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  Directed by
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • English: Dolby Digital Surround
  • None
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Animated menus
Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 91 mins . M15+ . PAL


Has anyone else seen the American version of the (originally) Japanese film The Ring? What is it about taking an existing story and reworking either the character names or the language and little else? But anyway, the British are doing this at the moment with a swarm of gangster movies that have recently been thrown at our screens including Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch as well as last year's alternative hit Sexy Beast, Plunkett and Macleane to a certain extent, and pretty much any episode of any police drama from the BBC. Everyone knows that when you take a photocopy of something it is lighter than the original, and if you keep photocopying you end up with just a faint mark. Well this film is that final copy - nothing more than a faint mark.

After seeing an MA rated musical called Everything’s F**ked recently, course language seems second nature at the moment. Yet a friend commented on the language in this film. After hearing his remark, more attention was paid to the dialogue and it became more evident just how much swearing, and adult drug references, sexual references and just plain sick references there are in Shooters. This is definitely one to keep away from the littlies. As a parent, why would you bring your kids up to be respectable with real values then show them this crap?

But anyway... the story is fairly simple and uninteresting, and poorly executed. Gilly (Louis Dempsey) has recently been released from jail and meets up with his pal J (Andrew Howard) who has already got a new ‘job,’ a gun deal. J made this deal with their money, and in order for Gilly to get his money back he must see it through. All Gilly wants to do is get back on the straight-and-narrow, but he gets sucked in by J in order to get his money back. This starts a week of hell, with more double-crosses than you can count on a hand. See, told ya it was simple...


The video is presented in a widescreen aspect of 1.85:1 and is 16:9 enhanced.

To get started, we have some major grain problems... it appears as if a giant silo blew up near the Universal manufacturing plant when this disc was being mastered. There isn’t even this much grain in multi-grain bread! OK, so if you haven’t got it already, grain is a problem, so much so that it is highly annoying. At times, some minor compression artefacts can be seen, most notably on the scenes that have that “bread-like” appearance. Darker scenes (of which there are many) are affected mostly, with the lighter scenes having a fuzzy appearance. The grain at times leads to a softness of the picture which isn’t terribly annoying, just a brief fault in the image. On the whole, the sharpness of the picture is reasonable, but the clarity is let down by the grain.

Bright colours are generally not used in the palette of the film, yet the odd bright wash of colour is mastered with a bright precision. Blacks are reasonably black and bold, yet sadly shadow detail is soft and messy. This definitely could have been improved, especially considering the genre of film.

This is a single-layered disc, so there is no layer change to comment on. This disc lacks subtitles for the hearing impaired, or anybody who just can’t understand the dialogue.

There is one sad and lonely audio track provided, and that is in Dolby Digital 2.0 English. Dialogue is crisp and clear, but at times it is hard to understand what is being said. Well more than just “at times”...

The surrounds are used extensively for the so-called score that sounds more like a cat fight in an alley, and has a volume that screams at you rather than subtly adding to the soundstage. The subwoofer is used ever so slightly to accompany the aforementioned “score” and it does this with not enough oomph.

Need we bitch on again and again? A Theatrical Trailer is the only extra feature. This trailer runs for 1:32 and doesn’t do a hell of a lot for the film. Still, at least the menus are animated this time...

Overall, the quality of the film is quite low, with close to a Coaster Award in quality. The video transfer is passable (just) and the audio is suitable but not as tweaked as it could have been. The extras are slightly more special due to the animated menu, but film companies need to learn to try harder. It’s even more annoying when they classify these “standards” as extras...

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  •   And I quote...
    "Gimme Lock Stock... anyday... "
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Philips DVD 736K
    • TV:
          TEAC EU68-ST
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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