Road Kill (Joy Ride) (Rental) (2001)
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||John Dahl|
Twentieth Century Fox
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||Yes|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, Mastercard|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
While this is not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, it serves its purpose as a 90 minute time user and manages to scare us and keep us surprised for most of the picture. The thing that serves this film well is that it does not fall into the 'Horror' genre but rather the 'Thriller' genre. There are no scenes with stupid teenagers running away from a man in a mask or tripping upstairs trying to get away. Rather, it borrows from classics like Steven Spielberg's Duel, although it does fall well short of that mark.
Two brothers, Lewis and Fuller Thomas (Paul Walker and the incredibly talented Steve Zahn) are driving across country to meet up with Lewis' would-be girlfriend Venna (Leelee Sobieski). On the way, they hook into a conversation with 'Rusty Nail', a truckie on the CB radio. They impersonate a woman and bait him to meet up with their female character, 'Candy Cane', in Room 17 at a motel in the middle of nowhere for a laugh. When the person who is in Room 17 is brutally maimed, Rusty Nail stalks the boys across the country without mercy.
Sounds pretty simple, but there are some very well-constructed moments in this film from director John Dahl. Performances are decent but without much to write home about besides Steve Zahn who continues to spend time doing B-Grade films instead of capitalizing on the potential he showed in Out Of Sight.
In the end, Road Kill is a film which exceeded expectations for me, but be aware that my expectations were very low to begin with. It can fill up over an hour and a half for you and you may find something in it that appeals. At the very least it is a bit of fun.
The film is presented in a ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
The image is perfectly sharp and clear for the entire feature. Shadow detail is excellent throughout considering large sections of the film were shot at night or at sunset. The image is clean and does not come close to suffering from a murky or dark picture at any time. There is some very light grain at times, but it is hardly worth mentioning. Some mild edge enhancement is noticed at times with a good example being at 14:29.
The colours are rock solid and deep throughout. Like the shadow detail, colours blend together perfectly to create a beautiful smooth, realistic picture. There are no instances of colour bleed or other colour related artefacts.
There were no MPEG artefacts present, but some horrible instances of aliasing at 3:41, 3:52 and between 10:00-10:10. There are a sprinkling of film artefacts noticed constantly through the film, with the worst example being at 46:32.
I watched about 15 minutes of the English subtitles and found them to be accurate enough to the spoken word.
This is a single layered disc with no layer change.
There is but one audio track available here, an English 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtrack running at 384 kb/s.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand at all times. Occasionally the heavy accents and projection of the actors' voices make it a little hard to clearly hear what is said but that is a problem with the source material. There are no problems with audio synch. Lines that have been looped afterward can be detected sometimes, but it is not too off-putting.
The musical score by Marco Beltrami is filled with tension and suspense when needed. It is a solid effort and one that suits the film very well. During action scenes it emanates from all channels, but is mainly noticed from the left and right channels.
The surrounds get a very heavy workout during this DVD, especially during the action scenes and scenes with heightened tension. They offer up strong signals with sounds of crushing metal, traffic and ambient effects. Likewise, the subwoofer is used very menacingly during these scenes. With these two aspects of the audio transfer being very good, it enhances the sense of quality about this disc.
|Surround Channel Use|
For the record, the R1 sell-through release contains the following features; Audio commentary with director John Dahl, stars Steve Zahn, Leelee Sobieski and writers Clay Tarver and J.J. Abrams; 4 Alternate endings; Making-of featurette; Deleted scenes; Theatrical Trailer.
The video transfer is excellent.
The audio transfer is also very impressive.
The extras do not exist.
|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|