WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review


Reviewed In Issue 19 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Isabelle Huppert, Martin Donovan, Elina Lowensohn & Damian Young

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3
Sound Rating: 2.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links


DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Columbia/TriStar Home Video
(Catalog Number): 49076
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $39.95
(Running Time In Minutes): 105
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1994
(LD Release Date): 12/1/95
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Hal Hartley
(Screenplay/Written By): Hal Hartley
(Story): NA
(Music): Ned Rifle & Jeffrey Taylor
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Steven Rosenzweig
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Steven Hamilton
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Jerome Brownstein, Scott Meek, Lindsay Law & Yves Marimion
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Hal Hartley & Ted Hope

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.66:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.52:1

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:
Amateur is a film by independent filmmaker Hal Hartley (Simple Men, Trust). It debuted in May 1994 at the Cannes Film Festival and was hailed by one critic who called it “as close to perfect as any film you’ll see this year.” Comic, clever and suspenseful, the plot involves the exploitation of pornography, conspiracy and an adult film star. The story is about a man with amnesia (Martin Donovan), who while wandering the streets of Manhattan falls unconscious and is helped by a strange former nun (Isabella Huppert) who writes pornographic short stories. Together they try to discover his identity. When they uncover his checkered past, they are pursued by mysterious corporate killers and an angry porno actress (Elina Lowensohn). Though the characters deal with lies, sex and exploitation, they remain amateurs in affairs of the heart.

LaserDisc Picture:
The aspect ratio is hardly wider than the television standard at 1.52:1. Picture quality is mediocre at best with washed out, undersaturated colors, inconsistent fleshtones and soft imagery on Side 1, but Side 2 is dramatically sharper with better color fidelity.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The sound is essentially mono except for the music which provides subtle surround envelopment.
(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: