WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Basketball Diaries

Reviewed In Issue 17 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruno Kirby, Lorraine Bracco, Ernie Hudson, Patrick McGaw, James Madio, Mark Wahlberg

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 4.5
Sound Rating: 4
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): PolyGram Video
(Catalog Number): 800 635 899-1
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $$34.95
(Running Time In Minutes): 102
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1995
(LD Release Date): 9/1/95
(THX® Digitally Mastered):

Credits Information
(Director): Scott Kalvert
(Screenplay/Written By): Bryan Goluboff
(Story): NA
(Music): Graeme Revell
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Christopher Nowak
(Visual Effects): NA
(Costume Designer): David C. Robinson
(Editor): Dana Congdon
(Supervising Sound Editors): Victor Iorillo
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Chris Blackwell & Dan Genetti
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Liz Heller & John Bard Manulis

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): Dolby Stereo A
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Based on the best-selling novel by Jim Carroll, Basketball Diaries is a powerful story about a basketball playing student on the championship team at a New York parochial high school who dreams of becoming a star player. He shatters his potential and dreams when he becomes caught up in the murky world of big-city drugs, desperation and self-destruction. His life spins out of control until he discovers his writing talent in the diary that he scribbles in daily—a talent that becomes his salvation.

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture is matted at 1.85:1. Fleshtones are natural and the picture is sharp and detailed, with vivid colors and deep, solid blacks. Shadow detail is excellent and there is but the slightest noise in the dark scenes, but no artifacts for a visually satisfying experience.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is conventional with the well recorded music score and the occasional sound effect providing subtle surround envelopment and spatial directionality. The dialogue is, as well, is natural sounding.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: