DVD Review HTF Review: Event Horizon Special Collector's Edition (Recommended)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by PatWahlquist, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. PatWahlquist

    PatWahlquist Supporting Actor

    Jun 13, 2002
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    Event Horizon: Special Collector’s Edition

    Studio: Paramount Home Video
    Rated: R (Strong violence and gore, language and some nudity)
    Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 enhanced for 16x9 displays
    Audio: English DD 5.1; English DD 2.0 surround; French 2.0 surround; DTS
    5.1 Surround (not listed on package)
    Subtitles: English; Spanish
    Time: 95 minutes
    Disc Format: 2 DVD-9’s
    Case Style: Keep case
    Theatrical Release Date:1997
    DVD Release Date: April 18, 2006

    In the year 2047, a rescue mission is sent out to find a missing space vessel.
    The Event Horizon was launched approximately seven years earlier as a means to
    explore deep space. On its maiden voyage, the ship disappeared near Neptune,
    never to be heard from again. Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne) and his crew
    (including Joely Richardson and Kathleen Quinlan) of the rescue ship Lewis and
    Clark are escorting Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill) on a top-secret mission. Once
    the crew revives itself from cocoon-like stasis after the 56 day long trip,
    Weir tells the crew the true nature of the mission: the Event Horizon is still
    out near Neptune and there were messages transmitted back to Earth. Weir and
    the crew of the Clark are to find any survivors and try to salvage the Event
    Horizon if possible. He also confesses he is the creator of the Event Horizon,
    and it is a ship that has the ability to “fold space” by creating black holes
    for quicker space travel. Instead of taking 100 years to travel in space, with
    the Event Horizon, it could be done in a day.

    Once the Clark finds the Event Horizon, things start to go a little crazy,
    literally. Weir and the Clark’s crew begin to hallucinate about unresolved
    guilt in their lives, and these “ghosts” apparently manifest themselves into
    reality. After some issues with the resurrection of the Event Horizon, the
    Clark finds itself leaking atmosphere into space, so the crew must repair it
    while looking for clues as to what happened on the Event Horizon. The
    hallucinations increase along with the terror level, and only a scratchy,
    cryptic ship’s log provides any clue as to what happened on the Event Horizon.
    The madness deepens, the terror and the action increase, and we are taken to an
    explosive finale that questions the psychological, metaphysical and theological
    nature of science. The movie leaves us with the question if we can go too far,
    are we ready for what we’ll find.

    “Event Horizon” has taken on a bit of a cult status over the intervening years
    since its 1997 release, and having never seen it before, I was looking forward
    to seeing what all the fuss was about. Every time I see a science fiction
    picture these days I find myself frustrated at the end of it. My first
    frustration is that no one allows sci-fi pictures to just be sci-fi pictures:
    they must be another type of picture as well, usually either a thriller or a
    horror. “Event Horizon” is a clear example of this, since it would not be
    difficult to take the basic plot of the picture and transport it to a creaky
    old house in the middle of nowhere. My second frustration is that there isn’t
    enough sci-fi pictures at all, mostly do to budgetary costs, I would assume. I
    long for the day when we can get back to the pure adventure aspects of the
    genre with exploration of exotic locales, some good space battles, and some
    exotic aliens. While your “Star Wars” movies satisfy this aspect of the genre
    they are usually labeled space opera. I believe there is a hard sci-fi script
    just sitting out there that will one day give me what I want. “Serenity” may
    have been the last great hope for the genre, and sadly, that story has ended.

    But I digress. “Event Horizon” is a hodgepodge of numerous sci-fi pictures of
    the past. I could pick out elements of “Alien”, “Star Wars”, “Star Trek”, “
    Dune”, “2001”, “2010”, “Solaris”, and it jump genres and pays homage to “The
    Haunting” and “The Shining” (which Anderson cites in his commentary).
    However, “Event Horizon” does a good job of standing on its own to provide some
    good thrills. The techno-babble stays to a minimum and the action remains
    consistent enough to keep such troublesome things as plot in the back of the
    viewers mind. The stunts and effects are standard in this day and age and most
    of the action takes place in the cramped and claustrophobic confines of the
    Event Horizon. The actors turn in passable performances, and nothing really
    distinguishes the crew from one another except for their race or sex.
    Fishburne shows a little bit more in his no nonsense intensity, and Neill does
    the same displaying his increasing madness.

