|Category||Thriller||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Year Released||1989||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||108:13 minutes||Other Extras||Cast & Crew Biographies
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Yes (?Pan & Scan)||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||2.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Italian (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.85:1||
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
To me, this rather formulaic erotic thriller was neither thrilling nor erotic, but rather a tired rehash of plots we have seen before. Al Pacino's Frank comes across as simply bad tempered and a bad loser, and I failed to be convinced that any woman would continue to see him after the way he continually mistreated Helen. One thing I will say in its favour however, is that the obligatory twist at the end was quite unexpected.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4:3), which is modified from the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. It appears to have been Panned & Scanned rather than transferred Open Matte, but in the absence of a correctly framed widescreen version, this remains unclear.
The transfer was very grainy throughout, with subsequent loss of picture detail. Some of the scenes suffered from an excessively high black level, making them seem overbright compared with the rest of the movie. Shadow detail was very ordinary, with no details revealed in the considerable shadow of this movie. A small amount of low level noise marred the picture, but not badly so.
The colours were somewhat washed out, though not to the extent that Twins suffered from.
There were some MPEG artefacts seen in some of the backgrounds. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of marked amounts of aliasing during certain scenes. In particular, shots of a red brick wall were affected, as were shots of venetian blinds. There was some telecine wobble during the opening credits, but this was not too bad during the movie itself. Film artefacts were noticeably present.
Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand, though a few phrases were hard to make out. There was a significant amount of hiss present at times on this soundtrack, which was quite distracting.
There were no audio sync problems.
The score by Trevor Jones is suited to the on-screen action, and aids in adding tension to the movie.
The surround channel had limited use for music and for the occasional sound effect placed in the rear channel. Overall, it was not particularly enveloping.
The .1 channel received some signal from my processor when music was playing but was otherwise dormant.
The video quality is dated.
The audio quality is unremarkable.
The extras are limited, but what is there is nicely presented.
© Michael Demtschyna
15th July 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|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|