Turbulence II: Fear Of Flying

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Details At A Glance

Category Action Menu Audio & Animation 
Dolby Digital City Trailer 
Theatrical Trailer 
Interviews-Cast & Crew 
  • Control Tower Stunt
  • Humour & Terror
  • The Plane Set
  • Character Twists
  • Rating
    Year Released 1999
    Running Time 96:30
    RSDL/Flipper No/No
    Cast & Crew
    Start Up Menu
    Region 4 Director David Mackay
    Universal Pictures Video
    Starring Craig Sheffer 
    Jennifer Beals 
    Tom Berenger
    Case Transparent Amaray
    RPI $36.95 Music Don Davis

    Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s) 
    English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 224Kb/s)
    Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
    16x9 Enhancement
    Theatrical Aspect Ratio ?1.85:1
    Macrovision ? Smoking Yes
    Subtitles None Annoying Product Placement No
    Action In or After Credits No

    Plot Synopsis

        I was dreading previewing Turbulence II: Fear Of Flying. I was not overly impressed with Turbulence, and expected Turbulence II to follow the general rule of sequels. My dread was enhanced by the fact that this particular movie was a direct-to-video release in the US and will be the same here in Australia. Fortunately, it turned out to be not at all bad, and quite an enjoyable action thriller. Sure, you will need to suspend disbelief at times, and sure, some of the dialogue is overly cheesy, but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to, not least due to the extremely enveloping and aggressive audio track that accompanies the movie which sucks you in and helps with the suspension of disbelief. For an action movie, I certainly have seen plenty that are worse than this one.

        The movie opens with a Fear-Of-Flying session aboard an aircraft simulator where we are introduced to our main characters. The Fear-Of-Flying class is scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to San Francisco on a 747 in business class along with an assorted array of shady characters, from the obvious Russians to the less obvious suspects. Several red herrings are thrown at us before the real villains are declared, with the object of their desire being a bomb containing Sarin nerve gas. It is up to our heroes, in this case the Fear-Of-Flying alumni lead by Martin (Craig Sheffer) and Jessica (Jennifer Beals), to save the day.

        Whilst there are no real surprises in this movie, and there are some dreadful plot holes if you stop and think about them, Director David Mackey keeps the pace of the action sufficiently rapid that these problems do not overly worry you, and you are happy to just go along for the ride.

    Transfer Quality


        This is the second Universal Pictures Video DVD authored in Australia that I have seen, the first being Two Hands. In this case, this DVD was authored by IML Digital Media and again I previewed a pre-production DVD-R. Other than a few minor cosmetic menu changes, the disc I previewed will be the same as the final production DVD.

        The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of exactly 1.85:1. It is 16x9 enhanced. Oddly, the opening credits are cropped to a ratio of approximately 2.10:1, but as soon as the movie proper begins at 3:12, the matting returns to 1.85:1. I was unable to locate any information on the original aspect ratio of this production, but saw no reason to doubt that it was 1.85:1. Scene composition appeared intact at this aspect ratio.

        The image is nicely sharp and well-defined, with sharp and clear foregrounds and lots of detail visible in the backgrounds of images. Shadow detail was excellent and there was no low level noise. In short, this transfer looked exactly as a transfer of a movie with reasonable production values shot in 1999 should look.

        Colours are accurately and consistently rendered, with a nice uniformity about the overall saturation of the movie. There were no episodes of oversaturation and no episodes of undersaturation, and neither was there any colour bleeding.

        No MPEG artefacts of any note were seen. I noted two instances of what appeared to be motion blur, but failed to take note of the times that these occurred. These artefacts may well have been present in the original source material. No aliasing was seen at all throughout the entire course of this transfer, and film artefacts were also notable by their absence.

    Video Ratings Summary
    Shadow Detail
    Film-To-Video Artefacts
    Film Artefacts


        There are two audio tracks on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 5.1 and English Dolby Digital 2.0. I listened to the excellent English 5.1 soundtrack.

        Dialogue is extremely clear and easy to understand at all times, even during scenes where high levels of ambient sound competed with the dialogue. There were two brief instances of distorted dialogue; one at around the 53 minute mark and one at around the 72 minute mark. The odd instance of ADR was obvious at times. Audio sync was never a problem with this soundtrack.

        The music was composed by Don Davis and was, if anything, better than the movie deserved. Driving and aggressive, the music gave each scene the appropriate dose of excitement and tension, and the movie would have been nothing without its score.

        The surround channels were extremely aggressively used by the soundtrack from the word go. Ambience, music and special effects kept the soundfield completely enveloping throughout the entire movie, placing you right in the middle of the on-screen action. The almost over-the-top soundtrack is a highlight of this DVD, and is one reason why this movie is more enjoyable than it otherwise would have been.

        The .1 channel was also aggressively used by this soundtrack to support all manner of sound effects, explosions, bangs and crashes. If anything, the .1 channel was a little over-used, as occasionally it called attention to itself with an over-the-top sound effect.

    Audio Ratings Summary
    Audio Sync
    Surround Channel Use


    Menu Animation & Audio

        Extensive and appropriate menu animation and audio is present throughout the entire menu structure. The menu theme is very high tech, and this is consistently rendered throughout the entire menu structure. The only minor criticism of this very stylish menu structure is that sometimes the menu highlight is not immediately obvious.

    Theatrical Trailer

    Cast & Crew Interviews

        These are standard electronic press kit interviews, presented unusually in that all participants' responses to particular questions are spliced together. I thought that this approach to presentation of these interviews was much better than the standard 10 - 30 second snippets that are the norm.

    R4 vs R1

        I was unable to locate any on-line reviews for the Region 1 version of this DVD, and was only able to locate 3 partially conflicting references to the extras on this DVD on Region 1 DVD websites.

        It appears as if the Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;

        However, counterbalancing this, it is possible that the Region 1 version of this DVD may miss out on;     Unfortunately, due to a lack of online information about this title, the 16x9 enhancement status of the Region 1 version of this title is unclear, with the weight of evidence indicating that it may not be. The bottom line is that I cannot make a definitive recommendation on the preferred version of this title at this time.


        Turbulence II: Fear Of Flying is a much better movie than I thought it would be, with a great, immersive audio track and a very impressive video transfer. It is well worth at least a rental.

    Ratings (out of 5)


    © Michael Demtschyna (read my bio)
    9th November 2000

    Review Equipment
    DVD Loewe Xemix 5006DD, using RGB output
    Display Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 16:9 mode, via the RGB input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.
    Audio Decoder Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Denon AVD-1000 DTS AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials and the NTSC DVD version of The Ultimate DVD Demo Disc.
    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; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer