The 13th Warrior (1999)
|Year Of Production||1999|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (63:12)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||John McTiernan|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The Vikings' oracle proclaims that thirteen men must go to help the kingdom and do battle with the fabled beasts. Twelve men volunteer, but the thirteenth man must be a foreigner - thus Ahmed is drafted. At sunrise they start their journey to the kingdom. After some horseback riding and a stormy night or two on a Viking ship, they arrive at their destination. It's not long before the creatures start attacking.
This movie offers more that the usual hack and slash plot, with some great character development intertwined with the action.
The sharpness in this transfer can only be described as superb. It is clean and crisp from the opening scene to the end credits, and is truly magnificent to behold. The shadow detail is also superb. It is, however, worth mentioning that there are a number of scenes in this movie where there is little to no detail in the black areas, but this is how the cinematographer meant it to be, as it was the same at the cinema. I would suggest that you watch this movie under controlled lighting conditions so that you can get the most out of these scenes. There was no low-level noise, edge bleeding or excessive edge enhancement noted.
The colour was exemplary, and beautifully saturated. It is without a doubt right up there with the best. In one particular sequence, where the team of warriors are in the caves with only torch lights to light their way, their faces take on a reddish, washed-out appearance, but this was an intentional look, and is how the film looked theatrically.
There was only one instance of graininess seen for the entire film, which occurred at 0:58. It has been a long time since I have seen such a wonderfully grain-free transfer.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. More astounding was the total lack of aliasing, with not even one occurrence seen during the movie proper. This is really impressive considering the sharpness and detail of this transfer - it begs the question of why can't all DVDs be like this? Having said that, when the credits starting rolling, a cross between moiré and aliasing occurs throughout.
Film artefacts, unfortunately is where this transfer loses its reference quality rating. There are far too many small film artefacts for the age of this film. Not a minute goes by without one popping up somewhere on the screen. These film artefacts are always small and usually unobtrusive, but there are also a couple of smallish hairs or fibres to be seen as well. I expect most will go by unnoticed when you are actually watching the movie.
This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring between Chapters 11 and 12, at 63:12 at a scene change. There is a small pause, but it is pretty well placed and it is not disruptive to the flow of the movie, even though it is easily spotted.
The dialogue was extremely clear and easy to understand throughout the entire movie. No audio sync problems were noticed.
Jerry Goldsmith's music score suits the movie perfectly, as it adds to and enhances the on-screen action.
The surround channels were very aggressively used for ambience, music and plenty of special effects. Directional effects and precise sound placement within the sound field were the norm rather than the exception. The sound placement across the front sound stage in particular is magnificent. In fact, I don't think I have ever heard better sound placement than this. Some of the scenes that contain exceptional surround usage can be found at 20:47, 26:59, 28:55, 36:30 and 84:13.
The .1 LFE channel is so seamlessly integrated into the sound stage that it almost sounds like it is not there, but believe me it is. It is continually working to subtly add bass to many scenes, and is highly active during most of the dramatic action sequences.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The audio quality is superb and is easily of reference quality.
There are no extras at all.
|DVD||Sony DVP-725, using Component output|
|Display||Sony Projector VPH-G70 (No Line Doubler), Technics Da-Lite matt screen with gain of 1.0 (229cm). This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Fronts: Energy RVS-1 (3), Rears: Energy RVSS-1 (2), Subwoofer: Energy EPS-150 (1)|