WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Genre:Action Adventure

Reviewed In Issue 34 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello, David Paymer, Bill Duke, Deborah Kara Unger, John Glover, William Devane, Lucy Alexis Liu, Jack Conley, Kris Kristofferson

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): Paramount Home Video
(Catalog Number): LV336323-WS
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $34.98
(Running Time In Minutes): 101
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1998
(LD Release Date):
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Brian Helgeland
(Screenplay/Written By): Brian Helgeland & Terry Hayes
(Story): NA
(Music): Chris Boardman
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Richard Hoover
(Visual Effects): NA
(Costume Designer): Ha Nguyen
(Editor): Kevin Stitt
(Supervising Sound Editors): NA
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Stephen McEveety
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Bruce Davey

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Super 35
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.40:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.32:1

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

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Based on the novel “The Hunter” by Richard Stark, Payback stars Mel Gibson as Porter, a hard-boiled career criminal who is out to settle a score. Left for dead by his partners after they double-cross him and rob him of his cut of $70,000, Porter wants revenge. Our tough but lovable anti-hero will stop at nothing to get his money back—and he doesn’t want a dime more than what he is owed!

LaserDisc Picture:
The images are intentionally hard edged and colors are desaturated for a stylized appearance. Sometimes, the picture appears almost black-and-white, but image quality is nicely balanced and solid. The 2.32:1 LaserDisc picture exhibits excellent quality with sharp and detailed images, though may have a soft appearance on larger home theatre displays. The imagery is very artistic and intriguing.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The Dolby® Digital 5.1 discrete soundtrack sounds manufactured though at times holosonically dimensional. The music score is dynamic and expansive with excellent depth and stereo imaging. Even the oldies sound great. Sound effects are at times quite dimensional, especially street scene sounds such as the "L" tracking across the split surrounds and up the side walls of the soundfield. Explosions are effectively impactful with deep and powerful bass enhanced with aggressive .1 LFE. Dialogue is the least natural element with a closed-miked Mel Gibson who sounds chesty and equalized, though the other character voices sound natural and often are nicely integrated spatially.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz): Yes
(Aggressive System Surround): Yes
(Intense 25Hz Bass): Yes
(Deep Bass Challenging): Yes
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield): Yes
(Aggressive Split Surround): Yes
(Center Back Surround Imaging): Yes
(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: