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Details At A Glance

Category Action Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1998 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 94:36 minutes Other Extras None
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 2,4 Director Paul Anderson

Warner Home Video
Starring Kurt Russell
Jason Scott Lee
Connie Nielsen
Michael Chiklis
Gary Busey
Case Snapper
RRP $34.95 Music Joel McNeely

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Pan & Scan MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
Macrovision ?
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No

Plot Synopsis

    Soldier is a movie that is divided into two halves. During the mind-numbingly boring first half, an expressionless Kurt Russell stares into the camera and into thin air a lot. During the mind-numbingly violent second half, an expressionless Kurt Russell kills lots of other soldiers.

    Kurt Russell plays Todd, a child raised from birth to be a soldier, without normal human contact. Understandably, his emotional growth is somewhat stunted. When new genetically-enhanced replacements arrive for him and his men, he is literally thrown on the scrap heap. This makes him pretty mad, and being the sensitive new age guy that he is, when these new soldiers come to kill his newly-found friends on the scrap heap planet, he goes out and acts as a diplomatic liaison with the soldiers. His diplomatic aides come with him to help (Mr BIG GUN, Mr VERY BIG GUN, and Ms BIG BOMB). They negotiate.

    The problem with this movie is that it simply doesn't have any direction to it. It aimlessly wanders about during the first half, only succeeding in being very boring, and then it switches to action mode. Perhaps this movie would be best watched by starting at around Chapter 17 rather than wasting time with the start of the movie.

Transfer Quality


    The video transfer of this movie is not as good as I would have expected for a contemporary transfer, but is nonetheless still very good.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. The other side of the disc presents a Pan & Scan version of the movie which loses a depressingly large amount of picture.

    The transfer was sharp and clear at all times. Shadow detail was good, and there was no low level noise.

    The colour was well saturated throughout. The palette of this movie is dominated by dull browns punctuated by occasional splashes of colour from explosions, and this is well rendered on this disc.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of moderately excessive amounts of aliasing in some sections of the movie. There was more aliasing in this transfer than I would have expected, and was somewhat annoying at times. There is also some occasional judder with slow pans. Film artefacts were noticeable during the opening titles, but were otherwise absent.

    The subtitles listed on the packaging for this disc are incorrect. There are no Spanish nor Italian For The Hearing Impaired subtitles on this disc.


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD; an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and a French Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to the default English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was always clear and audible.

    There were no audio sync problems with this disc.

    The musical score was by Joel McNeely. It suited the feel of the movie but was unremarkable.

     The surround channels were aggressively used by the soundtrack for special effects and music. There are a lot of explosions and lots and lots of gunfire, all of which utilizes the full dynamic range and placement capabilities of the 5.1 soundfield. This is a very immersive and enveloping soundtrack.

   The .1 channel was heavily used supporting the soundtrack and was very well integrated into the overall mix.


    There are no extras whatsoever on this disc. The disc cover states that there is an Audio Commentary on this disc. This is not present. The disc cover also states that there are Production Notes on this disc. These are not present. Neither are Cast & Crew Biographies.

What's Missing / What's Extra

    We miss out on the following extras which are present on the Region 1 version of this disc;


    The main menu is plain and functional. It is 16x9 enhanced on the 16x9 side and non-enhanced on the other side of the disc.


    Soldier is a dud as a movie. The second half will give your audio system a good workout, however.

    The video quality is good, but could have been better.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are non-existent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Extras nil

© Michael Demtschyna
22nd June 1999

Review Equipment
DVD Pioneer DV-505, using S-Video output
Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 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