Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 29th, 2005
|Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 2004
Director: Dario Argento
Writers: Dario Argento, Franco Ferrini, Jay Benedict, Phoebe Scholfield
Cast: Stefania Rocca, Liam Cunningham, Silvio Muccino, Adalberto Maria Merli, Claudio Santamaria, Fiore Argento, Elisabetta Rocchetti, Vera Gemma, Conchita Puglisi
|Approximate running time:||99m21s||104m36s|
|Aspect Ratio:||1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen||1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen|
|Sound:||DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 English and Dolby Digital 5.1 Czech with English subtitles||Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo English|
|DVD Release:||Hollywood Classic Entertainment||Anchor Bay|
|Region Coding:||Region 2 PAL (Czech)||Region 1 NTSC|
Hollywood Classic Entertainment’s Region 0 DVD
Anchor Bay’s Region 1 DVD
Hollywood Classic Entertainment’s Region 2 DVD
Anchor Bay’s Region 1 DVD
The Film :
Detective Anna Mari is being targeted by a serial killer known as “The Card Player” who kidnaps young woman and challenges the police to a game of cards. If the killer wins the girl dies if the police are able to beat the killer the girl will be set free. Anna Mari teams up with John Brennan a dishonored British cop who has been relocated to Rome. The police find themselves a young card shark named Remo to help them beat “The Card Player” and when the killer kills Remo the police’s ace card player. Anna Mari is forced to overcome her demons and face the killer head on.
Both releases present The Card Player in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. They appeared to have been sourced from the same print with the main difference in quality being Hollywood Classic Entertainment is flagged for progressive scan while the Anchor Bay release is interlaced. The Anchor Bay release has some minor blurring and ghosting that is more noticeable on widescreen TV’s and it not as much of a problem if you have a standard 4.3 television. Overall the Hollywood Classic Entertainment release has the more stable picture of the two.
The Hollywood Classic Entertainment release comes with three audio options DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 in English and Dolby Digital 5.1 in Czech. All three audio mixes present clean audio that is easy to understand and never sounds distorted of harsh. The best mix of the three is the English DTS track which is the best audio mix I have heard for this film to date. Czech subtitles have been included for this release. The Anchor Bay release includes two audio options Dolby Digital 5.1 and Stereo both in English. The audio is in excellent shape as the dialog sounds razor sharp and the music and effects sound evenly mixed as they never drown the other out.
The Hollywood Classic Entertainment release includes the following extras a photo gallery and a 9-minute behind the scenes montage. The Anchor Bay release includes the following extras the international films trailer, trailers for other Argento films, a collectable booklet with that includes a Q&A with Argento, interviews with Dario Argento & Claudio Simonetti and an audio commentary with Alan Jones.
If you don’t care about extras then the Hollywood Classic Entertainment release is the clear choice for you since it has the best audio/video presentation of the two releases. If you are a hardcore Argento fan you may still want to pick up the Anchor Bay release which can be found cheaply if for anything else just the extras.