Red Eye DVD Review
PictureAs with a lot of Asian discs, the picture quality can be variable. While Red Eye is still a mixed bag, it is much less obvious than some others. In some areas, like the spiritual ghost train scenes, the colours and contrasts are well defined. There are subtle tones and none of the blooming you see in low budget movies when bright and dark areas collide onscreen. There is blocking in some places along with very obvious banding in some of the portrait style shots where one of the characters is facing camera with a blank wall, or black backdrop, behind them. I couldn't see any edge enhancements whatsoever, which is just as well as detail is actually very good. I suppose that one criticism is that the two different realms are represented as differing colour pallets: green or blue for ghost realm and a high contrast bright setting for reality. Neither one has the opportunity to offer good colour range and, after prolonged exposure (like Matrix), things can get a bit muddy. Especially as the amount of colour filtering differs from scene to scene; some shots will be very blue, you will then have a period of normalcy and then another stretch of a faintly bluish scenes. This is a stylistic thing, but it can get a bit too in you face.
SoundI still hold Master and Commander as one of the best examples of sound mixing and I suspect that Red Eye would be better if the content would allow a more aggressive mix. As it is sound was superb, though I could hear no difference between the half bitrate DTS and Dolby Digital track. Both have impact and use the rear channels as well as any movie I have listened to, recently. Dialogue is clear when not badly dubbed. Some “humming” scenes are awful, the replacement voice not even remotely close to the actor's. Bass freaks will be left disappointed, but that is again a content issue. The train does sound suitably meaty, though, and some fast paced musical queues are very well done.
ExtrasThere are quite a few extras on the second disc, but all of them are in Korean. This isn't a surprise, neither is the lack of English subtitles. That does mean that I could not watch them and offer any intelligent advice. However, there will be a number (maybe quite a few) Korean speaking people reading these reviews. So I have given a score reflecting what I would normally give this kind of content on another disc. The extras, like behind the scenes and interviews are commonplace and, from what I saw, I didn't think the Koreans differed wildly from their western counterparts.
VerdictIf you stop the film after the first ending, you will think this a wonderful thing - certainly the introduction is almost the complete opposite in terms of feel and execution. However, the actual ending is so rubbish it nearly makes the whole movie senseless. Otherwise I thought the movie to be original, well balanced and unusually subtle in its build-up.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £18.59