Sunday, November 21

Prison (1988) - Some Caps from Optimum's British DVD

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Here's a few 1024x576 screen captures (click for full size) from Optimum's R2/PAL disc of Renny Harlin's Prison which can be ordered on Amazon.uk for about $13 shipped to the States if you're region free. This film is still MIA in North America besides the initial VHS from New World Pictures with the German and Italian DVDs released before this one being of shit quality. The uncut British presentation, with MGM fanfare at start, is an example of a solid source crippled by budget DVD treatment.

The 1:85.1 anamorphic/progressive transfer shows signs of healthy grain structure, but a low bitrate on a single layer disc more-or-less destroys the benefit of its presence. For the most part, finer detail just "blocks" away as the bargain encoding fails to retain it. Still, the disc looks much better than previous video incarnations. The German disc looked ripped from a poor Laserdisc while the Italian looked worse than a tape. The only other issue about the Optimum, aside from the theatrical trailer as its sole extra, is how the framing seems too tight on the top border (as seen in the third cap below). I'm unclear if the transfer is actually "wrong", only shows up at times, or just a case of sloppy inherent composition. The exact runtime is 1:38:48 (considering 3% PAL speed-up). 

3 comments:

J. Astro said...

Ah, good times - I used to like this flick alot... although I remember very little about it now, strangely enough.

Strange Kid said...

A forgotten classic for sure. Reminds me of what a frickin' talented director Renny Harlin really was. It's such a shame that there hasn't been a single import of this title. :(

Soiled Sinema said...

I found myself surprised by the quality of this film. But when I realized the director of Die Hard 2: Die Harder directed this, it all made sense. Meant to review it years ago but never met pen-to-paper.


-mAQ

...do you dare tread upon the staircase?
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