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Since the paranoia about government conspiracies didn't come into fashion in Hollywood until Oliver Stone's JFK and THE X-FILES set the precedent, THE PARALLAX VIEW ($30), a Nixon/Watergate era film, proved to be well ahead of its time. Warren Beatty stars in this intriguing political thriller as Joseph Frady, a second rate reporter looking for a big story to set his career on fire. Three years after witnessing the assassination of a prominent Senator, Frady comes to discover that he is the last of eight eyewitnesses still left alive. On the surface, all of the deaths can be attributed to accidental or natural causes. However, as Frady digs deeper, he becomes convinced that there is a conspiracy at work- one that is recruiting a network of assassins to reshape the political landscape. Sure, the plot of THE PARALLAX VIEW has a number of holes, however watching the suspenseful story play out does have its rewards. In addition to the enjoyable performance from Beatty, the solid cast of THE PARALLAX VIEW also features Hume Cronyn, William Daniels, Kenneth Mars, Jim Davis and Paula Prentiss.

Paramount Home Entertainment has done a very nice job of bringing THE PARALLAX VIEW to DVD. THE PARALLAX VIEW comes in a 16:9 enhanced presentation that restores the film's proper 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio. The transfer is nicely detailed, with even the film's darker sequences looking rather impressive. Color reproduction is surprisingly good for a film from the seventies; most films from this particular period are somewhat faded looking or have color schemes that lean towards brown. Flesh tones appear natural, however saturation isn't quite as vivid as one is likely to find on a brand new movie. Blacks are very accurate and contrast is smooth. As for the film element itself, there are very few signs of age on the twenty five-year-old elements. Digital compression artifacts never became noticeable on the well-authored DVD.

The Dolby Digital monaural soundtrack is clean sounding and the dialogue is always intelligible. A French monaural soundtrack has also been encoded onto the DVD. The interactive menus are very basic, offering the standard scene and language selection features, plus access to a theatrical trailer.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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