WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Genre:Action Adventure

Reviewed In Issue 33 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Bruce Willis, Billy Bob Thornton, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Will Patton, Peter Stormare, Keith David, Owen Wilson, William Fichtner, Steve Buscemi

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 4
Sound Rating: 4.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Criterion Collection
(Catalog Number): CC1548L
(MPAA Rating): Not Rated
(Retail Price): $99.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 153
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1998
(LD Release Date): 03/99
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Michael Bay
(Screenplay/Written By): Jonathan Hensleigh & J. J. Abrams/ Tony Gilroy & Shane Salerno (Adaptation)
(Story): Robert Roy Pool & Jonathan Hensleigh
(Music): Trevor Rabin
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Michael White
(Visual Effects): Dream Quest Images, Cinesite, Tippett Studio, Blue Sky/VIFX, Computer Café, Inc. & Pacific Title/Mirage
(Costume Designer): Michael Kaplan
(Editor): Mark Goldblatt, ACE, Chris Lebenzon| & Glen Scantlebury
(Supervising Sound Editors): George Watters II
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Jonathan Hensleigh, Jim Van Wyck & Chad Oman
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Jerry Bruckheimer, Gale Anne Hurd & Michael Bay

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Panavision
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.40:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.32:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): DTS, SDDS & Dolby Digital
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital): No
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround): No
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Is Armageddon at hand? It appears so after it is discovered that an asteroid the size of Texas is 18 days from impact with Earth. NASA secures maverick oil driller Harry Stamper (Willis) and his rag-tag group of riggers for the trip to space. Both formats include unseen footage, commentary tracks, a director’s gag reel, making-of sequences with visual effects supervisors and the production designer as well as an Aerosmith video and interviews with band members. The DVD adds design drawings.

LaserDisc Picture:
The LaserDiscs exhibits good quality, with sharp and detailed images and natural color fidelity. With all the special effects, clairty is not exceptionally rendered. Otherwise, contrast and shadow delineation are superb, and all other aspects of image quality are pleasing throughout. The LaserDiscs is framed at 2.32:1.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is quite loud and busy and overall awfully "manufactured" sounding. But then this is a big budget special effects picture with elaborate sound effects, though not always sonically realistic. Fidelity is overall harsh and bright with a very forward dialogue presence that sounds ADR-processed and wanting in spatial integration. The LaserDiscs’ matrix PCM and Dolby® Digital versions will surely please; while the discrete version sounds more spatially defined with effective split surround envelopment. Bass response is powerful, especially with the .1 LFE enhancement of the discrete.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): Yes
(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: