|Category||Horror||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Rating||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 (Species II)|
|Year Released||1995||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||104 minutes||Other Extras||Booklet|
|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)|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
English Hard Of Hearing
The basic premise of the movie is that a message has been received from outer space in response to a message we sent out to the stars. The message contains a recipe for a hybrid DNA, which, of course, we here on Earth decide to create. The scientist in charge of the project is Fitch (Ben Kingsley). Unfortunately, the creature, dubbed Sil (Natasha Henstridge) that results from this hybridization looks human on the outside, but is all nastiness on the inside, and escapes from the lab, wreaking havoc alongst its path. After all, she wants to have a baby.
An oddball team of people are gathered to recapture the creature; Press the assassin (Michael Madsen), Arden the geek (Alfred Molina), Laura the female geek (Marg Helgenberger) and Dan the clairvoyant (Forest Whitaker). They seem to be one step behind the creature at all times, which makes for some seriously gruesome visual effects. Indeed, I would have to say that the visual effects in this movie are the most gory and unpleasant that I have seen in some time - this is a positive comment, not a criticism.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced, not 1.85:1 as is stated on the packaging.
The transfer was quite sharp and clear, except for some deliberately hazy scenes. I found this transfer to be very hard to watch because of the sharpness and because of the resultant aliasing - more on this issue later. Shadow detail was good, and no low level noise was apparent.
The colours were appropriately rendered with no particular over- or undersaturation.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of frequent and significant aliasing, and even some moiré effects at times. All of the usual culprits surfaced, shimmering away, and this was quite distracting. It made the transfer difficult to watch at times. Whilst not as bad as Thelma & Louise, this was still quite a distracting artefact. I also felt there was quite significant judder during the opening titles, but this was not a problem once the movie itself started. Film artefacts were rare once the titles were over and done with.
Dialogue was usually clear and understandable, though a few sentences here and there were drowned out by ambience and music.
There were no audio sync problems with this disc.
The music by Christopher Young was unremarkable, but seemed to suit the on-screen action.
The surround channels were used for music, ambience, and for special effects, creating a moderately enveloping soundtrack.
The .1 channel was moderately heavily used to give extra punch to special effects and to music.
The video quality is only just acceptable, with significant amounts of aliasing marring the picture.
The audio quality is unremarkable, but good.
The extras present are very limited.
© Michael Demtschyna
21st March 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|