WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Genre:Action Adventure

Reviewed In Issue 21 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Christopher Lambert, Roxanne Hart, Clancy Brown, Sean Connery.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 4.5
Sound Rating: 4.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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The producers have included extensive supplementals such as the original theatrical trailer, running audio commentary by director Russell Mulcahy and producers Peter Davis and William Panzer, numerous production photos, and a still-frame presentation of the evolution of the film from scripting to casting and on to production and release, featuring notes and letters, script revisions and reviews.

DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Republic Pictures
(Catalog Number): 25895
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $69.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 116
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1986
(LD Release Date): 9/1/96
(THX® Digitally Mastered): Yes

Credits Information
(Director): Russell Mulcahy
(Screenplay/Written By): Gregory Widen
(Story): NA
(Music): Queen & Michael Kamen
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Allan Cameron
(Visual Effects): Optical Fim Effects LTD
(Costume Designer): NA
(Editor): Peter Honess
(Supervising Sound Editors): NA
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): E.C. Monell
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Peter Davis & William Panzer

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 Digital
(Theatrical Sound): Dolby Stereo A
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Highlander is an epic fantasy-adventure tale of Scottish near-immortals fighting to the death for a mythical prize. Connery, cast as an Egyptian/Spaniard, and Lambert, a Scotsman, battle against a similarly eternal, but evil-spirited nemesis, The Kurgan (Brown). They feel pain but can not die except by decapitation. The saga begins in 1536 and spans four centuries ending in modern day New York City.

LaserDisc Picture:
Both the picture and sound quality on this THX®-quality assured release surpasses any previous release, even the original theatrical experience. The picture, matted at 1.82:1 and mastered from the original theatrical interpositive, is vibrant with excellent color fidelity, natural fleshtones, and deep, solid blacks. The imagery is visually exciting and beautifully atmospheric. Noise is virtually non-existent, but scattered artifacts are visible throughout.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack was completely remixed from the original six-track magnetic stereo masters and sweetened to a new digital 5.1 discrete master and then Dolby® AC-3® encoded. The sound design fully utilizes the 5.1 palette with an expansive soundstage and aggressive directional positioning of sound effects in the discrete surrounds. The bass extension is deep and powerful even at 25Hz and below. The soundstage wraps back to the surrounds and provides excellent soundfield integration and side wall imaging. The music is a combination of haunting electrified orchestral sounds and heavy rock by the group Queen. Their rendition of “New York, New York” is unusually different. Nonetheless the music mix is expansive with excellent soundstage imaging. The ending scene’s swirl of incredible three-dimensional soundfield effects is impressive. The matrix version delivers bass just as deep and powerful and in some scenes more so than the discrete. Dialogue is equally excellent on the matrix with no discernable difference. This is an excellent disc to discern differences in fidelity between severe date-reduced AC-3 and non-compressed PCM. Violins sound strident and metallic in the Dolby Digital rendering, while sounding truer to their natural timbre in PCM. Since the master is the same the differences are in coding technology.
(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: