Bird on a Wire (1990)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer-2.35:1 (16x9 Enhanced), Dolby Digital 2.0
|Year Of Production||1990|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (53:46)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||John Badham|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
No less than three people (Louis Venosta, Eric Lerner, and David Seltzer) are credited with writing this turkey, John Badham's direction does not help matters any, and we have four different people (Lynne Carrow, Mike Fenton, Lynda Gordon, and Judy Taylor) to blame for the casting. Casting Goldie Hawn in this film is a crime for which these four should have been shot, as she does nothing but wail like a banshee through most of the film, and I can think of a million other actors from the 1980s who were much more pleasant to look at. When all is said and done, however, the claim on the back cover that this is a "roller coaster of a movie" is patently false. The action sequences fail to suspend disbelief, the dialogue sequences are annoying, and the story is just garbage. This is another one that is strictly for rental, and I mean only if you cannot find something better to spend a hundred minutes with.
The colour saturation is the biggest clue to the age of this film, with many tones being dull and lifeless while skin tones often exhibited a touch too much red for me to enjoy looking at. Whether or not this is a problem in the way the film was shot, or a fault in the transfer process, I cannot say with any authority. The colours generally had a certain look that was common to films shot in the early 1980s, which makes the film look much older than it really is.
MPEG artefacts were not noted at any point in the transfer, which is a definite benefit of the RSDL formatting. Film-to-video artefacts were also difficult to spot, although some shimmering makes itself apparent in such things as car grilles. This is only a very mild problem, however, which is reflective of the high amount of bits that have been allocated to the main feature. Film artefacts were found from time to time, but they only consisted of a few small black and white specks here and there that were barely noticed. Overall, this is a very clean transfer.
This disc is presented in the RSDL format, with the layer change occurring at 53:46. This has been placed less than a tenth of a second after the completion of a line of spoken dialogue. Not only is the placement less than ideal, but the noticeable pause compounds the problem.
The score music in this film was provided by Hans Zimmer, who is currently riding a wave of fame for his work on Ridley Scott's latest masterpiece, a neat little piece of work by the name of Gladiator. Speaking of that film, the score music in that film was powerful, heart-wrenching, and exceptionally noticeable even when a million other sounds fought for your attention, everything that the score music, what little of it there seemed to be, in Bird On A Wire is not.
The surround channels were used in a limited fashion to support the music and sounds of car chases, or other such ambient noise. However, during the parts of the film in which the story took something resembling precedence, the sound field collapsed into mono. It would have been nice if Universal had taken the effort to remix the soundtrack into Dolby Digital 5.1, but this wouldn't have really improved the entertainment factor of the film. The subwoofer was used every now and again to add a floor to the occasional explosion or gunshot, which it did without making itself conspicuous. Overall, this is not a bad Dolby Digital 2.0 surround mix, but its value is still limited by the film it accompanies.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is almost reference material.
The audio quality is very good for a Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround mix.
The extras are passable.
|DVD||Toshiba 2109, using S-Video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80cm). Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Sony STR DE-835|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Philips PH931SSS Rear Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Subwoofer|