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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 52:28)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.0 Surround
  Subtitles
    Hebrew, Czech, Polish, Hungarian, Portuguese, English - Hearing Impaired, Icelandic, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras
  • Theatrical trailer

Chain Reaction

20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox . R4 . COLOR . 102 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Eddie Kasalivich (Keanu Reeves) is an undergraduate work for a team of scientists led by Paul Shannon (Morgan Freeman) who are trying to develop and alternate fuel source by splitting the Hydrogen out of water molecules. Eddie has found the right frequency for the laser that is used to split the molecule at a stable, controllable level.

An energy source as abundant as wateris just crying out for a corporation to milk all the money they can out of the technology. When the team leader is found dead and the plant explodes under suspicious circumstances, Eddie and his project partner Dr Lily Sinclair (Rachel Weisz, The Mummy) are framed. They both enlist the help of Shannon but soon realise there are alterior motives associated with this man and that the conspiracy goes higher up than they could have imagined.

  Video
Contract

After the let down from the Point Break transfer, I was pleased to fine a noticeable improvement in this picture yet there were other problems that took over.

This 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer uses the full TV resolution to produce mediocre sharpness in the image. Detail in the image remains reasonably high inspite of this with plenty of information in the backgrounds of the scene. Sharpness fluctuates from scene to scene which made it diffuicult to determine if the transfer or the source was at fault.

Another problem is the black level of the image. Black level is lacking and at times it becomes evident that this is not infact a new transfer but rather a laserdisc master given the presence of noise attributed to a composite transfer. Then again, other scenes project a dvd like image.

Color and saturation are a little imbalanced at times. I remember one scene where color bleeding was evident and at around the 35:13 minute mark there is considerable red noise in the image. You'll know dvd can be better than this if you've seen the mars scenes in Total Recall.

The layer change occurs at 52:28 and is in the middle of a conversation. Most noticeable given the pause in the video and the dropout in audio.

  Audio
Contract

This dvd is the second 5.0 transfer from Fox this year. The first being Speed which had a noticable lack of bass response yet this disc has noticeable deep bass, even with the missing LFE track so one can only assume that it is present in the front left/right channels. The opening explosion gets down pretty low for a second or two as the soundwave heads toward us.

The soundtrack is based around the front sound stage with the rears only getting real use during the opening and closing action. Dialogue is always clear right across the front so there's no problem in keeping up with the story.

The musical score provided by Jerry Goldsmith is below the quality of his other pieces. The score seems contrived and rushed with only glimpses of enthusiasm.

  Extras
Contract

Another 16x9 menu arrangement to compliment the movie itself. We are given a theatrical trailer and a 14 minute making of featurette with cast and crew interviews, clips from the movie and an extended look at the process of blowing up a scale model industrial block.

  Overall  
Contract

I wouldn't say this was a bad movie, but it wasn't a great movie either. The plot is plausible and well executed bar for some holes that can be forgotten with a little suspension of disbelief. Keanu does a reasonable job with a haircut that will haunt him forever and Morgan Freeman feels totally out of place at times in his character.

A decent "what if?" movie that should keep your attention span busy until well past the middle of the movie.


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      And I quote...
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    - Steve Koukoulas
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