|Category||Drama||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Year Released||1996||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||143 minutes||Other Extras||Cast & Crew Biographies|
Samuel L. Jackson
Charles S. Dutton
|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 for the Hearing Impaired
A Time To Kill tells the story of a black man, Carl Lee Hailey (Samuel J. Jackson) whose 10 year old daughter is raped and left for dead by two white men in Mississippi. Carl has serious doubts about the ability of the legal system to adequately deal with these men, so he takes matters into his own hands and kills these men. As a result, he is put on trial for murder. His lawyer is Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey), assisted by Ellen Roark (Sandra Bullock). The prosecution is led by Rufus Buckley (Kevin Spacey).
The movie depicts the events of the trial and the surrounding racial hatred that it ignites. The film moves along at a cracking pace, and is marvellously shot. The attack on the little girl at the start of the film is particularly notable in that virtually nothing is seen of the attack and yet it is brutally horrifying. This is a testament to great cinematography, great editing and great sound. The acting is top rate, as is the excellent script.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. Subtitles default to ON with this disc.
The transfer was mostly crystal clear, with a few scenes a little blurry. Shadow detail was satisfactory. No low level noise was apparent.
The colours were vivid and fully saturated throughout, almost to the stage of being oversaturated at times.
No MPEG artefacts were noted. Aliasing was present in a few scenes, but not in a major way. Film artefacts were present early on in the movie, but rapidly settled down to a very acceptable level.
This disc is a flipper, with the side change occurring at 72:50. This is well placed, but as always an RSDL disc would have been preferred, particularly since subtitles default to ON on both sides of the disc and require turning off twice. I note that the Region 1 version of this disc is also a flipper.
Dialogue was generally very clear and easily audible, with a very few lines of dialogue a little hard to hear.
There were no audio sync problems with this disc.
The music is by Elliot Goldenthal and is superb at complementing the movie.
The surround channels were used extensively for frequent ambience, music and some special effects. There was very little in the way of dramatic use of the surrounds, but they were subtly active thoughout most of the movie. This provided an excellent surround experience, drawing you into the on-screen action very effectively.
The .1 channel was used effectively for the special effects and for some of the music, but didn't do a lot. Nonetheless, it was used well by this soundtrack.
The video quality is very good with only minor defects.
The audio quality is nicely enveloping.
The extras are very limited.
© Michael Demtschyna
15th February 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|