WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Genre:Action Adventure

Reviewed In Issue 32 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Charles Cioffi, Christopher St. John, Gwenn Mitchell, Drew Bundini Brown

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 2
Sound Rating: 1.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): MGM Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): ML106774
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 100
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1971
(LD Release Date): 2/99
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Gordon Parks
(Screenplay/Written By): Ernest Tidyman & John D.F. Black
(Story): NA
(Music): Isaac Hayes
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Emanuel Gerard
(Visual Effects): NA
(Costume Designer): Joe Aulisi
(Editor): Hugh A. Robertson
(Supervising Sound Editors): Lee Bost & Hal Watkins, CAS
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Joel Freeman

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.75:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.70:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Mono Sound
(Theatrical Sound): Optical Mono
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Based on the novel by Ernest Tidyman, Shaft stars Richard Roundtree as the suave, tough-as-nails New York private eye. He’s hired by Harlem mobster Bumpy Jonas (Gunn) to rescue his kidnapped teenage daughter. Shaft discovers that there is a plot by Italian Mafia kingpins to take over some of the Black Underworld’s uptown territory which might explain the kidnapping. Shaft’s police detective friend Victor Androzzi (Cioffi), alerts him that there is more going on with Bumpy than meets the eye. One of the highlights of the movie is Isaac Hayes’ Oscar®-winning song The Theme From Shaft. Can you dig it?

LaserDisc Picture:
The picture, sourced from a print, is extremely out of focus and lacks fine detail and definition. Color fidelity is generally natural, but the picture is poorly contrasted and seems slightly dark. Exterior scenes are more naturally rendered, while interiors appear plugged-up with muddy colors. There is excessive noise, grain and artifacts throughout. The aspect ratio is 1.70:1.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is undistinguished monaural that sounds compressed, distorted and harsh.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): No
(Aggressive System Surround): No
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(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: