WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Carlito’s Way

Reviewed In Issue 30 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Al Pacino, Sean Penn, Penelope Ann Miller.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 4
Sound Rating: 4
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links


DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Image/Universal
(Catalog Number): ID4425MC
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $49.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 145
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1993
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Brian DePalma
(Screenplay/Written By): David Koepp
(Story): NA
(Music): Jellybean Benitez
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Richard Sylbert
(Visual Effects): Pacific Data Image
(Costume Designer): Aude Bronson Howard
(Editor): Bill Pankow
(Supervising Sound Editors): Maurice Schell, M.P.S.E.
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Louis A. Stroller & Ortwin Freyermuth
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Martin Bregman, Willi Baer & Michael S. Bregman

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

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

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
In Carlito’s Way, former drug kingpin Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino), sprung from prison on a legal technicality by his cocaine addicted attorney (Sean Penn), stuns the underworld when he vows to go straight. But his dream of going legitimate is undermined at every turn by murderous former cronies and even deadlier young thugs out to make a name for themselves.

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 original LaserDisc release, reviewed in Issue 9, was Universal’s first picture digitally mastered in the THX®-quality assured program. While not credited, the LaserDisc, framed at 2.40:1, and non-anamorphic DVD, framed at 2.42:1 appears to be the identical source transfer. Contrast and overall sharpness and detail, as well as contrast, are enhanced on the DVD presentation. Color rendition is excellent with vivid, richly hued colors, natural fleshtones, and deep, solid blacks. As with the previous LaserDisc, which was rated P5, there are no apparent DVD artifacts or noise to mar the superb visual experience. By today’s standards though, the picture deserves no more than a P4.5. The original theatrical soundtrack was presented in DTS® Digital Sound. While well recorded, the matrix version (S4) does not convey the same spatial impact and dynamics as the DTS Digital Surround LaserDisc or Dolby® Digital DVD presentations. The music provides the overall surround envelopment with occasionally effective surround effects. The music is expansive with excellent imaging and fidelity. Much of the soundtrack is monaural focused and wanting in aggressive surround presence. There are no .1 low frequency effects and often extended bass response would have been effective. ADR is used extensively for dialogue, often lacking spatial integration.