Shaft in Africa (1973)
Main Menu Audio
Listing-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1973|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Sided||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||John Guillermin|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
In the opening scene, we see someone running from the bad guys, and being killed. We cut to Shaft returning home and dodging a large man, only to have the man smash through the door to his apartment and attack him. This is the unusual way in which an Emir chooses to enlist Shaft for a detective assignment. The Emir wants Shaft to go undercover in Northern Africa to bust open a ring of people smugglers. The smugglers con African men into signing up for ultra-low wages, then smuggle them into France to do heavy and menial labour. Anyone causing trouble is killed, including the Emir's son - he was the previous person to try infiltration.
Clearly, by now the budget had grown substantially. This film was shot on location in Ethiopia, as well as New York, but the original director was gone, as was Isaac Hayes. This was the last Shaft film made. That's not to say that it is bad - it isn't. I'm glad they didn't try to make another, though.
The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. Just like the other two Shaft DVDs, there is a 1.33:1 version on the other side of the DVD. Just like the other two Shaft DVDs, it is mislabelled - it is a 1.33:1 Pan & Scan transfer, not 2.35:1. The 1.33:1 transfer of this film has considerably more contrast than the widescreen version. Way too much, in my opinion, which makes it look quite harsh. I'm glad they made that mistake on the 1.33:1 side and not on the 2.35:1 16x9 enhanced side.
The image is a little soft, but I attribute that mostly to fine film grain - I would not expect a movie of this age to show the incredible level of detail that can be achieved today. Shadow detail is quite good, and there is little or no low-level noise.
Colours are a little muted, probably because of the film stock used.
There are a few film artefacts, but they are small and not bothersome. There are no MPEG artefacts, and aliasing is not common.
The dialogue is clear and readily understood. There are some lines in an African language which are not subtitled, but we don't need to know what is being said - it is not important to the plot.
The music, by Johnny Pate, is appropriate, and a little unusual - an interesting mixture of percussion (a hint of Africa?) and brass (echoing early Shaft music?).
The surrounds and subwoofer are given nothing to do by a straight mono soundtrack.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is quite good.
The audio quality is good, for a mono track.
The extras are minimal.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-737, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics matte white screen with a gain of 1.0 (280cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|