HTF REVIEW: "The Others" (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) (with screenshots)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    The Others

    Year: 2001
    Rated: PG-13
    Film Length: 104 minutes
    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Enhanced for 16x9 TV

    "There is something in this house. Something
    diabolic. Something which is not at rest"

    2001 was an incredible year for Nichole Kidman.
    With two remarkable performances in both Moulin
    Rouge and The Others, all doubts went
    to the wayside as to how talented this actress was.
    It's interesting to note that Nichole Kidman had
    to select which of the two movies she wished to
    campaign for an Oscar nomination. Though she
    decided to opt for Moulin Rouge, her performance
    in The Others is just as worthy of an Oscar nod.
    Grace (Nicole Kidman) is a wartime mother in
    an isolated part of England, looking after her
    two children under difficult circumstances.
    Confined to a darkened manor, Grace is vigilant
    about the windows being covered and the doors
    locked to prevent photosensitive Anne (Alakina
    Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley) dying from
    exposure to light. Grace vigorously tutors her
    children in religion and morals, warning them
    they'll end up in one of any number of Hells if
    they're bad.
    Did I also mention that the daughter is seeing
    dead people roaming around the house?
    The movie opens on the arrival of three new
    servants to replace those who recently left
    without warning. Soon after, the daughter
    begins to see supernatural "others" in the house.
    She reports it to her Mother only to be punished
    for telling lies. But the sightings persist and
    strange things start occurring in the secluded
    mansion amidst the fog that surrounds them.
    Though this movie has been compared to "The
    Sixth Sense", it stands on its own as a drama
    rather than a thriller. We never get any concrete
    clues as to what is happening in this film, and
    though the story certainly takes it time to
    tell its tale, everything is set up so masterfully
    that the film's final ten minute ending is a
    surprise worth waiting for.
    How is the transfer?
    One of the biggest challenges to a DVD transfer
    is special effects elements like Fog, which often
    produce artifacts. Even dark scenes produce an
    abundant amount of video noise into the picture.
    I am happy to say with all these elements in place,
    The Others comes off with perfection. Through
    its softly lensed images, the transfer remains
    clean and without any artifacts or noticeable video
    noise. It's amazing to see how this wonderfully
    warm transfer contributes to the eerie classiness
    of this film.
    My biggest complaint is the 5.1 Dolby Digital
    surround mix. Since the film has been dedicated
    to one disc (with extras put on a second), the
    soundtrack could have easily benefited from the
    addition of a DTS track which would have helped
    enhance the surround field. Though the Dolby
    Digital track sounds very clean and robust, it
    suffers from sounding too tight. There is no
    sense of sound expansion within the sound field.
    The rears channels are sparingly used, and there
    is a total lack of LFE channel activity. A horror
    thriller such as this depends on eerie sound to
    invoke fear into its audience. Except for the
    occasional sounds of slamming doors and creaking
    floor boards, the surrounds really never contributed
    to the film's eerie ambience. I firmly believe a
    DTS track would have fared better.
    Special Features
    The folks at Disney have released The Others
    as a 2-disc Collector's Series edition, arriving
    in a handsome (but bulky) package.
    Pop in the disc and you are greeted with ghostly
    light and images that sweep across the screen,
    fading into a single shot of a candle lamp burning.
    The menu selections lie beneath.
    Disc One is dedicated to the entire film.
    The only extras you will find on this disc is
    Sneak Peeks which contains trailers for
    Serendipty; Texas Rangers; Imposter; Kate and
    Leopold and Zulu Warriors. There are
    also promotional montages for Dimension Films
    and Miramax Films as well as for the film's
    original soundtrack.
    Something interesting to point out is the very
    clever method of Scene Selection for this
    DVD. A book opens up with live-action scene
    selections placed on each page of the book. By
    turning the book's pages, you come to a new set
    of scene selections. It's quite an elaborate
    addition to this DVD.
    Disc Two contains all of the film's bonus
    material with menu selections placed against an
    eerie backdrop image of Nichole Kidman.
    A Look Inside The Others is an original
    television piece produced by Dimension Films.
    Unfortunately, this piece suffers with showing
    more of the film's footage than behind-the-scenes
    footage as well as being a bit too praising of
    its own self. Otherwise, it is comprised of all
    the principal actors as well as Director Alejandro
    Amenabar talking about the film's storyline. This
    featurette only quickly touches upon the scoring,
    production design and costumes.
    (length: approx. 21 minutes)
    An interesting Visual Effects Piece touches
    upon the different chroma key layers that are
    added to a particular scene. Using multiple window
    panes, you can see the transformation of live
    action filmed against a blue screen and all the
    elements that are added in final production.
    (length: approx. 4 minutes)
    Many people would never have believed this, but
    there really is a disease related to the photosensitive
    storyline presented in the movie. Xeroderma
    Pigmentosum: What is it? explores this very
    rare disease that affects under 1,000 children
    worldwide and 150 in the United States. Meet
    Katie Mahar, a beautiful little girl who at the
    age of 6 months became an X.P. Patient, when it
    was discovered her skin was badly burned by
    outdoor brightness. Her parents describe her
    early years, diagnosis, and total disbelief that
    such a condition existed. To cope with the
    dangers, the Mahars locked their doors, switched
    to low-lighting in the household, and blocked the
    windows. All of this was a necessity in protecting
    their daughter. With lack of supporting
    organizations, the Mahers sought out other kids
    that had the same disease in order to help their
    own daughter cope, thus the creation of Camp
    , which became an immediate success
    for these children and their families.
    (length: Approx. 9 minutes)
    An Intimate Look At Director Alejandro
    Amenabar takes us on location for the first
    major piece of behind-the-scenes footage. The
    Director explains the scenes to his actors before
    yelling "Action". The piece ultimately becomes
    a montage of the Alejandro directing different
    key scenes as we watch the action behind the
    rolling cameras. One interesting above shot
    reveals that the entire house was built on a
    soundstage as we see the wooden planks that
    comprise the maze-filled rooms.
    (length: 8 minutes)
    The Others Still Gallery contains dozens
    of publicity photos from the film that you can
    easily browse through using your DVD remote.
    The film's Original Theatrical Trailer
    is also included.
    Final Thoughts
    I actually wonder why Disney chose to put
    this film on two discs. The bonus material
    is very sparse compared to other 2-disc Special
    Editions. It actually would have made more
    sense to include an extra bonus disc if only
    the extra bandwidth was used for a DTS track.
    Still, I highly recommend The Others as
    it stands as a supreme psychological horror
    film that creates an atmosphere of fear and
    foretelling danger through character, dialogue
    and setting. The film works mainly due to the
    controlled and convincing performance by Nichole
    Not to be missed!
    Release Date: May 14, 2002
  2. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

    Jul 25, 2000
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    Just yesterday I was wondering when we will see your reveiw on this film. Thanks Ron.
    I've heard a great many comments, your reveiw confirms those.
  3. Dan M

    Dan M Second Unit

    Feb 6, 2000
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    This is indeed a MUST HAVE disc if there ever was one

    I found The Others to be one of the best horror movies to come out in quite a while.

    Whatever shortcomings the dvd may have, the movie makes up for it

    IMO of course
  4. JulianK

    JulianK Supporting Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    The movie is great, but having a two disc edition with less than an hour's worth of bonus materials is pretty insulting. It also makes you wonder why it's taken so long to put together!

    Spending more than twice as long on a featurette about Xeroderma Pigmentosum than you do on a featurette about the film's special effects is a joke, right?
  5. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

    Dec 4, 2001
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    Despite the lack of a DTS track and sparse extras for such a large package, I will indeed pick up this DVD. I have never had a chance to see the film- and judging from the word of mouth, I really should have. No matter, I plan to rectify this as soon as this 2-disc set is in my hands. Thanks for the review Ron.[​IMG]
  6. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

    Mar 15, 1999
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    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    John Williamson
    Thanks Ron! I saw this masterful film in theaters and it's one of my most eagerly awated titles so far this year. Extra's, no extra's, don't really care, it's the movie itself that I want. Scary stuff.
  7. David Ruiz

    David Ruiz Second Unit

    Aug 13, 2001
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    Thanks for the review, Ron. I didn't want to purchase this DVD, because of the lack of DTS, but your review, is forcing me into buying it anyway!

    I only pray, that they won't release it next month with a DTS track, because then I'll be really angry. (Even though, I would be happy that it has a DTS track).
  8. Blaine Skerry

    Blaine Skerry Second Unit

    Aug 15, 2001
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    I've been waiting for this film since I saw it last summer. Great review, Ron. Now, if only HORROR OF DRACULA is released this year I'll be in video heaven.
  9. Aaron Croft

    Aaron Croft Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 2, 2001
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    Let me play you all a song on the worlds tiniest violen.

    This looks great! I can't wait for this DVD, I didn't catch it in the theaters, but I will buy it sight unseen.

  10. Brett C

    Brett C Second Unit

    Jul 23, 2000
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    Due to the DTS track not being present(was in the specs when announced) I'll be waiting to see if a Better version comes out in another region before I even think of picking this up. Absolutely no excuse for a DTS track not being included!!! [​IMG]
  11. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

    Jan 29, 2001
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    Missed this one theatrically, but I'll definitely be picking this one up, DTS or no DTS.
  12. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

    Feb 8, 2002
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    Didn't you say in the other thread, that you started, that you've already got the Region 3 DTS version? What more are you looking for?
  13. Oscar

    Oscar Second Unit

    Apr 1, 2002
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    Well, I loved this movie, and though i was dissapointed with the exclution of a DTS track, I will still buy it.
    And with DD tracks sounding to robust its normal.
    Great review Ron!, though many times i disagree with you on your DVD reviews.[​IMG]
  14. Paul Chi

    Paul Chi Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 23, 2001
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    I can't wait to buy this dvd. Thanks for the review Ron! I wonder why the extras are so slim and it doesn't make any sense that there no dts. Oh well!
  15. todd stone

    todd stone Screenwriter

    Dec 1, 2000
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    Awesome, I never saw this movie yet I hear it's good.
  16. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

    Oct 31, 1997
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    Normally I steer clear of horror/thriller films (weird since I read King and Barker). But my girl loves these kinds of movies so I guess I'm committed to purchasing this one. [​IMG]
  17. JulianK

    JulianK Supporting Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    According to the draft review on Doug Pratt's website (DVD Laserdisc Newsletter) there's a sticker on the wrapper of this disc that claims that the extra features run for "1.5 hours".
    It sounds to me like something substantial got dropped at the last minute, ala Dogma.
    Anyone want to bet that we won't be getting a Vista Series re-release of this sometime next year?
  18. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder

    Jul 3, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Ronald Epstein

    This is really a great film, much in thanks

    to Nicole Kidman's performance.

    It's very slow. The story takes its time

    in unfolding. Along the way, the film slowly

    builds momentum. The last 10 minutes is the

  19. Henry Colonna

    Henry Colonna Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 20, 2000
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    This is a FANTASTIC movie. I'm glad to hear the transfer was good. If you haven't seen this one, don't rent it. You'll want to watch it again and expose it to other people! This is one you'll play over and over!

    BUY IT!!
  20. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark Second Unit

    Nov 26, 2001
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    I am in the camp that could care less about DTS and extras. Just give me a good horror movie with a bare bones DVD that is well done, meaning a high quality OAR transfer and DD, and I am happy.

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