WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review


Reviewed In Issue 24 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Thora Birch, Vincent Katheiser, Dirk Benedict, Gordon Tootoosis, Duncan Fraser, Ben Cardinal & Charlton Heston

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 3.5
Sound Rating: 3
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Columbia/TriStar Home Video
(Catalog Number): 80206
(MPAA Rating): PG
(Retail Price): $34.95
(Running Time In Minutes): 109
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1996
(LD Release Date): 3/9/97
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Fraser C. Heston
(Screenplay/Written By): Andy Burg & Scott Myers
(Story): NA
(Music): Reg Powell
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Douglas Higgins
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Rob Kobrin
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): Gordon Mark
(Producers): Carol Fuchs & Andy Burg

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography):
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.39:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.35:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): SDDS (8) Digital
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
A spiritual wildlife adventure, Alaska tells the story of 13 year-old Jessie (Thora Birch) and 15 year-old Sean (Vincent Kartheiser), as they challenge both nature and themselves on a death-defying mission through the Arctic wilderness. The teenagers, who are saddened by the recent death of their mother find themselves searching a treacherous mountain range for their father, whose plane went down on a mercy air flight. Along the way, they free an orphan polar bear cub from a poacher (Charlton Heston) who pursues them on their search.

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture is framed at 2.35:1 and exhibits good color fidelity with beautiful colors and imagery, natural fleshtones and deep solid blacks. Images are sharp and defined, although sometimes exhibiting a soft quality and shadow detail is good. Slight noise and artifacts are apparent throughout.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is terrific with a wonderful music score that is expansive with excellent imaging and fidelity. Ambiant sound effects are presented in stereo with both a subtle and aggressive surround presence. Dialogue, while natural sounding, leaks slightly into the two stereo channels creating a slight delay effect that is distracting. This is unfortunate and probably a matrix encoding phase error.
(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: