• 07-21-2005, 11:08 AM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Lex,
    This is definately a 5.0 mix. All the bass has been mixed into the main, center, and surround channels. Since you are running all of your speakers as small, and sending all of the bass to a sub, you wouldn't be able to tell if your LFE was there or not. On my system(my three front channels are full range, the sub handles LFE and surround bass) the sub is definately silent, or extremely low(bass from the surrounds) and the bass in really in the mains and center.

    Your television is not overscanning, it is stretching the image to fit the screen. My toshiba does the same thing for 1:33:1 and 1:85:1 aspect ratios. I programmed it that way because I do not like grey bars, black ones yes, but not the grey ones. 2:35:1 and 1:78:1 is presented in its proper aspect ratio.
  • 07-21-2005, 11:19 AM
    Lexmark3200
    A DVD REVIEW: UNLAWFUL ENTRY - ENHANCED WIDESCREEN DTS EDITION (20th Century Fox)
    Are they smoking crack pipes over at 20th Century Fox? On the back of this fairly new edition of the Kurt Russell/Ray Liotta thriller, the languages clearly state you can choose from a DTS ENGLISH track, a 4.0 ENGLISH DOLBY SURROUND track, or FRENCH DOLBY SURROUND.....when you pop the disc in your player, the audio selection suddenly becomes "4.0 Surround" OR "DTS 5.0" Surround; when I played the DVD in the DTS mode, my Panasonic deck instantly read the track as DTS 5.1 channel; and it was EVIDENT that this was NOT a 5.0 mix like the menu stated (but not the back of the box), because there was pretty thuderous LFE in the opening sequence alone, not to mention the fact of what my DVD player's audio display read.....

    You know, Ray Liotta just seems to fit a certain genre of acting PERFECTLY, and that is one of some kind of psycho; he played Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese's mob masterpiece Goodfellas with a kind of psycho-ness, then went on to do roles in films such as Identity, Narc and Cop Land.....each showing a side of his characters he plays coming loose a bit mentally, but Liotta pulls this role off so well you cant help but laugh sometimes. He was especially creepy in the offbeat hijacking thriller Turbulence, where he was a serial killer being transported on a plane that he eventually takes over (there were since a few horrible sequels to Turbulence, none of which Liotta re-appeared in).

    But one of his creepiest roles has to be in Jonathan Kaplan's Unlawful Entry, which is not a great film by any means, nor does it exhibit "good" acting in any sense of the word really......but, for SIX DOLLARS I found this DVD at a local supermarket while I was checking out, and decided to add it to my collection, as my cousin shopping with me bought For The Boys with Bette Midler on DVD. What you get on this newer version of Unlawful Entry, for the price no less, is absolute value because the picture and sound quality are pretty top notch, but I'll get into that in a few moments.....

    Liotta plays a Los Angeles cop who becomes obsessed with Kurt Russell's wife, played by a delicious and sexy looking Madeleine Stowe, after a burglar breaks into their house in the beginning sequence of the film and Liotta and his partner are called to the home in response to the break-in. The crackhead holds a knife to Stowe's throat once he breaks into the home while Russell watches, terrified, and its a pretty stupid scene because we just dont know what the hell this guy wanted......just to feel up Russell's wife, or to rob them, or what.....once Liotta gets his eyes on Stowe, he becomes obsessed to the point that he befriends Russell only to be setting him up to get him out of the way so he could have Stowe to himself. The film's pacing builds a tension between the two men, first showing them as growing friends because Russell is so thankful to Liotta for finally catching the guy who broke into their home ---- but is also disgusted when he sees Liotta's dark side come out when he beats the guy to a pulp with his nightstick for breaking into Russell's house --- and then slowly decaying into a game of Russell being set up by Liotta in every way possible, including made-up parking fines, canceled credit cards, planting of illegal drugs in his house.....all because he really wants Stowe and Liotta in HIS sick mind thinks Stowe wants him too.

    Unlawful Entry is a crafty little thriller along the lines of Russell's other "husband in despair" picture Breakdown, as well as other thrillers like Eye For An Eye; it mixes drama with action pretty well, but it's not ever going to win any awards for groundbreaking film techniques or stellar acting. Liotta is sure over the top in this role, as was required, but he plays a psycho so well, as I said, that you have to love him. I dont think I really care for Kurt Russell, of whom I am a massive fan (as well as Liotta), in these "wimpy" husband-in-despair roles; they dont really do much for him as an actor and I think he's much better as a pumped up anti-social misfit "hero" in films like John Carpenter's Escape From New York, in his Snake Plissken character. He was also awesome in Carpenter's The Thing; I just think these roles he plays, of a yuppie who's wives are always somehow in trouble, just as he played in Jonathan Mostow's Breakdown, dont suit him too well.

    It seems Liotta's character will go to any length to get Stowe and get Russell out of the way, sending Russell to jail after planting drugs in his house, and even killing his own police partner when the partner learns of Liotta's intentions towards Stowe and threatens to rat on him to the authorities at LAPD; his character is pretty sick and twisted, and makes for a fun roller coaster ride; at six bucks, I couldnt go wrong for adding this DVD to my library. The end hand-to-hand combat sequence, which you knew was coming all along and what this motion picture leads to, between Liotta and Russell as they duke it out inside Russell's house is some of the best testosterone matchups you will see on screen; these guys beat the **** out of each other, with Russell at one point sending Liotta's head crashing into a glass kitchen counter window, and Liotta at one point smacking Russell over the head with a frying pan......OUCH! is the only reaction you'll have to that scene. It's also a clever sequence when Russell's home alarm goes off while the two of them are fighting at the end (Liotta personally had the alarm installed for Russell as they were befriending each other in the beginning), and when Liotta is asked by the security company over the phone what the password is and Liotta gets it wrong because Russell changed it, Liotta points a gun at Russell and says "Whats the password...." and Russell just looks up at him with a bloodied face and says "Seven letters *******......figure it out......**** YOU....." Its pretty damn great.

