Forest Warrior (1996)
Menu Animation & Audio
|Year Of Production||1996|
|Running Time||93:01 (Case: 97)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Aaron Norris|
Beyond Home Entertainment
Roscoe Lee Browne
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Pan & Scan||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Unknown||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Chuck Norris has made some truly atrocious films in his time, and his brother, Aaron, has directed a few of them, including this family action adventure, Forest Warrior. The sad part of this equation is, whether you believe me or not, the simple fact that the film makes just as much sense whether you are completely lucid, or whether you're in an altered state of consciousness such as I am in right now (and I am not making that up just to explain away the typos).
The film begins with a group of small children having a legend recited to them by one of the town elders, the exact name of which I forget. In essence, the legend revolves around a man who lived in 1875 and married a Native American woman (the term "Indian" is used in this film, dating it). This man, known in the film only as McKenna (Chuck Norris) is eventually killed while bringing medicine home to his wife, and legend has it that his spirit remains within the woods, ready to defend the woods and those who treat them with the respect they deserve.
It sounds pretty thin in writing, and the gloss (or lack thereof) of this production does very little to fatten it, although this may well be a good thing considering that this film is very much designed with the very young children of the 1990s in mind. In any case, when the group of children go camping in the forest one day, we learn that a former local by the name of Travis Thorne (Terry Kiser) wants to log the forest for a quick profit, and damned if anything simple like ecology is going to get in his way. Along the way, a few mild scares and some very low-level action propels the story along to a clichéd but strangely satisfying ending that makes some rather interesting use of CGI.
The users of the IMDB think very little of this effort, with 79 voters giving Forest Warrior a decidedly unencouraging rating of 4.6 out of ten. Admittedly, the production values and scripting are very poor, with the whole film having a made-for-television feel that seems pervasive in all the films Chuck Norris lets Aaron get involved with. Still, if you have children who are aged between eight and twelve, and they've already viewed every Doctor Who disc currently available, then this might keep them amused for an hour and a half.
While this film is never going to knock anyone's socks off, the transfer it receives is surprisingly good even if it is nothing out of the ordinary.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and it is obviously not 16x9 Enhanced. Definitive information about the original aspect ratio of this film is not easy to come by, but the cramped scene compositions on offer here would suggest that it has been cropped from a slightly wider ratio, probably 1.85:1 or thereabouts.
The sharpness of this transfer is more than adequate considering the low production values of the film. Much of this film consists of bright greenery, obviously shot with the intent of capturing the forest's natural beauty, and this is reflected in the resultant transfer. The shadow detail is good, but not great, which is just fine when you consider that less than ten minutes of the film takes place in subdued lighting. There is no low-level noise in this transfer.
The colours in this film generally consist of dull earth tones contrasted with bright green foliage, although Chuck Norris' costume certainly throws an interesting variation into the mix. The transfer renders the colours in this film without any smearing, bleeding, or composite artefacting.
MPEG artefacts were not immediately apparent in this transfer, which looks strangely smooth and natural a lot of the time despite the aforementioned production values. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some noticeable aliasing, usually on car grilles or greenery, with the grilles on the front of the four-wheel drive at 78:35 faring the worst. Film artefacts were found in lengthy bursts towards the beginning and end of the film.
There are no subtitles present on this disc, so viewers with hearing impairments are sadly out of luck.
There is only one soundtrack on this DVD: the original English dialogue, rendered in unspectacular Dolby Digital 2.0 with a bitrate of 224 kilobits per second. I briefly lamented the lack of an audio commentary in which someone at least tried to explain what they were trying to accomplish here, and set about listening to this soundtrack.
The dialogue is very clear and easy to understand. This is very much a dialogue-driven film, with little in the way of sound effects to distract the viewer, so there are few places where the rest of the soundfield even thinks about overwhelming the dialogue. There were no perceptible problems with audio sync.
The music in this film is credited to Bill Elliott, and while it is appropriate for the film, it is otherwise wholly unremarkable.
The surround channels are not used by this soundtrack, which is hardly surprising given how little there is in the way of ambient or directional effects here. The stereo separation of this soundtrack creates a mildly immersive soundfield, however.
The subwoofer was not specifically encoded into this soundtrack, although it did receive mild amounts of redirected signal to support a few effects here and there.
|Surround Channel Use|
The menu features some well-produced animation and a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. It is not 16x9 Enhanced.
This one minute and forty-three second trailer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This disc does not appear to be available in Region 1 at this time. There is a Region 2 version available in the UK, but reliable reports indicate that this version has been censored in order to obtain a PG rating. Reliable information on how the Region 2 disc is otherwise specified seems hard to come by, but it looks as though both discs are equally bare-boned.
Forest Warrior is a Chuck Norris film. Certainly not the worst thing he has ever done, but a long way from his best work.
The video transfer is good.
The audio transfer is okay.
The extras are very sparse.
|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||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NSC-120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|