Close-ups though still remain as detailed, again with flesh tones coming across well, detail in the Ford's family house from the dining table to the basement. Equally the colours used throughout this second and final act are more vibrant than the muted tones of Northern Ireland, more vibrant and certainly stronger in depth. All of the colours used show no sign of bleeding
Whites are crisp and rarely bloom but in one or two scenes you can see them creep over the borders of adjacent objects. Some figures set against these brighter scenes also exhibit some edge enhancement and although it's never intrusive you do notice it when it's there. On the lower scale blacks are pretty much spot on, adding to the shadow detail. The basement corners and the junk which reside there are easily identified, similarly the showdown between Frankie and bar owner come arms dealer Billy Burke (Treat Williams) at the deserted warehouse has good depth of field and adequate detail. Again the shadow areas in Burke's bar and back office come across well with
the blacks never being crushed.
This is an adequate transfer and on the whole looks good indeed but it does let itself down by some blooming, enhancement and inconsistent depth or the lack of it.
LFE use in the above mentioned scenes is tight and well controlled, perhaps not as deep as it could have been but not a stretch off it. Its use is handled well again for the rotor blades and the encompassing gunfire, from the initial deep crack of the small explosion to the whip of ricochet as the bullets stream around your surround field. Surround use is again in use in the busy U.S. Streets predominantly from traffic as our anti-hero wanders over bridges or Ford's cop chases down a prophylactic stealing thief. The opening track from The Cranberries, God be with You widens the front stage considerably with the strings, flute and bodhran all easily distinguished. James Horner's haunting score at times is almost lifted from Braveheart but really only whilst the action is set on the Emerald Isle. Apart from that his score again adds depth to the frontal stage.
Dialogue is always crisp and strong, if you can defocus on Pitt's Oirish accent, and the uttered word is firmly rooted in the centre channel. On the odd occassion there is some vocal panning and some of the action is taking place off screen. Additional panning between the fronts during the busy U.S. streets or some steerage between front and rear as a train passes are timely and transparent, never feeling forced. Like the video before it this track does the job well, but throughout I felt it just lacked a certain depth, didn't quite add to the ambiance which I felt the film demanded, other than that there's really little to fault.
The video transfer is good enough but not as good as other examples, the audio does its job but again could have been better and there's a distinct lack of extras. So this disc if not all that it could have been and really this sums up the film for me as well; it could have been so much more, it had so much potential which was simply wasted.
Ford and Pitt are good enough actors but here they are simply treading water, Alan Pakula has achieved far greater heights than this simple one dimensional thriller and his untimely death now of course means we will never see if he was again capable of reproducing the heights he attained in the 70s and 80s.
If you can steer past Pitt's somewhat forced Irish accent then I sure you'll be in for an enjoyable enough Saturday evening, it doesn't tax the brain too much and is relatively light viewing. A rental at best.
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.