    And how hot and sexy, you male members may be asking, is Madeleine Stowe in this? Dont ask.....really, really sexy. There are scenes where she is making love to Russell in bed and we get to see her not-so-gigantic but delicious looking breasts as she bounces up and down on him in a not-so-reverse-cowgirl position; then, there are the delicuously tight skirts and high heels she is wearing throughout the film, showing off her perfect figure. Yeah, you can say I have a thing for Mrs. Stowe.....

    AUDIO SPECIFICATIONS:
    ENGLISH DTS, ENGLISH "4.0" SURROUND, ENGLISH DOLBY SURROUND, SUBTITLES IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH

    I gotta tell you, Fox really confused the **** out of me on this release; like I mentioned in the beginning, what they claim you can choose as audio options on this DVD ARENT REALLY what you can choose from the audio MENU......the audio menu claims there is a DTS "5.0" track (why you want to run any audio scheme this way I dont know) but when you play the DTS track back, there is DEFINITELY some LFE on this mix.....there is no "0" where a "1" should be when you listen; this was a suprisingly loud, crisp and aggressive DTS mix for such a drama-heavy title from Fox. From the opening sequence, all the channels wrap you into the film, and there is a DEFINITE and apparently clear thumping of bass during this opening title scene. I dont think this was a DTS "5.0" mix; it definitely was a DTS 5.1 track, and I think Fox just labeled this all wrong.

    The dialogue is crisp, the soundstage is full, and this DTS mix for Unlawful Entry sounds better than SOME action films in Dolby Digital 5.1; there is a CONSTANT sense of surround usage during the film, even just to create atmosphere such as chirping birds or nightclub ambience; the loud thudding of gunshots are also rendered VERY nicely on this mix, slamming through your center channel and then echoing properly into the surrounds, making you feel like you were right next to Liotta or Russell when they fire a gun off. Excellent work here, for this GENRE of film, by Fox.....and DONT be thrown off by the mislabeled packaging on this DTS edition of Unlawful Entry; there definitely is some LFE on this track --- it is NOT a "5.0" mix.

    VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS:
    ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN 1:85:1 TRANSFER

    One thing I noticed about Unlawful Entry is that as the film goes on, and especially towards the end, the DVD gets SLIGHTLY granier than in the beginning. Some opening shots of this DVD look downright fantastic, with flesh tones and greens of the Los Angeles palm trees jumping off the screen......then, as the film goes on, I detected VERY slight bits of grain in certain scenes, making Unlawful Entry a bit on the uneven side video-wise; this is not a bad transfer in any way, but I noticed that as the film went on, and toward the end, the image definitely got a slight bit dirtier with some modest grain. Nothing to really complain about. The 1:85:1 transfer filled my 55" Mitsubishi from top to bottom with no letterboxing; does someone want to explain the concept of overscanning again to me if you think my set is doing this on ratios like 1:85:1?

    Special Features included:

    -Director's Commentary
    -Featurette
    -Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots

    If you can find this DVD for the price I found it for, which was SIX BUCKS, Unlawful Entry makes a nice "entry" (pun intended) to your DVD collection.....the audio was stellar for this kind of film, the video was just about perfect and there were nice extras to boot. A great package for a great price.....the film itself is not that memorable, but if you already enjoy or have thrillers like Breakdown or perhaps The Hand That Rocks the Cradle or maybe even Eye For An Eye in your collection, this will fit nicely alongside those discs when you're in the mood to see an off-the-wall Ray Liotta.......not to mention a drop-dead-gorgeous Madeleine Stowe in some short skirts and high heels....

    Lord have mercy.......
  • 07-21-2005, 12:01 PM
    Lexmark3200
    "This is definately a 5.0 mix. All the bass has been mixed into the main, center, and surround channels. Since you are running all of your speakers as small, and sending all of the bass to a sub, you wouldn't be able to tell if your LFE was there or not. On my system(my three front channels are full range, the sub handles LFE and surround bass) the sub is definately silent, or extremely low(bass from the surrounds) and the bass in really in the mains and center."

    Well, I guess this kind of cleared this issue up for me because I was DAMN near confused with the packaging on this disc ---- but you say that this is DEFINITELY a 5.0 mix, yet WHY does my DVD player's display read "DTS 3/2.1 ch" as if it is READING a .1 LFE signal being present?

    "Your television is not overscanning, it is stretching the image to fit the screen. My toshiba does the same thing for 1:33:1 and 1:85:1 aspect ratios. I programmed it that way because I do not like grey bars, black ones yes, but not the grey ones. 2:35:1 and 1:78:1 is presented in its proper aspect ratio."

    I have been told countless times by our friends over at Home Theater Discussion that what is happening is OVERSCANNING indeed on my screen; my Mitsubishi does the same thing your Toshiba does for full frame (1:33:1) and ALL 1:78:1 AND 1:85:1 material --- that is, stretch to fill the screen......this is normal then?

    All other ratios like 2:35:1 and 2:40:1 contain the letterboxing on my screen........