Killing Zoe (1993) (NTSC)

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Released 25-Jul-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Menu Audio
Biographies-Cast & Crew-28 pages
Production Notes-6 pages
Theatrical Trailer-2:02
Rating Rated R
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 95:42
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Roger Avary
Studio
Distributor
Samuel Hadida
Shock Entertainment
Starring Eric Stoltz
Jean Hughes Anglade
Julie Delpy
Gary Kemp
Kario Salem
Bruce Ramsey
Tai Thai
Salvator Xurev
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $32.95 Music Tomandandy


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, extensive
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I guess the fastest way to describe this movie is as Dog Day Afternoon meets Tarantino.

    Quentin Tarantino was an executive producer on this movie. His name is given considerably more prominence than Roger Avary, even though Avary wrote and directed the film. There is lots of gunplay, some messy deaths, and quite a bit of on-screen drug use - all features associated with Tarantino's work. There are three main characters: Zed (Eric Stoltz), an American just arrived in Paris, Zoe (Julie Delpy), the prostitute he sleeps with that night, and Eric (Jean-Hugues Anglade), the man he came to Paris to see.

    There are some artistic pretensions in this film - perhaps the most blatant being the intercutting of Zed and Zoe's lovemaking with scenes from Nosferatu, which is playing on the TV of the hotel room they are in.

    I don't want to say a lot more about the movie because I want you to enjoy the few twists in the script.

    You should definitely avoid this movie if you have problems with bloody gunplay, with the extensive use of drugs, or with coarse language. Or if you have a problem with subtitles - there is a considerable amount of dialogue in French, which is subtitled in English, with the subtitles burnt into the image.

    Recounted fully, this story is quite simple; there aren't a lot of twists and turns. One or two scenes go on longer than necessary, and one or two could have been left out (the dead cat scene, for example). Even so, the film is not especially long, running under 96 minutes. That's probably a good thing.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This movie is presented on DVD in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. The original aspect ratio is reported as 1.85:1, so 1.78:1 is quite close, and it does fill a widescreen image nicely. Note that the transfer is an NTSC one, so your equipment will need to be suitably compatible to view this disc.

    The picture is sharp and clear. Shadow detail is rather good. There's no low-level noise.

    Colour is clear and well-saturated. There are traces of colour bleed in the opening credits, but not in the film proper.

    The film artefacts are few and miniscule, with the only really noticeable artefact being at 71:14 for a single frame. There is no significant aliasing, and only small traces of background shimmer. There are no other MPEG artefacts.

    The subtitles are easy to read, but not optional - they are burned into the image, so even if you understand French you can't switch them off..

    The disc is single-sided and single layered: hence, no layer change. This is in contrast to the cover, which claims the disc to be dual layered.



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

Audio

    The only soundtrack is English Dolby Digital 2.0, surround encoded. Can't say that I see why it is marked as surround encoded, because there is no surround activity. It sounds almost entirely central, almost a pure mono mix.

    The dialogue is not all that easy to understand. Perhaps a third of the dialogue is in French, and the much of the remainder is delivered in strongly accented English. Even so, I could understand most of it. There are no visible audio sync problems.

    The score is by Tomandandy. It is a perfectly reasonable score, but nothing special.

    The surrounds and subwoofer were given little or nothing to do.



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

Extras

    The extras are mostly textual, presented in a small font which I had no trouble reading, but which might prove a little small on some displays. There's a lot of information on each page.

Menu

    The menus are static, with music over the main menu.

Biographies

Production Notes

    Six pages of notes, including explanations of some of the meanings behind the film.

Trailer (2:02)

    This is a straight-forward trailer, giving away vital plot points. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Nothing special.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of this disc has both a fullscreen and an anamorphic widescreen copy of the movie. Looks like we got the right one of the two. Otherwise, the features sound identical.

Summary

    Killing Zoe is a violent story on a good DVD.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is quite good.

    The extras include extensive text.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Tony Rogers (bio-degrading: making a fool of oneself in a bio...)
Wednesday, November 07, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDArcam DV88, using Component output
DisplaySony VPH-G70 CRT Projector, QuadScan Elite scaler (Tripler), ScreenTechnics 110. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVC-A1SE
SpeakersFront Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5

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