WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Angel Heart

Reviewed In Issue 30 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, Charlotte Rampling, Brownie McGhee & Stocker Fontelieu

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3
Sound Rating: 4
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Live Entertainment
(Catalog Number): LD60457-WS
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $24.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 112
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1987
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Alan Parker
(Screenplay/Written By): Alan Parker
(Story): NA
(Music): Trevor Jones
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Brian Morris
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Gerry Hambling, ACE
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Mario Kasar & Andrew Vajna
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Alan Marshall & Elliott Kastner

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.82:1

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

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Through the footsteps of its lead character, Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke)—a down-and-out 1950s Brooklyn private eye—Alan Parker’s film Angel Heart takes you on a journey of violence and murder that canvasses the forlorn streets of Harlem, smokey jazz clubs of New Orleans and ultimately to voodoo rituals in the sweltering swamps of Louisiana. Adapted from the novel “Falling Angel” by William Hjortsberg, Angel is hired by the mysterious Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) to track a missing big band singer—which leads him into the bizarre underworld of the occult. Angel Heart surfaces as one of the most visually haunting American movies that will scare you to your very soul.

LaserDisc Picture:

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): No
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(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:
DVD To LaserDisc Comparison:
The picture on both the DVD and LaserDisc is very film-like with warm, richly hued colors, natural fleshtones and deep, solid blacks. The DVD’s anamorphically enhanced vertical resolution is apparent in sharpness and detail. Chroma resolution is enhanced, as well as shadow detail and contrast, when viewed through the component video output. There is minor noise and artifacts apparent on both versions. The DVD’s anamorphic and letterbox, and LaserDisc, aspect ratios are matted at 1.82:1. The Dolby® Digital DVD soundtrack is credited as 2.0 Dolby Surround, but sounds undistinguished monaural spread to the two front speakers. The LaserDisc’s true matrix PCM encoded Dolby Surround soundtrack is wonderful. The matrix delivers a spatially dimensional soundfield experience with aggressive surround. The music score is haunting and very well recorded with a rich deep bass character and an excellent soundstage image that is spread wide and deep. Dialogue sounds quite natural, with excellent spatial integration. Bass response is deep and sounds pleasing throughout. The sound design effectively complements this unsettling experience.