|Year Released||1994||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||106:49||Other Extras||Biographies - Cast & Crew
John C Reilly
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 384 Kb/s)
German (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Polish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
Czech (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
Whilst the basic premise of the story is quite original, what really makes the whole film work is the wonderful setting in the Rockies and the hands on approach from the cast. This comes across as totally believable and even though the ending is probably a little too predictable, the little story twists along the way and the river itself keeps the interest level very high. The performances of the cast are very strong indeed, and the whole thing has been well crafted by director Curtis Hanson. Meryl Streep comes across completely convincing and it is difficult to believe that she does not do this sort of rafting all the time in real life.
The transfer is at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
Overall, the transfer is superbly sharp and wonderfully detailed, with no loss of focus even during the white water sequences on the river. Shadow detail is very good indeed, and this is superlative stuff indeed.
Colours are beautifully rendered, and wonderfully vibrant. Some may argue about the lack of vividness in the distance shots of The Rockies, but to my mind the transfer wonderfully captures the muted distance look that I remember well of the area. There is no hint of oversaturation and this comes across as a completely natural balance of the colour throughout.
There were no MPEG artefacts noted. Video artefacts comprised some very minor aliasing, and most noticeably some foreground shimmer at 77:27; this is the only significant problem in the transfer, but even this is not that distracting. No other video artefacts were noted. This is quite a clean transfer and there were very few film artefacts to disturb the enjoyment of the film.
This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change at 51:48. The change is barely noticeable and is not at all disruptive to the film.
There are seven audio tracks on the DVD. The default is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, the other options being: German Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound, French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound, Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 surround sound, Polish Dolby Digital 2.0 and Czech Dolby Digital 2.0. I listened to the English default.
The dialogue was very clear and easy to understand at all times.
Audio sync was not a problem with the transfer at all.
The music score by Jerry Goldsmith is quite superb and complemented the film very well indeed. This is a fine example of one of the better film music composers around, and exhibits some of the best atmosphere music you will ever hear in a film. This is one occasion that I truly regret not having a separate music soundtrack.
The surround channels were well used during the film, especially during the sequences through the various rapids. The balance was pretty well spot on throughout and there is some wonderful detail in the soundtrack. This is demonstrated again in the opening credits - check out the train horn - and continues throughout the film.
The bass channel was a very active during the rapids sequences of the film, but at no stage did this become overpowering.
The overall video quality is very good indeed, with only a few minor problems denying this reference stature.
The audio quality is superb, and represents one of the best atmospheric soundtracks out at the moment.
The extras were not exactly thrilling, but at least an effort is made.
© Ian Morris
2nd September 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|