|Category||Action||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Year Released||1992||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||99:17 minutes||Other Extras||Cast & Crew Biographies
Featurette - Behind The Scenes (6:47)
Music Video - Body Count's In The House
|Starring||Jean-Claude Van Damme
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||2.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0 ,
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 256 Kb/s)
Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 256 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, mildly|
Jean-Claude Van Damme is Luc, a soldier in Vietnam who is killed. Dolph Lundgren is Scott, his Sergeant. In Vietnam, Scott went troppo and killed all the men under his command. However, a secret military program involving the genetic modification of dead soldiers results in them both being reborn as Universal Soldiers. Emotionless, strong and calculating, they are perfect killing machines. There's just one small problem. A tense hostage situation that opens the movie paves the way for both Luc and Scott to regain some of their memories, putting them both back in Vietnam. Luc just wants to go home. Scott just wants to kill Luc and will let nothing stand in his way.
Some spectacular stunts and a few reasonable one-liners save this movie from being completely dull, but don't forget to leave your logic and your continuity at the door whilst you watch this strictly no-brainer.
This transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced. It is a superb video transfer and is of reference quality.
The transfer was razor sharp and crystal clear. Shadow detail was excellent and there was no low level noise.
The colours were strongly rendered, almost but not quite to the point of oversaturation.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Some trivial aliasing which would easily escape notice unless I was specifically looking for it was the sum total of the film-to-video artefacts. There were surprisingly few film artefacts seen given the age of the movie.
My only quibble with the transfer was that subtitles defaulted to ON.
The overall level of this movie was a little problematic. The loud sequences are very loud, and the soft sequences are very soft. I found myself adjusting the level up and down a little bit until I finally settled on listening to it at my usual reference level.
Dialogue was always clear and easy to understand, though it often had a processed, ADR sound to it.
There were no audio sync problems.
The score by Christopher Franke was your typical action movie score, and did not particularly stand out in any fashion.
The surround channel was very aggressively used for the action sequences, but was quite silent during the non-action sequences. This became mildly distracting at times, especially at the start of the action sequences, where your attention would be drawn to the very aggressive surround channel to the detriment of the on-screen action. Once the scene was established, however, it was very enveloping. Non-action sequences are strictly up-front-and-centre. Compared with a discrete 5.1 mix, sound placement was not very precise in the rear, as would be expected from a matrix mix.
The .1 channel received lots of signal from my processor and aggressively supported the action sequences without calling attention to itself.
The video quality is superb, and is of reference quality.
The audio quality is very good, and very aggressively surrounding.
The extras are reasonable.
© Michael Demtschyna
27th August 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|