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WSR Detailed DVD Review
Near Dark
Genre: Horror

Reviewed In Issue 66 (Nov 2002) Of Widescreen Review®

Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein & Tim Thomerson

WSR Review Scores
WSR Picture Rating: 3
DD Sound Rating: 3.5
DTS Sound Rating: 3.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score: 4.5
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Special Features
Disc One of this nicely packaged trifold two-disc set includes audio commentary by director Kathryn Bigelow and a THX

 DVD General Information

(Studio/Distributor): Anchor Bay Entertainment
(Catalog Number): DV12121
(MPAA Rating): R
(Rating Reason):

(Retail Price): $29.98
(DVD Type): DVD-9/DVD-5
(Widescreen Edition): Yes
(Full Screen Edition): No
(Anamorphic Widescreen): Yes
(Running Time In Minutes): 94
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Regional Coding): 1
(Theatrical Year): 1987
(Theatrical Release): Yes
(Direct-To-Video Release): No
(DVD Release Date): 09/10/02
(THX® Digitally Mastered): Yes

 Credits Information

(Director): Kathryn Bigelow
(Screenplay/Written By): Subscribe Now!
(Story): Subscribe Now!
(Music): Subscribe Now!
(Director Of Photography): Subscribe Now!
(Production Designer): Subscribe Now!
(Visual Effects): Subscribe Now!
(Costume Designer): Subscribe Now!
(Editor): Subscribe Now!
(Supervising Sound Editors): Subscribe Now!
(Re-Recording Mixers): Subscribe Now!
(Executive Producers): Subscribe Now!
(Co-Producers): Subscribe Now!
(Producers): Subscribe Now!
(Academy Awards): Subscribe Now!

  DVD Picture Information

(Principal Photography): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!
(Measured DVD Anamorphic Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!
(Measured DVD Letterbox Aspect Ratio): Subscribe Now!

  DVD Sound Information

(DVD Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Sound): Subscribe Now!
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack): Subscribe Now!
(DTS Bit Rate): Subscribe Now!
(Dolby Digital Bit Rate): Subscribe Now!
(Additional Languages): Subscribe Now!
(Subtitles): Subscribe Now!
(WSR Superb Sound Qualities): Subscribe Now!

  WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:

DVD Picture:
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD exhibits a picture that has a dated character and appears somewhat washed out. The picture is quite dim throughout, visually supporting the subject matter. Contrast seems a bit low, limiting detail. Colors can have a slight greenish tinge, but otherwise appear slightly muted. Images are generally sharp, but detail and definition are limited. The source element appears to be quite clean, with few artifacts. There is some minor pixelization and occasional edge enhancement. (Suzanne Hodges)

The 5.1 soundtrack is a remastering effort from the original 1987 production, and offers ample, generally subtle to moderate spatiality, much of it carried by the music. The fidelity is somewhat dated, noticeable more so in the music. The dialogue sounds quite natural and is presented at a rather comfortable listening level. The subtle presence of peripheral effects serves to create an effective sense of envelopment all around. The music also sometimes has a noticeable low-end presence, denoted by some .1 LFE content. The DTS

  WSR DVD-ROM Review
DVD-ROM Enhancements Rating:

DVD-ROM Review:
This non-InterActual feature does not have much to offer in ways of DVD-ROM. After opening the folder for your DVD-ROM drive, double clicking the file screenplay.htm will load an HTML page containing a picture that says Near Dark on it. Clicking on the picture will open an Adobe Acrobat file containing the screenplay for the film. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat, a free viewer can be found at The screenplay is laid out like a paper-bound screenplay that you would receive as an actor in the film, just digitized onto your computer. Each page can be viewed and printed using the Acrobat software. The only real way of watching the film while reading the script would be to print it up, because the software is not capable of playing DVD video while the script is viewed. Going back to the DVD-ROM folder, and double clicking the screensavers folder will give you an option of Windows or Mac. Select the appropriate operating system you are using, and you will be able to install the screensavers onto your system. You must have an unziping program on your computer and a minimal amount of free space to install the screensavers. These two screensavers are definitely the highlights of the DVD-ROM features, and are a conglomeration of different images and sounds from the movie. Constant background music is featured on both screensavers, which can be turned off, and they are exited by clicking the Quit button instead of just moving the mouse or pushing a keyboard button. It is lucky for Near Dark that the screensavers were so well created, or it would have joined the ever-growing list of Disappointing titles. Those two screensavers still do not make this a "must try," and I really can not say they make it a "try it if you have nothing else better to do," because odds are nothing better may just be better. (Danny Richelieu)