Dog Soldiers DVD Review
PictureOffered in both 16:9 and 4:3 aspects this transfer does not, in all honesty, have an awful lot going for it. Where to start? The colour palette is decidedly muted, consisting mostly of the greens and browns of the Scottish Highlands. This presumably was the intended look, giving the image a dark and dirty tone to match its theme. The image on occasion appears heavily processed, exhibiting all manner of nastiness. Grain, noise and compression artefacts being nothing if not consistent in their on screen appearance.Now listen carefully, this release is as good an example as to the evil's of Edge Enhancement as I have yet come across. At times I felt the halos around the cast and environment had the staring role, no kidding! Yet for all this attempted sharpening the image displays only mediocre fine detail throughout. One can only assume that either the source was of such hideous quality that this was necessary, or it was YTS trainee day when this was done.
SoundNot much on offer here either I am afraid. The 5.1 stream has neither awe-inspiring frequency nor dynamic range. Whilst the dialogue channel is perfectly intelligible, the remaining channels are bit-part players only. Having no real depth or width, the soundstage is pretty uninvolving with no sense of real presence. Just occasionally we are treated to discrete channel effects in the gunplay moments but that's about it.Two additional points worth noting are that the Dolby Digital stream is surprisingly quiet, I found I was having to push reference level's (0db) to get anything approaching mildly loud. By reckoning it was maybe 15db down on releases such as Underworld! Secondly and perhaps more prominent, is that for general soundstage presence I preferred the (Pro-Logic flagged) Dolby Digital 2.0 stream with Pro-logic2x overlaid. This brought a far more involving listen with a wider and far deeper soundstage, (abeit with the loss of discrete effects) with little in the way of losses to the dynamic range (or lack of)Good film shame about the picture/audio quality then.
ExtrasOn this single disc release we have a full-length audio commentary by Producers David Allen and Brian O'Toole. This is quite interesting in both content, and by the fact that these are both Americans. This highlights the obvious U.S involvement that is not apparent on-screen and the ever-present language barrier between both our “English” speaking nations. The content of the commentary is both interesting and humorous and well worth a listen. Next a reasonably interesting 20 minute untitled featurette, which includes both Cast and Crew members giving there thoughts on the movie. Finally 2 Trailers, one International and one Domestic, are included.
VerdictI feel quite happy in scoring this highly, regardless of the frankly poor image quality, the barely average audio quality and the lack of anything other than bare bones extras. What we have is a great film that shows it is possible to enter the fantasy genre without the need for huge CGI budgets. A good commentary and a reasonable featurette can also be considered as plus points.There can't be many of you out there who have yet to see this, but for anyone with the slightest patience for werewolf themed movies then this is an absolutely worthwhile addition to the genre.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £29.99