Richard III (1995)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1995|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Richard Loncraine|
Robert Downey, Jr.
Kristin Scott Thomas
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Ian McKellen plays what has been described as the ultimate villain in the title role of this film. He is the youngest brother of the new ruler of England and during his struggle to make his way to the throne Richard will manipulate, betray, kidnap and murder all those that stand in his way. The movie is set in an alternative 1930s England, directly after a civil war and draws influences from the influential leaders of that time.
With a running time of just under 100 minutes, some sections of the original play have been removed to speed the pace of the movie and to accommodate the small budget of this film. The sections that remain have had only slight alterations to the original dialogue.
The screenplay was developed by both the director Richard Loncraine and Ian McKellen who had previously performed the role of Richard over three hundred times on stage in England. With his extensive insight into the character, Ian was able to work with the director to develop a screen adaptation that works surprisingly well.
The director originally had reservations when asked to make this movie, as he did not find Shakespeare's work relevant to today's audience. He was finally convinced to take on this project when he was shown an early draft of the script. Under his guidance, they were able to produce a film that will appeal to both fans of Shakespeare as well as to people who would not consider watching a traditional Shakespearean play.
The feature is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is NOT 16x9 enhanced.
The film is acceptably sharp throughout, but during darker scenes the sharpness is reduced slightly. This can be blamed on the original source material and not on the transfer. No low level noise was detected during the transfer. One concerning problem with the transfer is with shadow detail. During many darkly-lit scenes or scenes with large expanses of black, there is little detail visible. Examples of this can clearly be seen during the dance at 5:45 when the characters' tuxedos often become single blocks of black. In addition to the problems with shadow detail there is also a problem with white levels. All brightly lit objects such as lights and windows appear to be extremely bright and show no detail. Both the problems with black levels and white levels continue throughout the film and it appears as if the contrast of the transfer has been expanded, resulting in the loss of detail at both ends of the spectrum.
The colour palette intentionally appears slightly muted throughout this film and remains consistent at all times.
No MPEG artefacts were detectable during this film. Aliasing occurs at numerous points during the film, often associated with objects of high contrast. Some examples of this problem can be seen at 4:15, 21:05, 21:20 and 25:25, which proves to be mildly distracting to the viewer.
Constant film artefacts are present throughout the transfer with examples of these visible at 9:19, 9:25, 9:47, 10:43 and 11:13. A hair can be seen for a single frame at both 40:16 and 52:27 and a small amount of water damage can be seen on a single frame at 16:18. These film artefacts are slightly distracting to the viewer.
Considerable grain is present during the entire film and is more obvious during the darker scenes. The levels of grain are inherent in the original source material and are not distracting to the viewer at any time.
An English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack is included and does NOT have the surround flag encoded even though the packaging states that the soundtrack is Dolby surround-encoded. Consequently, surround mode must be manually enabled on your decoder.
The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand during the film. At no stage were dropouts or sync problems detected.
The surround channels are used for effects and music throughout, but as this is primarily a dialogue-driven film, they are used most obviously during the battle scenes.
The subwoofer is used sparingly during the film and is only highly engaged during the war scenes at both the beginning and end of the film.
|Surround Channel Use|
|DVD||Toshiba 1200, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Front left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)|
|Speakers||Front left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259|