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  1. #1
    Resident DVD Reviewer
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    Apr 2002
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    1,202

    A Couple of New DVD Reviews...

    Hello again friends....let's begin with "Crimson Tide" and "Casualties Of War," both of which were the last two DVDs to add to my growing collection (since "Twister" and lets not get into that DTS debate again...)....

    Crimson Tide, one of my favorite sub films right next to Hunt For Red October and U571, looked and sounded just okay in both regards; this is by no means a mind-numbing surround experience nor does the widescreen picture of this DVD grab you by the nutsack. Disney's Buena Vista Entertainment put this DVD out and while it sounds like a standard Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, so much more could have been done here --- sure, torpedo attack sequences sounded aggressive and the bass kicks every now and then when the sub dives deep and such, but the DVD just seems like a missed opportunity in the audio department. This 5.1 audio track cant touch the 5.1 DTS track on U571.....then again, neither can most films. Still, a GREAT sub film.

    Now, Columbia's "Casualties Of War" was another story....man, was this DVD a DISSAPOINTMENT in the audio department, but I expected this, reading reviews all over the internet about the lack of surround usage. The film is great, one of my favorite Vietnam films, but the surround track is just NOT there...no gunfire from behind, no bass, no rain from behind, nothing....very dissapointing for a war drama----but I guess thats all it was, a dialogue-driven war DRAMA. But the VIDEO, man, thats ANOTHER story....this DVD looked so good and was mastered so perfectly, some scenes it seems the actors and colors are jumping off the screen in 3-D....VERY IMPRESSIVE video transfer.

    My girlfiend, who is becoming a HT enthusiast nut herself from hanging around me too much, brought over her two new additions to HER DVD collection, "Lake Placid" and "Joy Ride" and we scrutinized the audio on these films next...."Lake Placid" had a similar audio 5.1 track as "Casualties of War," which is to say, there was almost no surround usage except for a memorable scene when a helicopter blade breaks off and goes into the right surround speaker. Pretty cool. Otherwise, another wasted audio opportunity here for 20th Century Fox. Luckily, the studio makes up for it with "Joy Ride," starring Fast and the Furious' Paul Walker. In this tale of trucker revenge, the audio was top notch, with trucks blazing by from speaker to speaker, and thunder and rain crashing through the surround speakers. Not the BEST 5.1 mix, but much better than Lake Placid and Casulaties Of War.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular
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    Nov 2003
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    Margate, Florida
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    614
    Hi Lex; HBO played "CASUALTIES" some years back. I heard no surround sound from this movie, in fact it was all mono to me. I called HBO in Long Island and spoke with a tech who put a scope on the movie and said there was stereo and surround sound on the film. This guy did not know what he was talking about. You do not argue with a Mitusbushi U50 HI-Fi vcr that has a marvelous audio display of two channels. You can tell from these displays just by looking at them what is mono and stereo. I am pretty sure however that this movie is in stereo and surround sound. I recall it being played on another pay channel and it did come over with stereo and surround sound. There was a laserdisc of the movie, but I missed the opportunity to rent it some years back to check out the soundtrack.

    Two recent rentals I rented were SPY KIDS 3-D and THE RUNDOWN. I did not find these films entertaining storywise. Pict. Qual. was VG plus with fantastic colors and special effects on the 2-D version of SPY KIDS 3-D. The surround track was quite good. This movie was filmed in digital l080P which the director, Rodriguez likes to use on his films.

    The picture quality on the RUNDOWN was superb. It has a fairly aggressive surround track. The audio quality was way up there on the D.D. scale sounding something like T-3.

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