WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Raising Cain

Reviewed In Issue 02 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
John Lithgow, Lolita Davidovich, Steven Bauer, Frances Sternhagen

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2
Sound Rating: 3
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): MCA/Universal Home Video
(Catalog Number): 41285
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $34.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 91
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1992
(LD Release Date): 01/1/93
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Brian De Palma
(Screenplay/Written By): Brian DePalma
(Story): NA
(Music): Pino Donaggio
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Doug Kraner
(Visual Effects): Pacific Title & 4-Ward Productions
(Costume Designer): Bobbie Read
(Editor): Paul Hirsch, ACE, Bonnie Koehler, ACE & Robert Dalva
(Supervising Sound Editors): Jerry Ross & John Morris
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): Michael R. Joyce
(Producers): Gale Anne Hurd

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

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Dolby Stereo A
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Raising Cain features a brilliant, challenging and complex performance by John Lithgow who plays Carter Nix—child psychologist, devoted husband, loving father and a man beset with multiple personalities. His decision to take a year off to help raise his daughter is met with approval from his wife (Lolita Davidovich) until his behavior takes a disturbing turn.

LaserDisc Picture:
De Palma’s tense, delirious psycho-thriller is on the mark for the required shocks. But Raising Cain is hardly without problems with the transfer. While the images are stylishly executed on this widescreen edition’s 1.80:1 aspect ratio, the color fidelity suffers throughout. Fleshtones are unnatural with a reddish hue. The picture looks fuzzy and out of focus, as well. The scene to scene color balance varies, and is particularly noticeable in the opening kidnapping scene’s sequence in the car.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The sound does not have the impact and punch that a thriller needs to sustain disbelief, nor a particularly aggressive surround. There are the appropriate special effect rushes that heighten the thrill, but with a soften focus. The music score is nicely orchestrated and pleasant but the recording seems veiled. All this seems odd in light of the fact that the soundtrack was re-recorded in a THX® Sound System dubbing theatre.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: