|Category||Action||Menu Audio & Animation
Dolby Digital City Trailer
Interviews-Cast & Crew
Universal Pictures Video
|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|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||?1.85:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
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.
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.
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.
|Surround Channel Use|
It appears as if the Region 4 version of this DVD misses out on;
© Michael Demtschyna
(read my bio)
9th November 2000
|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|