WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Andromeda Strain, The
Genre:Science Fiction

Reviewed In Issue 30 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Arthur Hill, David Wayne, James Olson, Kate Reid

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2.5
Sound Rating: 2
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links


DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): MCA/Universal Home Video
(Catalog Number): 13001
(MPAA Rating): G
(Retail Price): $34.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 131
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1971
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Robert Wise
(Screenplay/Written By): Nelson Gidding
(Story): Robert Wise
(Music): Gil Melle
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Boris Leven
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Stuart Gilmore & John W. Holmes, ACE
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Robert Wise

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Panavision
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.40:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio):

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Digital Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Optical Mono
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
The Andromeda Strain, from Michael Crichton’s bestselling novel, tells the fictional tale of the earth’s first biological crisis. When a satellite falls back to Earth near a remote village in New Mexico, it kills all but two of the area’s inhabitants within two days. The survivors—a baby and an old man—are quarantined, while their survival remains a mystery to be solved. Upon investigation, a team of high-tech scientists (David Wayne, Arthur Hill, Kate Reid and James Olson) discover that the satellite is carrying an unknown deadly bacteria that must be identified and eradicated before it is allowed to infect—and destroy —all human life.

LaserDisc Picture:

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
(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:
DVD To LaserDisc Comparison:
The DVD, framed at 2.10:1, is not anamorphic, and looks quite similar to the previously released, but not reviewed Laser Disc. Differences are noted in a slight improvement in sharpness and detail, though images are still wanting in definition and clarity. The DVD appears to have been created from a composite source, due to apparent NTSC motion and moiré artifacts. Color fidelity looks dated and is overly dark, with the DVD exhibiting slightly brownish fleshtones and blacks that lack true depth and definition. The LaserDisc is slightly more fully saturated for a more pleasing picture. Contrast and shadow detail are mediocre on both versions. Digital noise and artifacts on the DVD and slight noise and artifacts on the Laser Disc are apparent for a picture that is mediocre at best. Both the Dolby® Digital soundtrack on the DVD and the PCM LaserDisc soundtrack are undistinguished monaural that sound compressed.