Articles

Movie Renter's Guide Number 154 - January, 2008 - Part III

ARTICLE INDEX

"Timecop" (HD DVD)

movie-timecop-bd.jpgSynopsis

In the year 2004, time travel is not only a reality, but an opportunity to alter the past for power and profit.

 

Specifications

  • Universal
    1994, Color, Rated R, 1 hr 38 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • English/French DD 5.1
  • Directed by Peter Hyams
  • Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Ron Silver, Mia Sara
    Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras: 0
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Yes

Commentary

One of the last big budget films for action star Van Damme, Timecop was actually one of his better films. By today’s standards it doesn’t hold up that well, but I thought it was entertaining back when it was first released. The film centers on a cop who patrols different times to prevent criminals from going into the past for criminal purposes that could alter time as we know it. He finds that the head of the program, and president hopeful, is his principal advisory and is going back to secure funds for his campaign. The special effects, while decent for its time, are a bit laughable now. The action is tame compared to the films of today and most of the production design is almost laughably bad. While I’m sure this did well in the mid-nineties, I don’t think it will find many audiences today.

Technical

This is a hard one to rate. The video presentation is very hit or miss. Things start off well and for the most part remain decent but a lot of the effects work makes this film look pretty bad. This includes a lot of softening effects and rampant grain. Thankfully there wasn’t any edge enhancement though. Colors are on the muted side but in line with most films of this decade. Contrast is decent but nowhere near exceptional. Depth of image remains pretty strong throughout the film but at times dimensionality suffers a bit. Overall an average transfer mainly due to production limitations.

The audio is presented in Dolby Digital Plus 5.1, which is odd considering Universal’s strong use of Dolby TrueHD soundtracks recently. Sound design is in line with the genre and consists of some action dynamics that are alright but not near reference quality. The soundtrack has edginess to it and comes off a bit thin most of the time. Bass can be impressive in certain moments but the rest of the track doesn’t impress much. Dialogue does sound strained at times and some of the ADR is noticeably bad.  On the bright side the 5.1 mix does extend quite a bit into the surround soundstage with some nice discrete use. Imaging overall is good but the track doesn’t have the spatial quality of some of the better 5.1 mixes out there.

Extras

Universal has delivered this one as a bare bones release.