Striking Distance

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Details At A Glance

Category Action Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City
Year Released 1993 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 98 minutes Other Extras None
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region 4 Director Rowdy Herrington

Columbia Tristar
Starring Bruce Willis
Sarah Jessica Parker
Dennis Farina
Tom Sizemore
Robert Pastorelli
RRP $34.95 Music Brad Fiedel

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 2.0 
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 )
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1    
Macrovision Yes    
Subtitles English

Plot Synopsis

    I always get a little concerned when I read the blurb on the back of a movie and I see phrases like "from the producer of L.A. Confidential" or "from the Creator of Scream" or "from the Best Boy of Star Wars" since it usually means the movie is not very good, and needs to associate itself with a good movie in order to get people to go and see it. Even though Striking Distance has been lumbered with the "from the producer of L.A. Confidential" phrase, it isn't all that bad as far as action thrillers go. There are some amazing stunts, including a breathtaking car chase to start the movie off, and some great water-borne stunts later on in the movie.

    The basic premise revolves around a serial killer, whose identity remains unknown, but whom disgraced cop Tom Hardy (Bruce Willis) is convinced is a fellow Pittsburgh police officer. That's about the plot in a nutshell. Throw in a few good supporting performances from Sarah Jessica Parker as one of Tom's partners and Dennis Farina as the Chief Of Police and you have your movie. Fortunately, the movie moves along at a cracking pace, never allowing you to get bored with what is basically a pretty flimsy plot.

    Don't expect this movie to change your life, but if you are looking for a good, spectacular action movie to show off your home theatre system, then this comes recommended.

Transfer Quality


    I have been spoilt lately, with a number of nearly perfect video transfers. This is no exception. Virtually faultless, this just misses out on a reference rating by a whisker.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. I noted one scene where a lower line of captioning was slightly cut off by the picture framing, which implies that marginally incorrect framing was used for this transfer, but there were no other framing problems noted.

    The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear, and really excellent looking for a 1993 movie. Shadow detail was spot on at all times. No low level noise was apparent.

    The colours were perfectly rendered, except for one scene towards the very end of the movie which looked marginally washed out.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some trivial aliasing very occasionally, but once again, Columbia Tristar have shown that they have this artefact well under control. Film artefacts were pretty much non-existent. Early on in the film, there were three very brief skips in the video stream, almost as if frames had been cut, but this did not occur beyond the 10 minute mark in the movie.


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD - the default English Dolby Digital 2.0, surround-encoded, and a French Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded track. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded soundtrack.

    Dialogue was always very clear and easy to understand.

    There was a slight audio sync problem with Bruce Willis' dialogue in a scene between 40:29 and 41:00. Dennis Farina's dialogue during this scene was much more on the ball, so this is either an ADR problem, or Bruce's dialogue was changed at some stage for this scene.

    The music by Brad Fiedel was frequently present, and very reminiscent of the late 80s and early 90s. It suitably accompanied the on-screen action.

     The surround channel was reasonably aggressively used for music and for special effects, which were almost omnipresent throughout the entire movie. It is a very enveloping soundtrack, even though it is only a matrix mix.

    The .1 channel, whilst of course not specifically encoded, nonetheless received lots of signal from this soundtrack with the multitude of gunshots, explosions and crashes portrayed on the screen. It was kept working for a good proportion of the movie.


    There are only very limited extras on this disc. Some limited production notes are present on the inside front cover of the DVD but not present on the disc itself.


    The menu design is a standard Columbia Tristar menu. Functional, but virtually devoid of features. It is not 16x9 enhanced.

Theatrical Trailer

    This is present, presented at an aspect ratio of 4:3, non-16x9 enhanced and with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, which sounded mono.


    Striking Distance is a surprisingly good action thriller, which is worth at least a rental, if not a purchase.

    The video quality is virtually reference quality.

    The audio quality is superb for a matrix mix.

    The extras present are very limited.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
7th February 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