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New Line Home Cinema presents
The Corruptor (1999)

"The ends is bullsh--. The means—is what you live with."
- Sean Wallace (Brian Cox)

Review By: Robert Mandel   
Published: April 27, 2000

Stars: Chow Yun Fat
Other Stars: Mark Wahlberg
Director: James Foley

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: R for strong violence, language and sexuality.
Run Time: 01H:51M:00S
Release Date: September 14, 1999
UPC: 794043477621
Genre: action

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: New Line Cinema presents The Corruptor in an anamorphic 2.35:1 original theatrical aspect ratio. Although there is some orange hued skin coloring in occasional interior scenes, this dark movie is predominantly clean and sharp, with vivid, well saturated color; simply a tight, crisp picture. By the end of the film I felt I could draw a map of every pore, every nick on both Yun-Fat's and Wahlberg's face. I can't imagine how good this picture would be on a 16:9 screen. Since I can't, there is a fair amount of typical aliasing distortion and some pixelation, but better suffer the former today for the picture we'll have tomorrow. Still, sometimes I just wished I had bought a Sony player in the meantime (softer, averaged downconversion). Sorry Toshiba (I guess I just had to say it. There I feel better). Of course, better yet, a widescreen high definition television...or even better yet, a 120" 16:9 high definition front projection setup. A guy can hope, can't he? But I digress. (By the way, for those keeping score at home, the layer switch on this RSDL disc is at the 1:36:26 mark. This also marks the first time I've a noticed a layer switch since July 3rd when I bought my Toshiba SD3109.)

Image Transfer Grade: A


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: This single-sided picture disc contains an obligatory, but dynamic Dolby Surround 2.0 mix, but the Dolby Digital 5.1 (as the default, yes!), is perhaps the real star of this disc. This is a loud, no holds barred, fully functional, wham-bam, thank you m'am soundtrack. There are bomb fragments surrounding you, tons of bullets fly by your head, pass your face, in your brain. Sweeping effects both follow the action across the screen left to right, front to back, and diagonally, but are also used well in several musical scene transitions. Carter Burwell's haunting and sad musical score is one of those rarities that takes full effect of the back channels, and builds to a crescendo until it surrounds you like a heated blanket of pulsing sound.

Audio Transfer Grade: A


Disc Extras

Extras Review: As is typical of New Line's Platinum Series line of releases, they set out to extend the disc as far as they are able. This issue comes with very stylish animated menus (each with unique scenes from the movie), the main menu utilizing the cut from chapter 5, approximately 12m:40s as its basis. A rare and very cool bonus is the isolated musical score, which just when you truly feel enlightened as to how the music can envelop and develop a sequence or scene, New Line lays on a feature-length musical score commentary with the composer , Carter Burwell (with index cues, nice edition). Because of time, I did not get a chance to listen to the entire track (I'll fill you in when I do), but I did listen to enough to determine this is a fascinating commentary. I loved this quote in particular about his thought process behind the card game shoot-out scene, where he intended the score to "sound like my American version of, a Chinese version of, an Italian Spaghetti version of an American western!" I'm telling you, give this commentary a listen even if you're not into musical scores, because not only does Mr. Burwell talk (from the privacy of his own home, no less!), he really teaches you about the amazing amount of thought process and musical knowledge a composer uses to put together a soundtrack that we NEVER even bother to think about when watching a movie. Between this score and his incredible score for Fargo, I am an avowed fan. Really, the man is a genius. I feel he lends a lot of insight not just into the musical aspect, but into the emotion of this film.

Nearly no detail on this disc is left unturned; even the cast and crew bios and filmographies are uniquely done up in the fashion of a Chinese newspaper, although slightly out of focus. Really, the only normal features are the theatrical trailer (although in conjunction with the creation of the marketing scheme, even this becomes value-added), scene selection, and UGK's music video of Take It Off. I'm sure New Line think of something to make the next "Platinum Series" release even more special!

There is a making-of documentary included, which is by far the most interesting and informative one I can remember seeing to date, that includes a real behind-the-scenes approach showing entire takes from cue to cut. It's a huge change from the typical mini promotional vehicles other studios offer up as making-of featurettes, and contains interviews (which lend poignant insight into the characters, the Chinese American experience in New York's Chinatown), production stills, unrated footage (intense! I wish they would have put this back into the movie or had an unrated version on t

Extras Grade:


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