an absolute shocker of a transfer for a film of its age. The transfer lacks definition almost throughout the film, with at times an appalling lack of depth to the picture. At one point the background is so out of focus that I swear the bus has a ghost image. To describe this transfer as soft and lacking detail is to seriously understate the situation. This is so bad that there are some quite obvious sequences where even the main action is completely out of focus. If you do not believe me check out the sequence between 37:15 and 37:45 and tell me that you think it is in sharp focus. At times the transfer loses a lot of clarity and becomes quite grainy in appearance. Shadow detail is perversely reasonably decent for some reason. There appear to be no problems with low level noise in the transfer. Overall, I have seen better VHS tapes than this effort.

    This presents a decidedly muted palette of colours and is virtually completely lacking in vibrancy. What makes it worse is there are odd occasions when the transfer becomes quite sharp and the colours come up quite well in comparison. You would be hard pushed to find anything that would be classified as oversaturated in this transfer.

    There were no MPEG artefacts noted in the transfer. There did not appear to be any significant film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. Mercifully, film artefacts did not appear to be a problem with the transfer.

Audio

    And the shocking video transfer is at least bettered by an adequate soundtrack.

    There are three audio tracks on the DVD: an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a German Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Since I did not feel like being too adventurous, I listened to the English default.

    Dialogue was reasonably clear and easy to understand.

    There were no apparent audio sync problems with the disc.

    The score by David Michael Frank (which sounds like a name someone made up to hide their involvement with the film) is without merit and completely trite.

    This is not an especially memorable 5.1 soundtrack other than for how lacking in detail it is. There is barely any action out of the surround channels, especially the rear channels, and the bass channel may as well have been forgotten about completely. Given the preponderance of weapons fire and fighting, I was certainly expecting much more than we got. The sound seems to have been recorded in a muffled room and has no space or bloom to it - it sounds really congested. The resultant soundscape is less than encompassing and this definitely comes across as something you are watching and listening rather than something you are a part of and experiencing.

Extras

    Well actually, I thought the way Michael described this was something different so I though I would plagiarise it: think of any number and then subtract it from itself. Tells you the answer to what to expect.

Menu

    Of no use at all and given how bad it looks, that is probably not a bad thing.

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 release misses out on:     Since you would have to be either a really die hard fan to want two versions of the film on the same disc, the Region 4 release is the version of choice owing to the inherent superiority of the PAL system (says he with tongue firmly in cheek).

Summary

    Well, if you really want to waste $25 (to buy) or $6 (to rent) on a rubbish film, with a poor video and audio transfer, bugger all extras and a crappy cardboard case, go right ahead. But really, wait just a little while longer and for the same expense you can get an entertaining film (arguably Steven Seagal's best), Erika Eleniak topless, what should be a better video and audio transfer if Region 1 is anything to go by, probably bugger all extras and an equally crappy cardboard case. And I actually quite enjoy Steven Seagal films! Not this turkey. Number four onto the list of potential worst releases in Region 4 for 2000.

    A shocker of a video transfer for a film of its age.

    A adequate audio transfer.

    A non-existent extras package.

    And what's wrong with the packaging on this release - apart from being a crappy snapper case? Surprisingly not too much, except for the use of what is presumably a Region 1 screen capture for the menu shot, as it is definitely different wording to that on the actual DVD. (Ed. The case and packaging issues were rectified with the re-release of this DVD in a Transparent Amaray case.)

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ian Morris (Biological imperfection run amok)
Friday, January 28, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-515, using S-Video output
DisplaySony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationYamaha RXV-795
SpeakersEnergy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL

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