Under Siege (1992)
|Year Of Production||1992|
|Running Time||92:20 (Case: 98)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Andrew Davis|
Warner Home Video
Tommy Lee Jones
|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||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
For those who are not in the know, a NAVY ship loaded to the gills with nuclear-tipped Tomahawks and other nasties is cleverly hijacked and taken control of by terrorists. Gary Busey is the ship's Executive Officer who is in on the whole thing and does the work from the inside in order to allow the team of terrorists, headed by the order-barking (and barking-mad) Tommy Lee Jones, to gain entry to the ship. In the meantime, our hero Steven Seagal is the lowly cook who has been locked away for being insubordinate. As it turns out of course, our cook is in fact a steely-eyed ex-SEAL operative, highly skilled in the art of murder, weapons, explosives ... sound familiar? He then systematically defeats the entire terrorist team and regains control of the ship by the end of the film.
The timing of this film is exceptional, with never a dull moment. Lots of clever, fast action with a fair degree of style. Tommy Lee Jones is superb, as is Gary Busey. This is movie can hold its own in this much copied genre and is certainly Steven Seagal's best work. I highly recommend this DVD.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and it is blessedly 16x9 enhanced.
The image is nicely detailed, and consistently sharp throughout. It had quite a film-like appearance, being very steady and with a smooth finish to it. The singular aspect of the transfer which lets it down slightly is the shadow detail, and I had to surgically remove half a star from the rating, which is a shame because I really wanted to give it five out of five. You will definitely want to watch this in total darkness - which is how you should watch every movie anyway - because most of the movie is very, very dark. Detail in much of the darkness is lost, though just enough comes through for it not to be too much of a problem or distraction. There is no low-level noise, and there is no edge-enhancement to speak of.
Colours were slightly recessed - after all this does take place on a battle ship, so there is not much to work with. Skin tones were quite good (Erika Eliniak's were perfect), and what colour there was was rendered very nicely and without noise or bleeding.
I was surprised to find this movie placed on one layer, which is fairly unusual nowadays. However, with no extras whatsoever to impinge on the bit-budget, all is well. There are no significant MPEG artefacts, and indeed most of the movie is exemplary in this respect, with the compression failing in only a few scenes. There are no significant film artefacts, and absolutely no film-to-video artefacts. There is NO aliasing on this transfer at all.
Dialogue was always clear and well recorded, and I noticed no lip sync problems.
The score, composed by Gary Chang (who is a prolific TV scorer) is very interesting, and greatly adds to the effectiveness of the movie as a whole. Its near constant percussive rhythms provide suspense and pace for the movie, and I enjoyed it very much. It is well recorded, with a full sound and is very detailed. The front soundstage actually wraps around you, with sidewall imaging provided by the surrounds, and the depth and width of the imaging is at times extraordinary.
Surround presence consists of mainly a constant support for the score, truly opening up the front soundstage and removing the speakers. It is quite normal for a Dolby Digital mix to be very speaker based, and now and then a mix comes along whereby the sound just appears from certain places in the room, not just directly from the speakers. This is one such transfer, and much is credited to the skilful use of the surrounds. Discrete surround effects occur frequently, and the end result of all this is an extremely immersive soundfield which draws you into the action.
The subwoofer was used frequently to aid with all the explosions and gun shots, and also filled out the score somewhat.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video is excellent, being slightly failed only by the poor shadow detail.
The audio is also excellent, and is of reference quality being truly immersive and high fidelity.
I wonder why we didn't get the handful of extras which appear on the R1 disc? Seems odd.
|DVD||Panasonic A-350A, using S-Video output|
|Display||Pioneer SD-T43W1 16:9 RPTV. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-525 5x100 watts Dolby Pro-Logic / 5.1 Ready Receiver; 4 x Optimus 10-band Graphic EQ|
|Speakers||Centre: Sony SS-CN35 100 watt; Main & Surrounds: Pioneer CS-R390-K 150-watt floorstanders; Subwoofer: Optimus 100-watt passive|