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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 Entertianment



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

Runtime: 1:37:32.054

Disc Size: 20,871,535,550 bytes

Feature Size: 20,629,075,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 25.00 Mbps

Chapters: 12

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: May 15th, 2012



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)



English, none



• Trailer (1:50 in 480i)





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.
















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'.


Extras :

Just a 480i trailer.



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.

Gary Tooze

May 9th, 2012


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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