Assault On Precinct 13

Featured In Issue 110, July 2006

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Jean-François Richet
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Dolby Digital+ 5.1, DTS 5.1
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The 2005 version of "Assault On Precinct 13" stars Laurence Fishburne as cop killer Marion Bishop and Ethan Hawke as Police Sergeant Jake Roenick. When Bishop and a group of inmates arrive in the rundown precinct during a blizzard on New Year's Eve, Roenick is less than thrilled. And the night only gets worse when an unexpected war breaks out, and he finds himself fighting on the side of those he has been trained to fight against. Based on the film written by John Carpenter. (Tricia Spears)

As with the previously released DVD, this HD DVD includes the five-minute featurette "Armed And Dangerous," which features the film's weapons specialist; "Behind Precinct Walls," seven minutes behind the scenes of the precinct building's construction with production designer Paul Austerberry; the four-minute "Plan Of Attack," with stunt coordinator Steve Lucescu, a five-minute featurette entitled "The Assault Team"; and the 13-minute "Caught In The Crosshairs." There are also five deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Jean-François Richet. Richet also joins writer James Demonaco and producer Jeffrey Silver for an audio commentary track

This new high-definition 2.35:1 HD DVD picture does an excellent job of delivering the color stylizations that enhance the gritty, edgy appearance for the storytelling. The picture can be quite dark, but shadow delineation is perfectly capable of delivering detailed visuals in the darkness. Sharpness can be exceptional, with natural definition and textures throughout. Clarity far exceeds the DVD visual experience. There is no sign of obtrusive edge enhancement or pixel breakup, for a smooth, impressive picture throughout. Viewing in a completely blackened room is recommended. (Suzanne Hodges)

In Warner's second batch of HD DVD releases, they seemed to have fixed their issues with the encoding levels, as they are more in line with both the Universal releases and typical DVDs. Dolby® Digital•Plus and DTS® Digital Surround™ 5.1-channel encodings are included on the disc, and both are exuberant, with intense dynamics and articulate dialogue, which is much more impressive on the Dolby track. Full 360-degree phantom imaging is realized throughout the presentation, with localized effects around the room, good pans, and ample low, subterranean bass (often dropping to sub-25 Hz in the front and rear channels). The LFE channel is incorporated in this bass barrage nicely, which is noticeably more refined in the Dolby track. In fact, as should be expected, articulation is improved with the Dolby track across the board. The main downfall of the DTS encoding, however, is in the dialogue, which sounds edgy in comparison to the Dolby encoding. (Danny Richelieu)