|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||94:36 minutes||Other Extras||None|
Warner Home Video
Jason Scott Lee
|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||
English for the Hearing Impaired
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.
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.
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.
The video quality is good, but could have been better.
The audio quality is very good.
The extras are non-existent.
© Michael Demtschyna
22nd June 1999
|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|