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Details At A Glance

Category Action Theatrical Trailer(s) Yes, 1
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1997 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 97 minutes Other Extras Cast & Crew Interviews
Featurette - Untitled (6 mins)
Featurette - Making Of (13 mins)
Cast Biographies
RSDL/Flipper RSDL (extras)
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 4 Director Robert Butler

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Ray Liotta
Lauren Holly
Hector Elizondo
RRP $34.95 Music Shirley Walker

Pan & Scan/Full Frame No MPEG 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Dolby Digital 5.1
16x9 Enhancement Yes Soundtrack Languages English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
English (MPEG 5.1)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.85:1    
Macrovision Yes    
Subtitles None    

Plot Synopsis

    Turbulence is an action movie set on a Boeing 747-200. Ryan Weaver (Ray Liotta) is a charming serial killer, or so Lieutenant Aldo Hines (Hector Elizondo) says. Ryan is being transported back to Los Angeles where he faces death row. Naturally, Ryan escapes the federal marshals guarding him, and takes over the plane. That is, if Teri Halloran (Lauren Holly) will let him get away with it. Complicating matters is the fact that the pilots are dead, and the plane is headed for a severe electrical storm.

    A lot of people have canned this movie. I personally quite enjoyed it. It had the feel of an amusement park ride. Ray Liotta is a very one-dimensional bad guy, and some of the stunts were too outrageous, and there were numerous gaping plot holes, but I managed to suspend my disbelief almost the entire way through the movie and just enjoyed the audio-visual experience. If you are looking for a deep and meaningful plot, look elsewhere. If you are looking for something to entertain you with excellent visuals and great audio, look no further.

Transfer Quality

    It is important to note that this disc was held back from release for some six months because Roadshow Home Entertainment discovered an incompatibility with DVD-ROM drives after the discs had been pressed. They finally decided to release this disc with a prominent warning sticker on the front cover. This disc will not work in DVD-ROM drives, but it is fine on stand-alone players. There are no plans at this stage for this disc to be remastered.


    The video transfer of this movie is very good with virtually no faults. It is almost, but not quite, reference standard.

    The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer was very clear and very sharp at all times. Shadow detail was generally excellent. Very small amounts of low level noise marred the picture ever so slightly at times.

    The colours were nicely balanced and perfectly saturated throughout.

    No MPEG artefacts were seen. I did not spot any significant film-to-video artefacts. There were a few scattered film artefacts - mainly white flecks - here and there, but these were minor and non-intrusive.

    The movie has a total running time of 97 minutes (incorrectly stated on the packaging as being 101 minutes).

    This disc is an RSDL disc. The layer change does not appear to occur during the movie. I believe that the layer change separates the movie from the extras. Hence, it is completely inobtrusive.


    There are two audio tracks on this DVD. The default is English Dolby Digital 5.1. There is also an English MPEG 5.1 audio track. I listened to the English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

    Dialogue was mostly clear and easily understood in this movie, though a few words here and there are drowned out a little by the music and the special effects.

    There were no audio sync problems with the movie.

    The musical score was written by Shirley Walker. It is a score which accompanies the on-screen action nicely and significantly enhances the overall impact of the movie.

     The surround channels were used moderately heavily for music and special effects. The overall effect is to create a reasonably enveloping soundfield.

    The .1 channel was used moderately heavily.


    There are the usual collection of Roadshow Home Entertainment extras on this disc. The extras are all presented windowboxed at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 (4:3), 16x9 enhanced and with MPEG 2.0 audio only.


    The menu design is an older-style Roadshow Home Entertainment menu. Scene selections are text-based only.

Theatrical Trailer

    The theatrical trailer is present on this disc, with an MPEG 2.0 soundtrack. It is presented at an aspect ratio of 4:3, windowboxed.

Featurette - Making Of

    A much better than average, though uncommented, 13 minute featurette is present, with a number of shots of behind the scenes action. In particular, a lot of shots of the gimbals used to create the turbulence and the aircraft movement are shown, which are very interesting to look at.

Featurette - Untitled

    This is a typical Roadshow Home Entertainment 6 minute featurette intercutting the theatrical trailer, interviews, and behind the scenes footage. It is a little bit above average in its quality.

Cast & Crew Interviews

    These are along the usual Roadshow Home Entertainment line of questions with short snippets for answers. Menu navigation is of the old style, and quite awkward. There are a lot of interviews, with a number of them extending to a second page of questions. This is not immediately obvious from the menus. Once again, there are a number of very brief answers which would have been better combined into a single question.

Cast Biographies

    Detailed Cast Biographies round out the extras on this disc.


    I liked Turbulence. I could forgive the obvious plot holes and just enjoy the ride. If you have a DVD-ROM, however, this disc is not for you.

    The video quality is near reference quality.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The extras are standard Roadshow Home Entertainment fare, though a little better than usual.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Michael Demtschyna
11th March 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