Supernova: Special Edition (1999)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Alternate Ending-Included as part of the deleted scenes
|Year Of Production||1999|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (50:37)||Cast & Crew|
|Start Up||Language Select Then Menu|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Thomas Lee|
Twentieth Century Fox
Lou Diamond Phillips
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
The crew consists of the aforementioned co-pilot (James Spader), a paramedic (Angela Basset), two randy medical assistants (Lou Diamond Phillips and Robin Tunney), a computer technician (Wilson Cruz) and the Captain (Robert Forster). Their job in this far distant future is to float around in space and wait for emergency calls. Exactly why they have to float in the middle of nowhere when their jobs come from a central dispatch and they hyper jump to them in a matter of seconds, I couldn't really work out, but then again, it is usually a good idea not to ask too many questions with a movie like this.
The troubles for the crew of the "Nightingale" really start when they receive a call from a deep-space mining operation. The hyper jump is made (replete with gratuitous nudity shot, because as we all know, hyper jumps must always be made in the nude), and a mysterious passenger (Peter Facinelli) is picked up, bringing with him both a mysterious object and some great pick-up lines ("You're very pretty, I haven't been around a girl in a while"). It is then up to James Spader to save the crew and the universe, all without breaking a sweat or cracking a smile.
Despite all its problems, however, Supernova is still hard to dislike. It is rather like watching the team on the bottom of the ladder receive yet another thrashing - sad, bad, but strangely enjoyable.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced.
The sharpness of this transfer drifts in and out for the entire length of the movie, with some shots being very clear and others being considerably blurred. Often shots that directly follow-on from each other will show a marked difference making it even more obvious. In general, scenes that contain added CGI based effects are clearer and sharper than the rest of the movie, but there are a number of non-effects shots that are very sharp as well. The shadow detail is exceptionally poor throughout the transfer, although this does not generally detract from the viewing. There are a few exceptions, such as the conversation between James Spader and Angela Basset from 19:05 to 19:17 during which almost all of James Spader's face cannot be made out. This transfer is free from low-level noise.
The colours are quite good, although there is a predominance of blue in the lighting and sets that can become disconcerting at times. This was a decision made by the film makers however, and not a problem with the DVD. When there are bright reds, yellows, and greens (usually in the form of lights), the transfer has no problems.
There were no MPEG artefacts to be seen in this transfer. Aliasing was also non-existent, however there was a severe case of wobble at 27:52, although whether this was a result of the film-to-video transfer or was an artefact introduced during the actual filming is hard to say due to the severity of the wobble. Film artefacts, both black and white, are constantly present throughout the transfer, as was a significant level of grain. Both of these aspects are quite disappointing when taking into account the recent vintage of this film.
This disc is RSDL formatted with the layer change occurring at 50:37, roughly half-way through Chapter 16. The change occurs during a scene transition, but is still relatively noticeable as there is no fade to black. However, it does not particularly detract from the flow of the movie in any great way.
There are 5 audio tracks. All are recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1 at the higher bitrate of 448Kb/s. The soundtracks are the original English, and dubs in German, French, Italian and Spanish.
The dialogue was generally easy to understand at all times, even over some of the louder effects noises.
Audio sync for the most part was good, but there were times when dialogue was obviously out of sync, reflecting more the use of looping than any problems with the DVD.
The score by David Williams is typical science fiction fare with eerie orchestral pieces carrying most of the movie, and action sequences backed by more expansive and higher tempo pieces. The score is not intrusive and is generally not noticed, giving a good indication that it does its job very well.
The surround channels were only used during action sequences and specific effects shots. The soundscape had a tendency to become very front-biased at times during dialogue, regardless of other action. This is a pity, as a space-ship is a good place to have creaks and other strange noises happening at all locations. Due to the sporadic nature of their use, the surrounds tended to call attention to themselves more than they should have.
The subwoofer was generally well-used, although not to the extent that could have been expected given the genre of the movie.
|Surround Channel Use|
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;
The video quality is disappointing, with a predominance of grain and film artefacts.
The audio quality is good but not great, with surround use being particularly disappointing.
The extras are satisfactory, but not brilliant.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-535, using S-Video output|
|Display||RCA 80cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)|