    The picture is correctly framed at 2.35:1 and it is an anamorphic transfer. It
    exhibits excellent color fidelity with its balanced and wide ranging colors.
    Colors are often muted in some scenes to enhance the creepiness of the setting,
    but then they jump to life in the flashback sequences or when the technology
    takes center stage. Flesh tones are accurately reproduced as well. The
    picture shows very good detail in most of the scenes, but I did notice some
    smudging and blurring in the faster sequences. Black levels are very deep (the
    star fields are amazing), and I noticed some video noise in the darker scenes.
    At a normal viewing distance of thirteen feet away from my 92” screen, the
    video noise was barely noticeable. As you move closer it became more apparent,
    so I caution those of you who sit closer that 1.3 times screen width away you
    may find this distracting. There is some edge enhancement noticeable, but it
    is not distracting. I have to agree with the other posters on HTF: I too would
    have loved to have seen an HD transfer of this film. Hopefully Paramount will
    get it out quick once the HD releases start.

    One anomaly I noticed: there are a few scenes (such as when Miller tells D.J.
    about his friend who had died in Chapter 12 and in the beginning of Chapter 13)
    where the grates on the floor seem to jump and shimmer. In the past when I
    have seen problems with this it’s usually do to noise reduction processing, so
    that may be the case here as well. It may also be some very specific stage
    lighting whose source is just not apparent. Either way, it was noticeable and
    bears mentioning in the video evaluation.

    I was unable to find the original DVD release of this picture. I researched it
    online to find the original release was not anamorphic.

    I watched the DVD with the DTS track engaged. This 5.1 track provided an
    excellent audio experience with room shaking LFE’s. I suggest everyone be
    careful in the opening minutes of the disc as the subs get a tremendous
    workout, and there are several sound explosions that jolt the viewer out of
    their seats. The opening ten minutes or so of the film provide such a forceful
    LFE track that both of my speaker setups tended to exhibit distortion. This
    was consistent between both the DTS and Dolby Digital track. The surround
    channels are frequently engaged and provide excellent ambient and panning
    effects. To me, some of the best surround effects are barely noticeable and
    they should help to encase the viewer in the surround field. The DTS track in “
    Event Horizon” clearly falls into that category. Voices are primarily planted
    in the center channel, and they are natural sounding and clear. Michael Kamen’
    s score is also very enjoyable and it provides an excellent enhancement to the

    I also watched several scenes with the Dolby Digital 5.1 track engaged to
    compare it to the DTS track. They are very similar in their presentations, but
    as is usually the case in comparing the two, the DTS track provides more
    ambience and sense of soundstage. It is also a warmer presentation with more
    balanced bass, where as the DD track feels more mechanical.

    As noted above, I was unable to find the original DVD release of this disc.
    From what online resources I could find, this new release’s DTS track is the
    first time it’s been on DVD. The presence of the DTS track is not mentioned on
    the package for this release.

    Bonus Material:
    What an exceptional set of extras! I was not prepared for this in-depth
    analysis of this picture. All of the extras are anamorphic and in Dolby

    Feature Length Commentary by Director Paul W.S. Anderson and Producer Jeremy
    this is a pretty good commentary that reiterates a lot of what is
    heard in the documentaries.

    The Making of Event Horizon – 5 Documentaries: Into the Jaws of Darkness
    (genesis of the picture), The Body of the Beast (characters and actors),
    Liberate Tutume Ex Infernis (effects, costumes and sets), The Scale to Hell
    (model making, storyboards, visual effects, stunts), The Womb of Fear (post
    production, editing, details on the deleted scenes, test screenings, the music):
    This 103 minute documentary is split into five parts which you can watch
    all together or individually. Anderson, Bolt and numerous cast and crewmembers
    comment on the production of the picture. This is an incredibly in-depth
    documentary for what was such a minor release, initially. Each of the
    individual docs goes into significant detail with behind the scenes video and
    pictures. The cast and crew are very accommodating and excited when sharing
    their memories.

    Secrets - Deleted Scenes: Briefing Scene, and Extended Scenes: Medical Bay
    and Burning Man Confrontation (9:31):
    Unfinished scenes, some of which had
    not been seen before. They are all anamorphic, but again, they are
    incomplete. Some are in video only as that is how they were shot. Each of the
    three scenes contains commentaries with Anderson. They really add very little
    to the overall picture.

    The Unseen Event Horizon: The Un-Filmed Rescue Scene (2:52): Anderson
    narrates a storyboarded sequence that was dropped from the final film. This
    scene is referred to as “The Lucky Strike” scene where the Clark’s crew was
    going on a detour to rescue another ship. Most of the elements of this scene
    were incorporated into the final picture, but in relation to the main story.
    Also in this part is Conceptual Art (3:20), which includes conceptual
    and pre-production line art and CG art. Anderson comments as well.

    The Point of No Return (8:03): more in-depth behind the scene analysis
    of the picture. There are separate chapters: “The Revolving Corridor” (the
    fireball sequence in the revolving corridor), “The Crew Gathers” (behind the
    scenes of the cast rehearsing a scene), “Shooting Wire Work”, “The Dark Inside”
    (a little bit of a cut scene that Anderson was unable to find completed as well
    as his 31st birthday).

    Trailers: Original theatrical trailer and video trailer.

    Paramount and the director have gone to great lengths to give us an exceptional
    DVD release. We are provided with hours of bonus materials, a dynamite
    anamorphic transfer, and a DTS track that will shake the walls. While the
    story itself doesn’t leave you with a lot to think about, this is a great
    popcorn flick for a Saturday night. RECOMMENDED!
  2. DwayneH

    DwayneH Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 26, 2005
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    Thanks for the review. After reading the review I went out and bought the dvd. It has been a few years since I watched the movie but I remember liking it. Good to know it has a DTS soundtrack since the package does not list it.
  3. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

    Mar 23, 2000
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    $11.99 at FRYs
    $12.99 at Best Buy-thought they sure underestimated demand-each store only got about 5 copies, and were all gone by the time I got there Tues evening-so I took the flyer to Circuit City-they only had TWO! and got mine for$12.79

    Its just too damn bad we didnt get an extended version-the movie, as good as it was, had some greater potential.

    On another note-they could have EASILY put all the material on one DVD 9 with room to spare
    there is something like 7 Gb to all the content. Greed
  4. JonathanYu

    JonathanYu Auditioning

    Apr 22, 2006
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    I have watched it. It's terrific.
  5. David_P

    David_P Stunt Coordinator

    Dec 12, 2003
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    I'll add this comment in this thread as well... the Canadian version of the DVD includes an English DTS track as well. A good thing, as often the DTS track is ditched to make way for a French DD 5.1 track.

  6. Antony James

    Antony James Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 9, 2001
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    The bottom widescreen matte seems to be awfully high compared to the old release. The writing at the bottom of the Paramount logo is literally sitting on the matte. But there's more image on the sides, so I'm not sure what to make of the new aspect ratio.
  7. KamyarB

    KamyarB Agent

    Oct 12, 2000
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    I look forward to this dvd. Great film! I'm surprised alot of people hated it. Thanks for the review.

  8. Dan Keliikoa

    Dan Keliikoa Stunt Coordinator

    Feb 19, 2003
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    Great review!

    I'm a little disappointed that, based on your LFE comments, they must not have evened out the bass some for the this release. The first disc has bass on the magnitude of Attack of the Clones, which I actually have to adjust the LFE down because it's just overkill.

    I don't usually care for horror; I don't LIKE to be scared, startled or freaked out. But this movie is really pretty cool, so I make an exception for it. The concept of what happened to the ship on the other side freaks me out on a very deep level (shiver).
  9. David_Blackwell

    David_Blackwell Screenwriter

    Jan 30, 2004
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    Great SCE. I hope an extended cut can be put together one day once they find the missing footage that was cut.
  10. Frank@N

    [email protected] Screenwriter

    Sep 12, 2002
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    Picked one up at BB for $13 mostly on the strength of the extras.

    The movie (for me) is still way too safe and not nearly horrific enough (haven't seen it in years).

    In the extras they talk about doing three cuts, the 3rd was the weaksauce theatrical release.

    I'd love to see the 'Old Testament' cut with more Hell, slower cuts on the crew flashbacks/nightmares, more WierBeast at the end, and that amazing footage from the medical bay 'autopsy'.

    That shot (along with DJ lifting his head to speak) could have made the movie.
  11. Travis Brashear

    Travis Brashear Screenwriter

    Oct 31, 1999
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  12. Frank@N

    [email protected] Screenwriter

    Sep 12, 2002
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    For those who held out, CC is sell the CE for $10 this week.

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