WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Hard Target
Genre:Action Adventure

Reviewed In Issue 08 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen, Yancy Bulter, Arnold Vosloo, Kasi Lemmons & Wilford Brimley

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 5
Sound Rating: 5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): MCA/Universal Home Video
(Catalog Number): 41824
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $34.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 97
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1993
(LD Release Date): 02/01/94
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): John Woo
(Screenplay/Written By): Chuck Pfarrer
(Story): NA
(Music): Graeme Revell
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Phil Dagort
(Visual Effects): NA
(Costume Designer): Karyn Wagner
(Editor): Bob Murawski
(Supervising Sound Editors): John Dunn & George Simpson
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Moshe Diamant, Sam Raimi & Robert Tapert
(Co-Producers): Chuck Pfarrer & Terence Chang
(Producers): Daryl Kass, James Jacks & Sean Daniel

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): DTS Digital
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Hard Target is Hong Kong action director John Woo’s rousing American film debut about the thrill of the hunt—in this case, the stalking of homeless combat veterans recruited for stalk and kill “amusement” by a sadistic mercenary (Lance Heriksen) who collects a half million dollars from the bored tycoons who engage in the hunt. International superstar Jean-Claude Van Damme stars as an ex-GI merchant sailor who comes to the aid of a woman in search of her missing father in New Orleans—who she finds has been murdered.

LaserDisc Picture:
The aspect ratio on this pristine digital video transfer is properly framed at 1.85:1. The images are extremely sharp and clean with excellent contrast and color balance for a stunning looking picture. Shadow detail is exemplary in the night scenes with well defined patches of color. Flesh tones are perfectly natural looking. There is not a trace of video noise or artifacts. This is another one of the select LaserDiscs that fulfill the promise of the format.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is superb with a consistent, although very subtle, scene-to-scene ambience and occasional punctuated sound effects in the surrounds. Sound effects and Foley are outstanding and many scenes are blazing with spectacular gunfire and powerful 40Hz bass energy in the surrounds. When heard through our Fosgate•Audionics Model Three A processor in the 70mm Wide Mode, the spatiality was reminiscent of the discrete DTS digital presentation I heard at the Mann National Theatre in Westwood on the night John Woo had singed the theatre playback levels. Dialogue is always intelligible and natural. Graeme Revell’s score is beautifully recorded. It has great stereo separation and depth.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): Yes
(Aggressive System Surround): Yes
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): Yes
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: