WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Genre:Action Adventure

Reviewed In Issue 32 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Stellan Skarsgård, Sean Bean, Skipp Sudduth, Jonathan Pryce

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 5
Sound Rating: 5+
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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Includes audio commentary by John Frankenheimer, an alternate ending and the theatrical trailer.

DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): MGM Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): ML107602
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 121
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1998
(LD Release Date): 4/99
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): John Frankenheimer
(Screenplay/Written By): J.D. Zeik & Richard Weisz
(Story): J. D. Zeik
(Music): Elia Cmiral
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Michael Z. Hanan
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Tony Gibbs, ACE
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Paul Kelmenson
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Frank Mancuso, Jr.

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Super 35
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.40:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): DTS Digital 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:
In this taut action thriller, Robert De Niro plays a modern-day Ronin—a term given to disgraced Samurai warriors forced to wander the countryside looking for work as a protector or hired assassin. Before the end of the Cold War, De Niro’s character was an international undercover agent. No longer needed, he, and a group of other “Ronin” have become covert mercenaries who sell their deadly services to the highest bidder.

LaserDisc Picture:
The 2.35:1 picture is outstanding in every aspect of picture quality, exhibiting the same transfer as the LaserDisc reviewed in Issue 31. Color fidelity delivers a cold stylized effect, with accurate fleshtones, natural colors, and solid blacks. Shadow detail is revealing of visual information in even the darkest scenes. There is no distracting noise or artifacts.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The DTS® Digital Surround discrete 5.1 soundtrack distinguishes itself with a smoother sonic quality compared to the Dolby® Digital and better delineated split surrounds. Further, low level ambience is better defined. The soundstage is effectively mood-setting with dynamic orchestral recording. Bass extension is excellent, with added .1 LFE.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): Yes
(Aggressive System Surround): Yes
(Intense 25Hz Bass): Yes
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): Yes
(Aggressive Split Surround): Yes
(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:
DVD To LaserDisc Comparison: