WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

At First Sight

Reviewed In Issue 33 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Val Kilmer, Mira Sorvino, Kelly McGillis, Steven Weber, Bruce Davison, Nathan Lane

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 5
Sound Rating: 4
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
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DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): MGM Home Entertainment
(Catalog Number): ML107181
(MPAA Rating): PG13
(Retail Price): $39.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 129
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1998
(LD Release Date): 04/99
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Irwin Winkler
(Screenplay/Written By): Steve Levitt
(Story): Steve Levitt
(Music): Mark Isham
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Jane Musky
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Julie Monroe
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): NA
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Irwin Winkler & Rob Cowan

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

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Blind since childhood, massage therapist Virgil Adamson (Kilmer) meets and falls in love with architect Amy Benic (Sorvino) when she visits his health spa. Certain his life would be better if he could see, Amy convinces Virgil to undergo surgery to restore his sight. But the adjustment to a sighted world that has no connection to the pictures in his mind makes Virgilís transition an extremely difficult one. Based on the story by Dr. Oliver Sacks, At First Sight focuses on a phenomena known to have occurred only 20 times in the last 200 years.

LaserDisc Picture:
The LaserDisc picture exhibits a beautiful appearance, with generally sharp and detailed images, natural color balance and good contrast and shadow delineation. Minor noise is apparent, but there are no distracting artifacts. Color fidelity is superb, with natural fleshtones, rich colors and deep blacks. The LaserDisc aspect ratio is matted at 1.85:1.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack is rather inconsistent sounding with sequences of dynamic impact and aggressive surround, then is mono directed. The discrete 5.1 soundtrack, when fully engaged, is holosonically descriptive with effective split surround delineation and extended bass enhanced with limited .1 LFE. The LaserDisc matrix PCM soundtrack nicely resolves low level ambience for an engaging soundfield experience. For the discrete version, surround energy is often not there or at too low of a level to be effective. Dialogue sounds generally natural with good spatial integration. Sound effects are often delivered convincingly, and the music score is nicely engaging and well recorded.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): Yes
(Aggressive System Surround): Yes
(Intense 25Hz Bass): No
(Deep Bass Challenging): No
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): No
(Aggressive Split Surround): Yes
(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: