WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review


Reviewed In Issue 23 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker, Jeffrey DeMunn & Robert Duvall

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): Touchstone Home Video
(Catalog Number): 8296 AS
(MPAA Rating): PG
(Retail Price): $39.99
(Running Time In Minutes): 123
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1996
(LD Release Date): 1/9/97
(THX® Digitally Mastered):

Credits Information
(Director): John Turteltaub
(Screenplay/Written By): Gerald DiPego
(Story): NA
(Music): Thomas Newman
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Garreth Stover
(Visual Effects): Sony Pictures Imageworks
(Costume Designer): Betsy Cox
(Editor): Bruce Green, ACE
(Supervising Sound Editors): Mark Mangini
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Charles Newirth & Jonathan D. Kane
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Barbara Boyle & Michael Taylor

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Panavision
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 2.39:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 2.32:1

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

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Travolta as the well-liked, kindhearted mechanic George Malley, who, on the night of his 37th birthday, is struck to the ground unconscious by a mysterious light. When he comes to, he realizes he has developed amazing mental and telekinetic abilities. At first, his small Northern California town marvels at the miracles George performs—languages within minutes, earthquake predictions—but soon his incredible knowledge and power causes even his long-time friends to turn away. George soon comes to realize, through this wondrous experience, what is important in his life and the lives around him.

LaserDisc Picture:
The Panavision® scope frame is 2.32:1. The picture exhibits excellent color fidelity with rich and warm colors, natural fleshtones and deep solid blacks. Although sharp and detailed, with excellent contrast and shadow detail, slight noise and artifacts are apparent.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack has a “manufactured” quality with the prominent ADR-produced dialogue that is poorly integrated spatially and wanting in resolution and naturalness. Sound effects are produced in stereo and surround envelopment is both subtle and aggressive. In the first bar scene when the Travolta character is touched by the extraterrestrial force, the bass extension is very deep and powerful, especially so in the Dolby® Digital .1 low frequency effects channel. The music score is wonderful and well recorded with an expansive soundstage, with superior imaging rendered in the discrete version. Other than the slight differences in imaging and the occasional absence of a signal in the discrete surrounds, the two versions are very similar. The PCM matrix version often renders a more enveloping and aggressive surround presence and is preferred during those occurances. Nonetheless the discrete version is wonderful with a quieter, more distinct effect.
(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: