Remember the Titans (2000)

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Released 20-Feb-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family Main Menu Introduction
Menu Audio
Audio Commentary-J Bruckheimer (Prod), G A Howard (Writ) & B Yakim (Dir)
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Remember The Titans: An Inspirational Journey
Featurette-Denzel Becomes Boone
Featurette-Beating The Odds
Deleted Scenes-6
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 108:49
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (69:57) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Boaz Yakin
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Denzel Washington
Will Patton
Donald Faison
Nicole Ari Parker
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $34.95 Music Trevor Rabin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Czech Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Hungarian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.40:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.40:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Czech
Hungarian
Arabic
Polish
Bulgarian
Slovak
Dutch
English for the Hearing Impaired
French Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Americans love their sports movies - as evidenced by the number of movies the make devoted to them. The fact that most of their sports are isolated to the North American continent never seems to phase them and they pop 'em out like clockwork. American Football is the basis for this movie, Remember the Titans, and although it isn't as powerful in its depiction of the actual game as another recently released movie, Any Given Sunday, it does offer up sports as a powerful tool for social change, although the message does get lost a little in the game at times.

    There have been literally dozens of movies over the years devoted to this most American of games, but for most of us the game is still a bit of a mystery. Certainly the idea of beating the living hell out of someone on a football field and being paid unseemly amounts of money to do so sounds great, but the pain they must endure is another matter. This movie has a few nice moments of rare aggression which add to the drama, but the underlying core of the movie is about sports as a healing mechanism for the problems of racism and integration that took place in the late 1960s and early 1970s in America.

    The movie is based on a true story about T.C.Williams high school, in Alexandria Virginia. Set in 1971, the school is the first in the district to mix white and black students, and hence the football team, the Titans, also has to integrate. Add to this the appointment of Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) to coach the team over the current coach Bill Yoast (Will Patton) who after 15 winning seasons is demoted to Boone's assistant. A players' strike is averted when Yoast accepts the position of coach of the defense. It is from here on in that both coaches attempt to mold a team from diverse and divisive elements into a coherent unit capable of winning a state championship (which they do) during a two week training camp and then in the more cut and thrust environment of mainstream America.

    There were some decent cameos in this movie, although Hayden Pantierre as Yoast's 8 year old daughter was a little hard to bear after a while. The parts of Julius Campbell (Wood Harris) and Gerry Bertier (Ryan Hurst) as respective leaders were good to watch. Then there was Jerry 'the Rev' Harris (Craig Kirkwood), Ronnie 'Sunshine' Bass (Kip Pardue) and Petey Jones (Donald Faison), none of whom might ring a bell but who all worked hard to deliver a classy product.

    This movie has plenty of polish to it, as you'd expect from any movie with the Bruckheimer name attached to it. The director Boaz Yakim is slightly stifled by the feel-good screenplay and the Disney logo at the beginning of the movie. You won't find anything unseemly here and the more obvious racial overtones are almost totally subverted by the need to remain non-confrontational. The language, also, is definitely on the tame side but you can't be too critical as it is still well made and more than a little entertaining.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    You'd expect nothing less than excellence from a Jerry Bruckheimer movie, and this disc is no exception. There are a few minor problems, but for the most part this is quality through and through.

    This disc is presented in the correct theatrical aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    Apart from some minor edge enhancement (5:35 on Will Patton's face in profile) the transfer is superbly sharp and detailed. The grain is exceptionally light throughout the movie, even in the scenes where you'd expect an increase in grain (blue skies for instance). The shadow detail was magnificent in almost all respects with copious amounts of fine detail on show in deep and detailed backgrounds. The blacks were totally solid with lots of variation, making this an almost perfect transfer in these areas.

    Possibly the best aspect of this disc was in its colours. The vastness of the palette is amazing, from vibrant greens and blues, to early morning mists of grey and sunbursts of orange and red. There is nary a hint of oversaturation or bleeding with skin tones as life-like as I've seen in any movie.

    There was some very slight pixelization in different scenes, the most visible being at 86:20 on Will Patton's shoulder. Apart from this, MPEG artefacts were very minor. The normal film artefacts were almost totally non-existent and those that were seen were mostly black and almost invisible. There were some spots of aliasing here and there. Some of the more noticeable instances were at 3:15 on a Venetian blind, 16:56 on the side of the buses and 58:00 on a park bench. For the most part, this problem was fleeting - a slight shimmer and then it disappeared, thankfully. Also take note of the eyes of most of the cast - they tend to sparkle. Moiré artefacts were occasionally noted with easily the most noticeable at 46:29 (on a girl's jumper), 59:18 (probably the worst example, on a Venetian blind in a restaurant) and 61:44 (on a red shirt). There were other minor examples, but for the most part they were easily dismissed.

    There's a decent assortment of subtitles on offer on this disc. They tend to occupy the bottom part of the letterboxing and were fairly accurate to the movie, although occasionally they were moved to the top of the screen, especially where burned-in subtitles were present. Some abbreviations were noticed from the spoken word, but nothing major. The subtitles were in white and have a black border for easier reading.

    The layer change came at 69:57. It occurs mid-chapter but is positioned between a scene change and is fairly smooth, with only a slight pause noticed.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    This disc comes with four audio and one audio commentary tracks. The most important track for most of us will be the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at 384 kilobits per second which offers a nice, full feel. There is an optional French Dolby Digital 5.1 track at the same bit rate for those of you who parlez vous Francaise, or two Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded tracks in Czech and Hungarian at the reasonable bitrate of 192 kilobits per second. Speaking only my native tongue, I stuck strictly to the English offering.

    The dialogue was very crisp and clean as you'd expect, with no sync problems.

    The music is credited to Trevor Rabin who has worked on many a Bruckheimer movie before (including Armageddon, Con Air and Gone in Sixty Seconds) so you know he's done a reasonable job with the soundtrack. I personally liked the insertion of so many classic tracks from the 70s, including songs such as Spirit in the Sky, Hard Rain and Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress. They were nicely placed and the whole thing had a really uplifting effect. It was a nice mix of 70s tunes with a more traditional orchestral movie score.

    The most disappointing aspect for me was that both the surrounds and subwoofer didn't get more usage. They did support the music nicely, but not with any great volume, which was a shame. When they did spring into full bloom, like at 77:29 when they really pound out the sound of the players hitting each other during a game, they were great, but otherwise they tended to become subdued and allowed the dialogue to take precedence. I guess you can't be too critical though, this is a very dialogue oriented movie.

    Again slightly disappointing to a degree with little real volume on offer from the subwoofer. Occasionally it sprang into activity but for the most part it was barely audible.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Main Menu Introduction

    A very red enhanced animation leads into the main menu.

Menu Audio

    Displayed in 16x9 format, this is a static picture with music overlaid from the movie. It's fairly uninspiring but has an easy-to-navigate setup.

Audio Commentary

    A nicely set up commentary feature with Jerry Bruckheimer (Producer), G. A. Howard (Writer) & Boaz Yakim (Director) sharing thoughts and comments on various parts of the movie. All three are very articulate and the interaction is handled well. Most of the commentary is by Yakim who details the making of the movie and various plot devices and Bruckheimer, who adds colour, with information on casting and crew, locations, and so forth. Howard throws in a comment here and there on how he fleshed out the characters for the script and other tidbits.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes

    This is a rather entertaining featurette, with a running time of 18:59. Clips from the movie are presented letterboxed at 1.85:1 and not 16x9 enhanced and the whole thing is presented in Full Frame, 1.33:1. The narrator is Lynn Swann, a former member of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a Fox commentator, and he brings an authenticity to proceedings. The whole thing is an entertaining look at the making of the movie, including appearances by the original coaches and players of the 1970s Titans team.

Featurette-Denzel Becomes Boone

    Running time of 5:58 in Full Frame 1.33:1, with letterboxed 2.35:1 non-16x9 enhanced film clips. This is a series of interviews with Denzel Washington, Coach Boone, Jerry Bruckheimer, Allen Howard and Boaz Yakim on writing the part, casting it, and playing a real life character on-screen. Interesting if a little short.

Featurette-Beating The Odds

    Running time of 6:03, again Full Frame 1.33:1 with clips in 2.35:1 non-16x9 enhanced. This is a bit more detail on how the movie was made and how Jerry Bruckheimer got involved with Disney in production.

Deleted Scenes

    These are various deleted and extended scenes cut from the movie. They are all presented in 1.85:1 and are not 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

    A very short trailer at 0:44, this is in Full Frame 1.33:1 with letterboxed clips at 1.85:1. Nicely presented.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Since this is a rental-only release at this time in Region 4, a fair disparity between the R1 release and the R4 was expected but in all fairness this disc fares reasonably well overall. The major differences seem to be 1 featurette and DTS encoding. The rest is marginal.

    The Region 4 disc misses out on:

    The Region 1 disc misses out on:    Personally I'd take the PAL encoding over NTSC, but seeing as this is only a rental at this time, when it is released for sell-through we will hopefully gain a few of the missing features from the Region 1 release. Only time will tell, but if you are red-hot for a DTS version right now, then the Region 1 version would the way to go.

Summary

    This is basically a movie about sports but with an undercurrent of racism meant to add spice which fails to deliver any meaningful understanding about the problems of integration in the early 1970s. Still, it does deliver on entertainment with some fine performances by a couple of classy actors and an ensemble cast of mostly unknowns.

    The video quality of this transfer is superb with only a few minor glitches.

    The audio, while not as good as the video, is also quality material and has an excellent feel to it with some tasty 70s tunes added in.

    The extras are fairly good although most of them are a little on the short side. Nonetheless, a nice selection at least for a rental-only DVD.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Carl Berry (read my bio)
Tuesday, October 23, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDLoewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderRotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationRotel RB 985 MkII
SpeakersJBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer

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