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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r


H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

D.O.A. [Blu-ray]


(Annabel Jankel, Rocky Morton, 1988)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Touchstone Pictures

Video: Mill Creek Entertainment



Region: 'A' (both) (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:37:32.054 / 1:37:32.388

Disc Size: 20,871,535,550 bytes / 23,939,278,576 bytes

Feature Size: 20,629,075,968 bytes / 23,266,615,296 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.00 Mbps / 25.94 Mbps

Chapters: 12 / 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case (both)

Release date: May 15th, 2012 / October 30th, 2018


Video (both):

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 1673 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1673 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1883 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1883 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1560 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1560 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)

Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps


Subtitles (both):

English, none



• Trailer (1:50 in 480i)


Audio Commentary by co-director Annabel Jankel
Audio Commentary by co-director Rocky Morton
Theatrical Trailer



1) MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM



Description: Time is running out for Dexter Cornell (Dennis Quaid - Footloose, Soul Surfer, GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra). He has just 24 hours to unravel the bitter truth surrounding his own poisoning. In his desperate search, everyone's a suspect, even the woman who loves him (Meg Ryan - Kate & Leopold, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle). Directed by Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, creators of superstar "Max Headroom," D.O.A. pulsates with explosive action and sizzling performances by Quaid and Ryan, two people who find themselves suddenly living on the edge. It's a night on the run, filled with fear, danger...and passion.



The Film:

Does this sound like dialogue from a suspense-filled thriller? The idea for ''D.O.A.'' is a great one, borrowed from the 1949 Edmond O'Brien movie: a man is slipped a fatal, slow-acting poison, and has less than 48 hours to solve his own murder.

This updated version has Dennis Quaid, an actor with the spark and intelligence to carry off just about anything, as Dexter Cornell - English professor, blocked novelist, murder victim. Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, who directed ''D.O.A.,'' are the flashy, innovative creators of Max Headroom. Here they aim for a stylish mix of the 40's and 80's, beginning with a black and white homage to the older film, in which Mr. Quaid stumbles into a police station to report his own murder.

Excerpt from the NY Times located HERE

"They didn't kill me; I was dead already," is the statement uttered by Dexter Cornell (Dennis Quaid), an English professor... at the University of Texas at Austin who has been poisoned by a slow-acting toxin and who has twenty-four hours to track down his killers before he ceases to exist. Remade from the 1949 Rudolph Mate thriller by Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton, the co-directors jazz up the old luridness with slap-up doggishness that boosts the intensity-level higher than it deserves to go. Cornell is a burned-out novelist trying to hold on to tenure at the university while seeing his marriage collapse around him. As if that weren't enough, he is receiving amorous come-ons from smart, young student Sydney Fuller (Meg Ryan) and being badgered by another student, Nick Lang (Robert Knepper), to read his brilliant first novel. Not long after Dex demurs to Nick to read his novel, Nick is killed in a fall. Only then does Dex find out that Nick has been having an affair with his wife. Things keep going from bad to worse when, after an all-night drinking binge, Dex discovers that he has been slipped a poison that will kill him within 24 hours. Teaming up with the adoring Sydney, Dex tries to track down the person who poisoned him while dodging the cops, since he happens to be a prime murder suspect.

Excerpt from MRQE located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The remake of D. O. A. looks modest in 1080P from Mill Creek. The Blu-ray image is a little noisy and flat.  It looks superior to SD and some textured grain is evident. Colors are dullish. The opening and closing black and white scenes look solid enough. Detail doesn't scale to dramatic heights via the single layered transfer. The bitrate is supportive and we can guess that this will be the best it looks for Home theater presentations. It's fairly HD in-motion.


Kino release "D.O.A." on a single-layered Blu-ray with a similiar, yet slightly improved bitrate to the Mill Creek. This newer Kino disc has a tad larger filesize for the MPEG-4 AVC video as well. The image from Kino seems to have slightly more detail, with a sharper image. Though a shade darker, the detail is clearly more impressive than it was on the Mill Creek Blu-ray. Colors are also more realistic, with warmer skintones and better shades of red, most noticeable in the cap with Charlotte Rampling (notice the background color change). This is not a drastic jump in quality, and yet this is clearly a better Blu-ray than Mill Creek's prior offering.



1) MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM


1) MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - TOP

2) Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray - BOTTOM





Audio :

Decent but fairly lifeless DTS-HD Master stereo track at 1673 kbps. There are some tense moments lifted by the lossless. Depth is there if not 'thunderous'. There are optional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'.


Kino offers a choice in audio, with either the original DTS-HD Master Audio track in 16-bit stereo, or a newer 5.1 16-bit DTS-HD Master Audio. These both sound decent, and are a modest improvement over Mill Creek's rather flat, lifeless, audio. There are, also, optional English subtitles (see samples above) on this Region-A Blu-ray.


Extras :

Just a 480i trailer.


The sole extras (other than the film's trailer and a handful of other Kino trailers) are 2 audio commentaries one with co-director Annabel Jankel (notable for Max Headroom), the other with co-director, and former spouse - who they worked on many projects together -  Rocky Morton.


MillCreek - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray



It suited me as I was in the mood for this imperfect recreation of the classic original. Quaid is Quaid, Meg Ryan is perpetually cute and the story carries the film. It's really not that bad if you give it some slack. The Blu-ray is no star either but for under $10 - I say you may want to indulge yourself in a film worth tolerating every decade or so... you may have a pleasant surprise.


D.O.A. is a stylistic remake, notable for having a wonderful cast. The film is much better than I remember, and this Blu-ray is worth checking out, though owners of the Mill Creek Blu-ray may wish to indulge in the Kino for the two, separate, director commentaries. You can't help but compare this to the delightful 1950 original and it is not without its evocative charisma for a modern hybrid.

Gary Tooze

May 9th, 2012

Colin Vavitz

March 2019



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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