WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Empire Of The Sun

Reviewed In Issue 01 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson, Nigel Havers, Christian Bale

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 5
Sound Rating: 5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Warner Home Video
(Catalog Number): 11753AB
(MPAA Rating): PG
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 153
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1987
(LD Release Date): 03/01/89
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Steven Spielberg
(Screenplay/Written By): Tom Stoppard
(Story): NA
(Music): John Williams
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Norman Reynolds
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Michael Kahn, ACE
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy & Frank Marshall

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.66:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Dolby Stereo A & 70mm 6 Track Dolby
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Based on J.G. Ballard’s autobiographical novel of the same name, this film, about a young boy’s separation from his parents and incarceration in a Japanese POW camp during World War II, is an inspiring, deeply-moving human drama of survival. Side 4 contains a documentary, “The China Odyssey,” and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film.

LaserDisc Picture:
The 1.66:1 digital video transfer by telecine colorist Lou Levinson is first-rate. The transfer was personally supervised by cinematographer Allen Daviau. To match the color fidelity and balance the film was projected through an optical comparator next to the video monitor while color correcting the video transfer to the same color timed answer print that Spielberg approved for projection. This is exemplar of a state-of-the-art transfer.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack was re-recorded in a LucasArts® Entertainment THX® Sound System Theatre. The beautiful John Williams score was recorded on a soundstage at Lorimar Studios (old MGM) by Shawn Murphy. This is one of the most perfectly realized soundtrack recordings ever. The full orchestral, choral and deep bass noted organ performances are gems.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): Yes
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): Yes
(Aggressive Split Surround): No
(Center Back Surround Imaging): No
(Directionalized Dialogue): No
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition:
DVD To LaserDisc Comparison: