Lord Of War DVD Review
PictureThe film has been given a theatrically correct 2.35:1 aspect anamorphically enhanced for widescreen TVs picture that oozes quality. Niccol uses plenty of filters during this film, rich orange and cold blue giving rise to some contrasting colours. The reds are often bold and strong, though this tends to bring flesh tones towards the yellow side, blues on the other hand are rather thinner in nature though they never wash or bleed. The detail level is top notch holding strong edges far into the distance. Contrast and brightness are very well set with deep true blacks giving a good depth to the picture. Digitally I noticed no compression problems but there was noticeable edge enhancement in some early scenes. I was surprised to see a little print damage on such a new print and there was just a smattering of film grain visible. In all an excellent picture with only the few problems standing out because of the quality of the rest of the picture.
SoundThe only sound track on the disc is English Dolby Digital 5.1. The track has some good points, but overall is nothing more than average. It main problem is its frontal loading, the rears hardly get to shine. However the frontal separation is very good, when the rears are employed there is some nice ambiance but it never lasts for long. There is a fairly decent range, little for bass hounds to get excited about and LF effects are limited to the sporadic gun fire and explosions. One great point is the representation of distant gun fire when Yuri is on the phone to Ava, this was exceptionally realised with enough thump and echo to place it at distance. Dialogue was always clear and precise, given direction when needed and never in any danger from being drowned out. In all a satisfactory track that gets the message across.
ExtrasAlthough this is a two disc edition I just received the film disc which only contains the directors commentary extra. If the extras disc ever turns up expect an update to this section. As commentaries go Andrew Niccol's is pretty good, mixing production information with plenty of trivia there is much to learn. Such as the starling fact that it was cheaper to by real guns than prop ones for some scenes! His delivery is rather mono-tonal and there are more than a few pauses but overall this is an engaging chat.
VerdictLord of War is an intelligently written well presented open ended argument that leaves the audience to make up its own mind about the contentious material. Well acted and well presented it may be a little heavy handed in places but it never preaches, like its central character remains firmly on the fence. As a DVD package this two disc set has much to offer; with a good picture and okay sound the film is well represented and is looks to be backed up by a decent array of extras, shouldn't have trouble in finding a home this one.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £17.99
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