Last Light
R2 - United Kingdom - Prism Direct/Leisure
Review written by and copyright: Samuel Scott (28th October 2013).
The Film

***This is a technical review only. For reviews on the movie from various critics, we recommend visiting HERE.***

Denver Bayliss (KIEFER SUTHERLAND) is a cold-blooded killer who has been sentenced to death and is awaiting execution and Fred Whitmore (FOREST WHITAKER) is the haunted prison guard who befriends him: two men forced to live with the violence and degradation of death row.

This is the story of one man sworn to uphold the system and one man who chooses to defy it until death and the shattering effect their struggle has on everyone close to them: the stone-hearted cell-block lieutenant (CLANCY BROWN), Denver’s estranged sister (AMANDA PLUMMER), and his ex-attorney (KATHELEEN QUINLAN).

One defying the system. One sworn to uphold it.

Video

According to imdb, the original aspect ratio for Last Light is 1.85:1. Unfortunately, this DVD release from budget company Prism Leisure comes in a full screen aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which certainly looks cropped and is not open matte.

Having viewed many TV movies released by Prism, it comes as no surprise that the picture quality is not particularly great. Not only do the colours look slightly washed out throughout, but black levels are inconsistent and rarely make a good impression. Grain is light, and never intrusive, but there's minor specks and artifacts throughout the print. Detail level is not great, and sometimes faces that are only slightly in the background appear blurry. A lot of the film takes place in a dark, drab, prison environment, but there is a lack of clarity and sharpness for the duration of the run time, with the transfer often looking as though it is of VHS quality. Not only could this film do with a better transfer, the solid story and cast demand it.

The disc is PAL, and the feature runs 100:34.

Audio

The only audio option available on this release, is English Dolby Digital 4.0. Yep, you read that correctly, 4.0. This is not unheard of, but it's quite rare to see, especially for a lesser known film from a budget studio. Still, it is quite welcome, and is reasonably well utilised. Apart from the score by Jude Cole, the surrounds are only really used for some occasional jail noises such as doors clinking and prisoners bellowing. All dialogue and the majority of the action comes via the front speakers. Separation isn't great, but it is adequate, and dialogue is clear at all times. Although there are no audio dropouts or scratches, there is sometimes some very minor background hiss.

No subtitles have been included.

Extras

None.

Overall

The Film: B- Video: D+ Audio: C Extras: F Overall: C-

 


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