All the President's Men (1976)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1976|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Alan J. Pakula|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The story opens with burglars being caught at the Democratic party headquarters in Washington. For those of you that don't know, the American Democratic Party approximates to the Australian Labor party and the American Republican Party approximates to the Liberal Party. At first glance, this seems to be somewhat of a routine break-in, except for the fact that bugging equipment was found on the burglars. Upon further investigation, a possible tenuous connection with the Republican Party is hinted at, making this burglary anything but routine - the equivalent situation in Australia was if burglars were caught inside the Labor party headquarters trying to bug the place and they were later found to be connected to the Liberal party.
The journalists persist with their investigation into this story, despite apparent roadblocks all of the way. They are pushed in the right direction by a mysterious source that Bob Woodward has on the inside of the Whitehouse, known only as Deep Throat.
As they continue to investigate, the scandal reaches higher and higher, culminating in the President himself (Richard Nixon) being implicated, and being forced to resign.
In a sense, this story is somewhat like that of the Titanic - you know what the ultimate outcome is going to be, but it is an intriguing path that you take to get there.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The movie was generally crisp and clear. Occasional scenes were a little blurry, but this was not a major problem. Shadow detail was lacking in the darker scenes, and there was some film grain apparent occasionally, but generally this transfer holds up remarkably well considering its age. The transfer appears to have been taken from an interpositive element judging by its quality.
The colour was well saturated in the outdoor scenes, but tended to be lacking in the lower lit scenes. Overall, it was satisfactory.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some aliasing, particularly in scenes in the newspaper office (the overhead lights) and some telecine wobble, which varied from being just noticeable to imperceptible. Film artefacts were generally non-intrusive, but were a little distracting at the start of the film.
I felt that this transfer had possibly been taken from two different sources, as there were truly superbly transferred scenes with excellent detail and colour saturation and no film noise, and other scenes with telecine wobble, poor colour saturation and significant film artefacts present. Fortunately, the great majority of the film was of the superior quality transfer, and only small sections of the film suffered with the wobble and film artefacts.
Dialogue was pretty much always completely clear and intelligible, even during scenes with high ambient noise. The fact that all of the sound was coming from one speaker probably contributed to this (no competition). It intrigues me to note that this movie won the Academy Award in 1976 for best sound. My, how things have progressed in the last 20 years.
I cannot specifically recall anything about the music, other than there wasn't a lot of it - it's not really appropriate to this type of movie.
The surround channels didn't exist.
The .1 channel wasn't used.
The extras on this DVD consist of still frames for the cast and crew biographies and still framed production notes. The production notes are reasonably extensive and interesting, and provide background information on Watergate and Deep Throat, but I wanted much more background information that that which was provided - this only whetted my appetite.
The video quality is remarkably good given the age of the film. It almost holds its own again some of the modern transfers. In fact, if I was comparing directly, I would have to say that this transfer is better than the current Region 4 version of Die Hard 3, despite it being 3 times older. There are only minor problems with telecine wobble and undersaturation in low lit scenes and occasionally film noise and grain is apparent. Otherwise, the transfer is superb.
The audio quality is as good as you are going to get from a mono soundtrack. Everything is clear and there is no gross distortion, but surround sound it ain't and it will never be.
My biggest criticism of this DVD is the lack of extras. If any DVD cried out for extras, this is the one. Considering the far-reaching implications of this movie (the events it depicted led to the downfall of the President of the United States), this is a movie that would be deeply enhanced with additional information.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 (95cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL).|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Yamaha B100-115SE subwoofer|