The Jackal-DTS

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Al Barnes

Plot: What’s it about?

In my reviews I usually extol the virtues of 5.1 Digital Dolby and rightly so, but its time to raise the bar a notch and enter the realm of DTS, a world of sound never before achieved in “Home Theater”. But first let’s talk about the movie The Jackal…a reworked version of the original The Day The Jackal (1973)…has Bruce Willis in the lead as the deadly assassin who accepts the contract to avenge the killing of a Russian Mafioso’s brother by assassinating an important person in the U.S. government. With assistance from the KGB, a deputy director in the FBI played by Sidney Poitier, (Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner) desperately tries to find the identity of the man known only as the Jackal. With no leads and time running out Poitier enlists the help of an IRA sniper (Richard Gere) in a Massachusetts prison who has worked with the Jackal in the past. A man on a mission, the Jackal needs a weapon suitable for the bold task. His choice, a remote controlled computerized, servo-activated cannon mounted in the back of a minivan…soccer moms take note. Poitier and Gere are on his heels and Willis uses disguises, fake passports and every trick he knows to make his way to America…the ends justify his means.

You’re DVD player and receiver both need to be capable of decoding DTS to enjoy this release. I have seen this movie before on VHS and DVD (5.1) and the sound in this DTS version is far superior. There are more releases available in DTS every day and I know the ones I have seen and heard are worth the extra money…about $4.50 more. You’ll probably have to order them like I do because I’ve never seen any DTS titles through the regular outlets. When you start this release you will need to select DTS and then something wonderful happens, the DTS trademark appears and unbelievable sounds come from your speakers in all directions. Then it jumps from the left rear, no the front, wait its moving around the room and then as it slowly fades it manifests itself in your subwoofer like a low frequency poltergeist trying to terrorize your walls…and the movie hasn’t even started yet. The faint of heart should press eject and the bold…turn it up!!! Two suggestions before you start, first move your chairs a bit more towards the center of the room to hear the awesome separation in the channels and second, be sure the front, center and rear speakers are set at the same db level so no one channel overpowers the other. Your sub should be at 0db. I have several DTS titles and plan to acquire many more, if there are any other DTS fans out there, let me know what you think.

Video: How does it look?

This version has Anamorphic Widescreen only…I believe the 5.1 version has both widescreen and full screen…and it looks flawless. Having seen the VHS version the superiority of DVD is quite apparent.

Audio: How does it sound?

I probably covered most of the benefits of this audio format in the description above. When I first got my 5.1 equipment DTS titles were scarce if not nonexistent but were due to be released soon so I decided to be sure I would be ready. Paying extra for this capability sight…uh sound…unseen is one of the best decisions I made in selecting my home theater components. Unlike DIVX…the Beta of DVD’s…I believe DTS is here to stay and be improved upon and there are many family titles (Babe) available so everyone can be amazed by the next step in sound. One note though, there were three spots where the sound paused for only a millisecond and I’m not sure if it’s the DVD or my player…I’m looking into it. I won’t deduct any points yet. Enough acronyms yet?

Supplements: What are the extras?

I’m not sure why there are no extras on this version because the Collector’s Edition has all the extras you could want and an alternate ending. Am I disappointed…yes…would it keep me from buying it…no. [Editor’s Note: That’s because the DTS soundtrack takes up a LOT more space than the Dolby Digital soundtrack, as it is not as compressed. Hence, the lack of extras because there’s no room.]

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