|Category||Thriller||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1|
|Year Released||1997||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||108 minutes||Other Extras||Cast Biographies|
Roadshow Home Entertainment
|RRP||$34.95||Music||George S. Clinton|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||5.1|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (MPEG 5.1)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
Sam Lombardo (Matt Dillon) is a guidance counsellor at a high school in Blue Bay, a swanky upper-class town somewhere in America. Many of Sam's female students are attracted to him, including Kelly Van Ryan (Denise Richards), who accuses Sam of raping her. The police investigate, led by Ray Duquette (Kevin Bacon), and Sam is taken to court. His defence attorney is Ken Bowden (Bill Murray), playing an unusually serious role for a change.
In the courtroom, we are lead to believe that Kelly Van Ryan and another girl, Suzie Toller (Neve Campbell) framed Sam because he refused to respond to their advances. The case is thrown out of court, and Sam counter sues for damages, receiving a very large pay out in a pre-trial settlement. However, as the movie progresses, it becomes clear that nothing is as it seems, and nobody is who we think they are.
This movie has the most number of plot twists that I can recall in any movie that I have seen. Initially, they are intriguing, and the movie is gripping, but right at the very end, I felt that too many plot twists were presented in too short a space of time, including three final plot twists during the end credits.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer was crystal clear and razor sharp at all times. Shadow detail was excellent, and no low level noise marred the transfer.
The colours were all well-saturated and vivid. Colour-wise, this is an excellent transfer to look at, with strong, clean colours.
No MPEG artefacts were seen. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some very minor aliasing on some venetian blinds and some very slight telecine wobble, but nothing was problematic at all. The transfer was very clean with virtually no film artefacts seen at all.
Dialogue was pretty much always clear and easily intelligible, though sometimes I had to concentrate to hear during scenes with high surrounding ambient noise. Some of the scenes were marginally out of sync, but this was never bad enough to be of significant concern, and was more noticeable because I was specifically looking for it.
The musical score was written by George S. Clinton, and has lots of attitude and aggression, and always suited the on-screen action. A few of the musical themes were a little clichéd, but this did not detract from its overall impact. Much of the movie is underscored with an aggressive, percussive musical score, well-mixed, which envelops you nicely in the movie.
The surround channels were frequently utilized for music, dialogue and special effects. An aggressive enveloping presence was created by this soundtrack, right from the very beginning, and sustained throughout almost the entire length of the movie.
The .1 channel was reasonably used for music and for effects.
The video quality is excellent with only trivial flaws.
The audio quality is excellent, with an aggressive enveloping mix.
The extras are very limited.
© Michael Demtschyna
6th January 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|