Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Theatrical Trailer-1.33:1, non-16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0
Audio Commentary-Joel Schumacher (Director)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Dolby Digital Trailer-City
|Year Of Production||1999|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (63:55)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Joel Schumacher|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary 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||Yes, mildly|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
This is not my usual cup of tea at all I am afraid and the subject matter is not one that I can especially come to grips with - indeed I would hope not too many would (but like David Cronenberg's Crash, this explores an element of society that does indeed exist). It also does not help that Joel Schumacher rarely makes a film that I enjoy and to be honest I think this falls into his growing dud pile - artistically very meritorious, but it forgets that we watch films for entertainment and this is not what I would call entertainment. Whilst the story itself may have merit, some the leaps of coincidence to keep this moving are simply a little too huge to ignore in my view, which detracts a little from the finished product. The style of film that Schumacher has created also makes it difficult for the film to flow really well. Nicolas Cage was his usual stellar self as the private investigator but the rest of the main cast really did a good, convincing job of their roles too. I think that this could have been well served by being a little tighter in the script, both story wise and length wise however.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, and it is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is beautifully sharp throughout and in its way very clear and with wonderful definition. However, due to the style of the film adopted by Joel Schumacher, this is at times quite a dark transfer and the shadow detail does suffer as a result. In some extremely dark shots, like corridors, this does degrade to being almost without shadow detail at all. This is however not a transfer problem but the way the original film was made, in order to highlight the nature of the subject..
This is generally a quite muted colourscape, giving a very drab and dingy feel to the film, albeit richly toned - exactly as intended, reflecting the very underground nature of the subject matter. The dark colourscape is effectively counterbalanced by the vibrant day scenes in Miami and Los Angeles. Definitely one that requires no lighting in the viewing room I would suggest, but overall a superbly effective transfer.
It is Columbia TriStar, so there were no MPEG artefacts noted, video artefacts were virtually non-existent and even film artefacts were few and far between. The closest I can come to being picky about the transfer is the merest hint of a little telecine wobble at about 83:44 but that is barely noticeable and could hardly detract from the film.
There appears to be two additional subtitles on the disc - German and Dutch - which may be hearing impaired subtitles, although I would need confirmation on this: they are certainly not noted on the packaging. If they are not hearing impaired subtitles, they do duplicate other subtitles on the disc.
(Ed. They are subtitles for the extras.)
This is an RSDL disc with the layer change at 63:55, the change being not too disruptive although noticeable.
There are three audio tracks on the disc: the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, a German Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and an English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. I listened to both the default English soundtrack and the English audio commentary.
The dialogue was generally crisp and clear, and easy to understand, throughout.
Audio sync did not appear to be a problem with the transfer.
The music score comes from Mychael Danna, and a strikingly unusual score it is too. It gives the distinct impression of Turkish music at times, and I suppose brings all the connotations of the near east to the film as a result. This is a very atypical approach to a film score, somewhat incongruous to the film's locations, and as a result I think that one is more aware of the score. I am not convinced however that it aids the film too much, although director Joel Schumacher certainly seems impressed by it, judging by his comments in the audio commentary.
This is a nicely balanced soundtrack, with the front surround channels creating a nice sound picture. The rear channels did not get much action, but when they did the detail was very nice and effectively counterbalanced the front channels. Obviously, not a film that relies heavily upon spacial effects, and the whole soundtrack seemed to be very natural.
The bass channel did not get a lot of action at all, being used mainly to emphasise some action scenes.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is very good indeed.
The audio transfer was of almost the same standard.
A decent if not especially great package of extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega (80cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|