DVD: Five Years and Still Sizzling Page 7
Sound *** Picture **½ Film ***½
(20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
For an older film (1970), this is a very nice transfer. It's a little soft in spots and has a little edge enhancement in others, but overall it's a solid effort. The 4.0-channel audio is clean but sounds a little dated. The film itself is frequently too dry and talky, but it's a serious and largely successful attempt to accurately re-create the attack on Pearl Harbor, which pushed the US into World War II, and the events leading up to it.
Total Recall: Special Limited Edition
Sound ***½ Picture ***½ Film **½
(Artisan Home Entertainment)
This effective but not very creative action movie could have been a real mind-bender, with its ideas about brain-wiping and created memories. Oh well. At least it gets a nice transfer (beware an earlier, non-anamorphic edition). The image is generally very fine, and if it isn't quite reference quality, it comes respectably close. The sound is, surprisingly, at its best in the quieter bits, turning just a little smeared as things get loud. The deep bass is more limited than you expect from this sort of film, but neither failing is enough to bring the rating down by more than a notch.
Tron: 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition
Sound *** Picture ***½ Film **½
(Walt Disney Home Video)
Tron was one of the first attempts to use computer animation in film. Appropriately, the story is about a cyberworld inside a computer and what happens to a user when he's sucked into that virtual reality. The video transfer has some pronounced grain and edge enhancement in the early, real-world scenes, but the computer scenes are often breathtaking, particularly on a big screen. The sound is remarkable—a constant stream of interesting effects, soundscapes, and effective music. SGHT's own Michael Fremer supervised the original soundtrack. The bass (and perhaps other things, as well) has clearly been enhanced for this latest video release, and it works. The film sounds as if it had been made yesterday.
Sound **½ Picture **** Film ***
(Touchstone Home Video)
Too much edge enhancement compromises the picture. The sound, however, is superb, with a moody, atmospheric quality and great bass. The music score is also very well recorded. The film itself, about a man who inexplicably survives a train crash in which everyone else perishes, is very well done but a shaky follow-up by director M. Night Shyamalan to his career-making The Sixth Sense.