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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English
  Extras
  • Deleted scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Audio commentary - with director Harold Becker
  • Cast/crew biographies
  • Production notes
  • Photo gallery
  • Documentaries

Mercury Rising: CE

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 107 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

A new super-encryption technology called Mercury has been developed by the NSA and following customary protocol to test it's efficiency, the code was placed into a puzzle-book to see if any so called nerdy-hackers could crack the code. Someone did, a 9 year old autistic savant named Simon (Miko Hughes).

Simon's disability has locked him away from the everyday world. As other boys his age are out playing ball, simon is memorising road maps and cracking multi-billion dollar codes, with ease. The code, once decrypted, tells the person to ring a 1800 number and reveal the message. Nicholas Kudrow is the leader of this new project and once he finds out that the code and someone who can decrypt it is out there, has the entire family killed to protect the good old USA. Unbeknownst to the hired killer, Simon successfully hides himself only to be found by FBI agent Art Jeffries (Bruce Willis).

Art has to adapt to Simon's disability, protect him from getting killed, try to find out who's responsible, all while being suspended and restricted from speaking to anyone involved in the case. A simple task for the guy who blew up the Nakatomi building barefoot.

  Video
Contract

Another of the better transfers from Universal. The picture is a little soft at times yet can still display excellent detail and sharpness aswell. Incosistent you may say but not overly so nor emphasizable.

Color rendition is correct while maintaining a subtle blue-grey hue throughout the movie. Black levels were all perfect and the vibrancy of certain colors did show in various scenes.

I'd have to say that the transfer was indeed a little incosistent at times whether due to the encoding or the film itself which did give the image a certain cheapness to it. No offence to director or cinematographer, and I hope none was taken.

  Audio
Contract

Ahh, the use of the helicopter to show off how the sound engineer can create a surrounding environemtn with your speakers. Well, he does a good job. From the opening scene we are treated to a taste of the aggressive use of surrounds for the action sequences. Those of you that consider your setup, demo material ready, should find this soundtrack a bit to your liking.

It seemed like there were to separate audio tracks playing at once. One was a full 5.1 soundtrack with full use of all speakers and the other was your basic dialogue only track whereby everything seemed to come from direct center. Not sure if this was a problem with the encoding or the audio track itself but it was very noticeable in some scenes when all of a sudden the envelope opened up around you.

Dialogue was always clear throughout the movie yet may have needed a little more clarity in the final scenes. I could be going deaf but I doubt it.

  Extras
Contract

Making of - Watch the Mercury Rising

A semi decent 37 minute making of featurette presented in a full frame transfer with clips back to the film itself presented in 2.35:1. No matter how many times it's shown to me, I am still fascinated by how the green screen technique is used and we get to see ILM's work toward the end of this featurette. You'll notice at the end of the movie how the re-added the female character back into a scene using the blue screen technique. I would never have picked it otherwise.

Audio Commentary - by Director Harold Becker

I don't know if this guy has done commentaries before but he has alot to learn about keeping the audience awake. I learnt alot more about the movie watching the above making of than I did with this descriptive video styled commentary.

4 Deleted Scenes

4 scenes and over 8 minutes worth of deleted scenes. This section starts of with a simple explanation of why the scenes were not included and once you watch them, you feel the same way. The transfer looks like a bad VHS transfer at best.

Production Photographs

A gallery of stills from the production.

The usual suspects
Production Notes, Cast & Crew Biographies, Theatrical Trailer

  Overall  
Contract

It's a decent movie, although a little far fetched at times. The idea of a 2 billion dollar super-encryption code and a 9 year old who can decipher the code by simply reading it is a very extreme concept but then again I thought Rain man counting all the matches that fell on the floor to be borderline.


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      And I quote...
    ""
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-505 Gold
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Amplifier:
          Yamaha DSP-A1
    • Speakers:
          Peterson Labs 100Watts
    • Centre Speaker:
          Sherwood SC-60E
    • Surrounds:
          Sherwood LS-502
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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