|Category||Drama||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Year Released||1991||Commentary Tracks||Yes, 1 - Ridley Scott (Director)|
|Running Time||123 minutes||Other Extras||Alternate Ending (with Commentary)
|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)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
English for the Hard of Hearing
This movie was both controversial and acclaimed at the time it came out. Personally, I did not enjoy the story all that much, though I suspect more women than men would like this story. I found it quite depressing as the two of them sunk to lower and lower depths.
There is a major defect at 64:24, which is at the RSDL layer change (between Chapters 19 and 20). My player (Pioneer DV-505) locked up at this point and refused to proceed. The only way to continue the movie was to jump to the next chapter and reverse to 64:28, whereupon the movie would recommence. I have read reports of extreme picture breakup and pausing at this point with other players and discs, so this appears to be a pressing fault rather than a machine-specific fault. This fault is so severe that a product recall would be required for this defect alone, much less the other problems with the transfer.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. The DVD cover indicates incorrectly that this disc is formatted at an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. I believe that this transfer was created by upconverting a non-anamorphic master based on the lack of sharpness and the extreme aliasing present in this transfer. I note that the R1 version of this movie is not anamorphically enhanced.
The transfer was not particularly sharp, and was often lacking in picture detail. Black level was frequently set too high, with a resultant loss of picture detail. A large number of scenes were lacking in shadow detail. Low level noise was often apparent. All-in-all, the greyscale of this transfer is not very good. The lack of resolution leads to all diagonal lines exhibiting major degrees of jaggedness, to an extent that I have not seen in a long time on DVD.
The colours were generally well rendered and consistent throughout the movie, but were marred by other artefacts.
Some blockiness was apparent at times.
Aliasing was frequently present, and severe. All of the usual aliasing culprits caused major aliasing artefacts. In addition, many of the slow horizontal pans generated copious amounts of very distracting aliasing.The aliasing visible in this transfer is worse than that which was so severely complained about in the first release of Die Hard 3.
Film weave was problematic at times, particularly in the opening pan.
Film artefacts were excessively present.
This disc is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed at 64:24. The fact that the layer change is placed so early into this movie is testament to the degree of artefacting present on the master - this artefacting pushes the bit rate up dramatically. This layer change is particularly disruptive given that it locks up the player!
Dialogue was muffled and frequently difficult to understand. It was frequently overpowered by background music. The mix was very artificially separated into centre for dialogue and left/right for music, which made it sound poorly integrated.
There were no audio sync problems with this disc.
The music by Hans Zimmer is highly reminiscent of the time the film is set in, with a combination of bluesy music and synthesized numbers. It accompanied the on-screen action nicely, even though it tended to overpower the dialogue at times.
The surround channels were very unevenly used, with the surround presence varying from non-existent to overpowering. They were poorly integrated into the overall mix.
The .1 channel was used for the special effects, and was not well integrated with the rest of the soundtrack.
The video quality is awful with dreadfully bad aliasing marring an otherwise good picture, and a complete crash at the RSDL layer change (64:24).
The audio quality is very ordinary, with frequently difficult to understand dialogue, and overly loud surrounds which are poorly integrated into the overall mix.
The extras present are good, but the commentary track is somewhat of a let-down.
|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|