Release Date: AVAILABLE NOW
Film Rating: /
Starring: Adrian Paul (Duncan MacLeod), Thekla Reuten (Anna Teshemka), Cristian Solimeno (The Guardian)
Screenplay by: Stephen Kelvin Watkins, Mark Bradley
Directed by: Brett Leonard
I can’t say that I ever liked Highlander. Even though it was a film of my time, I never had a chance to watch it until a few years ago. Disappointingly, it didn’t live up to my expectations considering all of the hype built around it. I picked up Anchor Bay’s release a few years back expecting to be wowed, but as I was watching it I knew it wasn’t a film for me. I had “missed” the film during its time and now I see it as a dated sci-fi appealing to its fan base. Blasphemous, I know.
But how unlucky it is for fans of Highlander to be graced with this fifth movie installment. Highlander: The Source is a straight-to-video release that reeks of TV movie quality. With poorly executed scenes, awful dialogue, and silly effects, even die hard fans of the series could not find this acceptable and save it from the series’ fallen grace.
Duncan MacLeod, the Highlander, rejects his immortal life and skills as he mourns the loss of his love life. Even though some see being immortal as a gift, he could not grow old and die or have children with her. As the world crumbles into chaos, MacLeod teams up with several other immortals to find the source of immortality. But their quest isn’t an easy one as one very powerful immortal, The Guardian, prevents them from reaching their mecca.
VIDEO QUALITY: 2/5
Shot in HD, this DVD presents a very flat, 2-dimensional image that lacks resolution of details. It can be visibly blurry in one shot and clear in the next. Not only that, but the colour timing wasn’t quite consistent either. In the city, one moment it’s a red hue to show the coming of the apocalypse, and in other shots it looks relatively normal. In the country, the night shots have the common blue hue, but again, this can change in intensity from shot to shot. The inconsistency was bothersome. Daylight is grayed, and the black levels at night are never deep. The “black bar” of the 2.35:1 image always seemed about 5 shades darker than the lowest black level in the picture.
AUDIO QUALITY: 2.5/5
To be honest, this is an unexciting 5.1 soundtrack that had the potential to be. The result is a highly compressed sound with little dynamic range. When dialogue is about as loud as the biggest explosion, you know that fidelity isn’t a concern here. Music, sound effects – everything! So disappointing. Effects are OK, but some don’t sound right. For example, during the first fight between MacLeod and The Guardian, fire burns all around. The crackling of flames sound like falling rain in all channels. I was squinting to see if it actually was raining a bit in the scene; the fire had maybe turned it to steam before it hit the ground. Effects aren’t that aggressive and there are only a handful of moments with LFE, lasting about a second with each clunk. More attention needs to be given to dialogue integration. I found the switch from on site dialogue to ADR clearly noticeable – on site tends to be thinner and “distant” sounding – with a bit more of what the room sounds like, and then ADR – closely mic’d, thick and padded – all in the same scene.
TACTILE FUN!! ZERO /
TACTILE TRANSDUCER ON/OFF?: OFF
Not worth it!
SPECIAL FEATURES: 2/5
The disc also contains trailers for other Lionsgate/Maple Pictures release films.
IN THE END...
Highlander: The Source is not a film I’ll remember for being great. It has not changed my opinion about the series and I’m not sure any other sequel will either. The lackluster video and audio quality of this release didn’t help much either. I’d recommend passing on this release.
March 02, 2008.