Bicentennial Man (1999)
Theatrical Trailer-non-16x9, Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Isolated Musical Score
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
|Year Of Production||1999|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (67:26)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Chris Columbus|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Isolated Music Score Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The movie follows the life of a human-shaped robot named Andrew (Robin Williams). He is purchased by Sam Neill (only referred to as Sir in the movie) and is set to work doing the menial tasks like cooking, cleaning, and so forth. Not everyone in the family is thrilled to have Andrew around. In fact, Sir seems to be the only one that really appreciates him! After a small accident, orchestrated by one of the family members against Andrew, he seems to start exhibiting some human traits, like curiosity, compassion and fear of heights! Andrew is made part of the family, which consists of Sir (Sam Neill), his wife Ma'am (Wendy Crewson), Miss (Lindze Letherman) and Little Miss (Hallie Kate Eisenberg).
I will not say any more as it will start to spoil the movie. Through the wonderful performances given by the entire cast, this movie really comes to life.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio somewhere in between 1.85:1 and 1.78:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. One interesting but totally inconsequential thing that I noticed was that the active picture area varied ever so slightly, as if two different types of cameras or film stock were used during filming.
The picture was extremely clear and sharp at all times. Shadow detail was perfect, and no instances of low-level noise, edge bleeding or edge enhancement were noted.
The colour was exemplary - beautifully saturated, rich and vibrant.
All of the above aspects of the picture quality were easily of reference quality.
There were two sequences that suffered from graininess in the sky; 56:08 - 56:22 and 62:50.
There are quite a few tiny or small film artefacts, with the odd hair and scratch, too. Most are unobtrusive and I suspect that many will go by unnoticed, especially on a TV set.
This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change occurring at 67:26 in Chapter 15, during a scene change. There is a slight pause but it is not disruptive to the flow of the movie, thus I must say it is a very well-placed layer change.
There are also a couple of instances of minor moiré artefacts at 36:16, 36:51, 40:12, 40:36 and 40:43. These stem from the aliasing.
There are two audio tracks on this DVD, a 448Kb/s English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an Isolated Musical Score soundtrack, which is also encoded as a 448Kb/s Dolby Digital 5.1 track. I listened initially to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and thence to the Isolated Musical Score whilst I was writing this review.
The dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout the movie, with only a couple of minor exceptions where the dialogue became a little harder to understand. Audio sync was very good with only some of Andrew's mouth movements not quite looking right. I do not believe this is a transfer problem, so I have not deducted any marks from the audio sync section for this issue. There are a couple of instances where the spoken dialogue at the time of filming has been replaced.
James Horner's musical score suits the movie well. It supports and enhances the on-screen action beautifully.
Overall, the sound is open and expansive, which is very nice to listen to. Even though the surround channels do not generally draw attention to themselves, they do help to create this open soundstage. There are a couple of instances of directional effects - the panoramic scenes of the city with the flying cars zooming around would be the best examples of this - but this is not the type of movie that calls for heavy or aggressive surround channel use.
There really aren't any sequences that call for heavy subwoofer use, but the .1 LFE channel is subtly used to add a little extra punch to the soundtrack throughout the movie. This is not the type of movie that actually needs a subwoofer.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
Note: I would expect the aliasing and moiré effects to be more severe on an NTSC version due to it having less horizontal resolution (480 lines vs 576 lines).
The picture quality is marred by frequent aliasing.
The soundtrack is wonderful.
There are only a small number of uninspiring extras on this disc.
|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)|