Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 1/5/00
The Red Violin
1999 (1999) - Lions Gate
Films/ Universal (Universal)
review by Todd Doogan of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Extras): A/B-
Audio Ratings (DD/DTS): A/A
Specs and Features
132 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced,
single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at 1:06:05 in chapter
9), Amaray keep case packaging, commercial for soundtrack,
theatrical trailer, production notes, cast and crew bios,
film-themed menu screens, scene access (18 chapters), languages:
English (DD & DTS 5.1), subtitles: English, Close Captioned
Samuel L. Jackson "stars"
(or is that cameos?) as a musical instrument appraiser, who gets his
hand on the mysterious Red Violin - an instrument of perfect
craftsmanship that breezes by the best made Strat... and holds a
chilling secret. That secret, I'm afraid, is quite apparent the
first time it's alluded to, but that hardly ruins the film. The
story spans centuries as it tells of the violin's history. From its
birth to the tragic lives of each of its owners, this is one of the
greatest epic biographies of an inanimate object ever told. This is
another one that could easily find itself in the Best Foreign Film
race (it's a Canadian production).
The picture and sound quality are very nice - almost as lush as the
film itself. The anamorphic transfer represents the film quite
nicely. There's also two soundtracks - DD 5.1 and full-blown DTS 5.1
on the same disc. How do you like that? With this beautiful score,
you'll definitely appreciate the DTS. The soundtrack is beautiful
and lush (with dialogue in Italian, Chinese, German, French and
English). There are a few extras, like production notes and a cast
and crew area (read the notes last, because they give the violin's "secret"
away in the text). You also get a trailer and commercial for the
soundtrack. I can't see anyone needing to substitute the DTS track
for a CD, but until we get DVD players in our cars, we'll have to
make do. Give this flick a chance, it'll suck you in.