WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Crossing Guard, The
Genre:Drama

Reviewed In Issue 22 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Jack Nicholson, David Morse, Robin Wright, Piper Laurie, Richard Bradford, Priscilla Barnes, David Baerwald, Robbie Robertson, John Savage & Anjelica Huston

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 4.5
Sound Rating: 4.5
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links

Supplementals
The laserdisc features audio commentary by Penn, Morse, Huston, novelist David Rabe, production designer Michael Haller and cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond.

DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): Miramax Home Video
(Catalog Number): 7404 AS
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $39.99
(Running Time In Minutes): 111
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1995
(LD Release Date): 8/96
(THX® Digitally Mastered): Yes

Credits Information
(Director): Sean Penn
(Screenplay/Written By): Sean Penn
(Story): NA
(Music): Jack Nitzsche
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Michael Haller
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Jay Cassidy
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein & Richard N. Gladstein
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): David S. Hamburger & Sean Penn

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.80:1

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

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
The Crossing Guard is the second film directed and written by actor-turned-filmmaker Sean Penn (The Indian Runner). The story is a heartwrenching, somber drama that delivers two different sides of a drunk driving accident. Freddy Gale (Jack Nicholson) has waited six agonizing years for the release of John Booth (David Morse), the drunk driver who killed his seven year-old daughter. During that time Gail lost his wife Mary (Anjelica Huston) to another man (Robbie Robertson) and let himself become a drunk while she decided to try to put her daughters death behind her, so she could better mother their two sons. Now Booth is out of jail and ready to move on with his life, until Freddy bumbles an attempt to kill him, then promising to return in three days to even the score. An outstanding, occasionally documentary-style presentation full of mood and atmosphere, The Crossing Guard offers an intense, emotionally charged look at the breakdown of a grieving father and remorse of a rehabilitated drunk driver.

LaserDisc Picture:
The 1.80:1 matted picture is THX-quality assured and exhibits excellent color fidelity with vivid colors, deep, solid blacks and natural fleshtones. Images are sharp and detailed, contrast is excellent, and shadow detail is superb. While slight noise is apparent, there are no artifacts.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
In some sequences the matrix PCM and discrete 5.1 Dolby Digital soundtracks are dramatically different, except in the interior dialogue scenes when they are both monophonic in character. Generally the matrix version is narrower and predominately mono focused compared to the expansive and directionalized soundfield presented by the discrete version, though the PCM version is richer sounding.
(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: