"The Patriot": A DVD Review (and Suberbit Inquiries)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Scott Aruti, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. Scott Aruti

    Scott Aruti Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thought this was a great Colonial-era war film by the team that brought us Independence Day and Godzilla; Columbia's standard-issue Dolby Digital Special Edition DVD looks and sounds great, and has made a welcome place on my collection rack. I found out a little while back that this title was chosen for Columbia's "Superbit" remastering project, getting DTS sound and the like, but after hearing the standard 5.1 DD mix on this original release a couple of times, I felt no improvements to the Dolby system were necessary --- believe this or not.

    I brought my receiver up to "50" on the volume display (Onkyo's method of telling you "where you're at") while finishing the second half of the DVD this evening, and all I can say is wow...bullets, cannons and shouts come from all channels around you on this DD 5.1 mix; there seem to be some problems, however, such as washed out dialogue that sounds a bit too thin and hollow when the action sequences heat up...also, it seems that as the film goes on, effects get more "messy" or "crackly" sounding (the cannon blasts, etc) as compared to the beginning of the film. To really hear what this DVD has to offer your sound system, watch the scene when Gibson is attempting to free his captured son, Heath Ledger, from the British soliders...bullets zing right past your ears and even though there is no music and the sequence is quite quiet, the effects are startling....you really feel like you are there. But as I said, towards the end, it seems as though the sound loses its edge and quality; like the effects are "running out of steam" and I detected some distortion and cracking from extreme battle sequences.

    Video seems spot-on, with fleshtones, colors and landscape of the Carolina countryside accurately rendered...and beautifully so. Perhaps a SLIGHT bit of grain in a couple of scenes, but it wasnt distracting as it was on Buena Vista's "Crimson Tide" DVD.

    Has anyone seen the Patriot Superbit DVD, or heard its DTS soundtrack? Some say it improves this DD soundtrack, others say they are identical...is this DVD worth trading up for the Superbit? Is the DTS shockingly better?
     
  2. david*mt

    david*mt Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have owned both versions of the Patriot and the SB isn't that big of an improvement. The video is almost identical and the DTS is a little better but not that much so. If your happy with the non-SB then stick with it.
     
  3. Scott Aruti

    Scott Aruti Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks David; hope you enjoyed the review as well, as a fellow Patriot DVD owner.
     
  4. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,540
    Likes Received:
    177
    On my ISF'd 61" display, the Superbit does display a better picture than the original. It's not "day & night," but does show some improvement; this is similar to other Superbits I have bought.

    As far as audio track, I didn't really notice too much of a difference. For some reason I remember the highs being a bit better with the DTS track; however, I didn't really do an A/B comparison while adjusting volume so both tracks were at the same db level.

    All in all, this DVD is good demo material. The colors and cinematography are phenomenal in this movie.
     
  5. Scott Aruti

    Scott Aruti Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    "On my ISF'd 61" display, the Superbit does display a better picture than the original. It's not "day & night," but does show some improvement; this is similar to other Superbits I have bought.

    As far as audio track, I didn't really notice too much of a difference. For some reason I remember the highs being a bit better with the DTS track; however, I didn't really do an A/B comparison while adjusting volume so both tracks were at the same db level.

    All in all, this DVD is good demo material. The colors and cinematography are phenomenal in this movie."

    There were rare parts of this DVD that could have been improved video-wise; I did notice some graining and artifacting, but otherwise colors WERE beautiful. So the Superbit version probably marks these improvements.

    Could be that the highs were a bit better with the DTS; but you are right, on a whole, good demo material.
     
  6. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,540
    Likes Received:
    177
    Film grain is still present on the Superbit --- I don't have a problem with it since it's inherent in the film. I don't recall seeing any compression artifacts (though it has been a while since I watched it).
     
  7. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 1999
    Messages:
    6,017
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is what Bjoern thought. He's very anal about his video but he has a good eye for it.
     
  8. Scott Aruti

    Scott Aruti Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Film grain is still present on the Superbit --- I don't have a problem with it since it's inherent in the film. I don't recall seeing any compression artifacts (though it has been a while since I watched it)."

    Dave,

    Thank you for your reply and my apologies for the delay in getting back to you; interesting that grain still exists on the Superbit version; I have never seen the SB disc, so thats why I reached out to all of you good folks who may have seen it....perhaps I was mistaken about the compression/artifacting. I do remember grain, though, yet this doesnt take away from the fact that some Carolina landscape looked gorgeous on this DVD.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Scott Aruti

    Scott Aruti Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Shane for the link....
     
  10. Jeff(R)

    Jeff(R) Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 14, 1999
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    0
    I originally saw The Patriot in a theater that had SDDS and thought that the sound during the battle sequences (and throughout the film) was spectacular. I'm going to watch the DVD later today (it's been an annual July 4 event.)

    Jeff
     

Share This Page