The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 1998
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 116 Minutes
Disc Format: BD-25
Video Aspect: 2.35:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Cantonese, Korean
Starring: Denzel Washington, Annette Bening, Bruce Willis, Tony Shaloub, Sami Bouajila
Directed by: Edward Zwick
Music by: Graeme Revell
Written by: Lawrence Wright
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: June 9, 2009
"A crisis they can't control"
When a crowded city bus blows up in Brooklyn and a campaign of terror begins to make its bloody mark on the streets of New York, it's up to FBI special agent Anthony "Hub" Hubbard and U.S. Army General William Devereaux to find out who's responsible and put an end to the destruction. Together, they face explosive danger at every turn when they team up to a wage an all-out war against a ruthless band of terrorists.
This film was one of the earliest that I can recall seeing on DVD. I thought it was a decent watch at the time but felt that there were elements in the story that stretched beyond the limits of authenticity which made it feel more like a popcorn flick. Here we are post 911 and its story hits much closer to home (literally). As someone who responded to the World Trade Center, in the days following the devastating events of September 11, 2001, watching this film dredged up the feelings of anxiety, panic, fear and loss. I knew people who died in those towers. Watching the scene where Hub stands in front of the remains of One Federal Plaza after it was leveled by a van filled with terrorist explosives felt reminiscent. Being a Hollywood Production this story typically takes a few too many dramatic turns that derail any true feelings of reality. To be honest, during this re-visit, I had more of an appreciation for those aspects of the film. Even though it has been nearly a decade 911 still feels very fresh and those wounds haven't and may never completely heal. As things unfold in the third act I was clearly reminded that this is merely a film and that its events hold no palpable connection to real people other than (for its making ) to serve as a reminder of the security that we once felt as a nation. I thought that Denzel Washington and Annette Bening gave strong performances. Bruce Willis' character lacked depth and was poorly written in my opinion. I liked the angle with Frank Haddad (Tony Shaloub) but its part in the plot wasn't elevated enough to be significant. The action felt a little forced at times and the heroic theatrics a bit overplayed but that didn't prevent this from being an engaging film that has a story that by today's standards holds some relevance.
The rating is for violence, language, and brief sexuality/ nudity.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
The Siege comes to Blu-ray Disc from Fox featuring 1080p MPEG-2 encoded video that has an average bitrate of 17 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4 mbps.
This MPEG-2 encoded high definition video presentation looked very good for a catalogue release film that is over ten years old. Images were resolved with appreciable detail that revealed plenty of discernible texture during closer camera shots. The exterior pans of the New York Cityscapes were fairly sharp with stable resolution that allowed the physical structure of most objects in backgrounds to be visible. The film does not use an extensive color palette and with the exception of red, colors are not overly vibrant or vivid. They are cleanly rendered and I never found my attention to be negatively drawn to them. Fleshtones were on the warm side but appeared lifelike and natural in depiction. Grain was apparent and appeared in fine, even layers that provided noticeable texture. White and black levels were appropriately balanced which provided punchy whites and stable blacks.
The lossless DTS-HD MA soundtrack was quite good and featured lively dynamics, clearly articulated dialogue, and plenty of surround activity. The film's action based elements contained a blend of atmospheric and discrete sounds that created an active soundfield that combined music, flying debris, and multi-directional panning effects that was enveloping. Low frequency effects had robust authority and tactile impact that added pop to explosions and gunfire. As a whole I though that this audio/video presentation was well balanced and satisfying.
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- (HD) Fox on Blu-ray - Flight of the Phoenix, Broken arrow, The edge, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid
The Siege is an above average and competent 1998 thriller that depicts fictional terrorist attacks on New York City. In reading the rear of the disc case its states eerily prescient of the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. which would lead one to surmise that this film had some sort of predictive or foretelling value which is utter folly. Unfortunately the film's theme coincides with the tragic events of September 11, 2001. For many, including myself, watching this film hits very close to home. The story is typically Hollywood but engaging and the cast (particularly Washington, Bening and Shaloub) are solid which makes it a decent watch. Its debut in high definition from Fox Blu-ray offers estimable audio/video quality and no bonus content (which is a disappointment). Worthy of a rental.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Denon AVR 5308CI THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package
Still, I think I will rent it.
Thanks for the review!
Well said..I normally pick up most of the blu rays that have an overall good rating & generally I have liked most of them apart from a few of ones targeted more for children..This however is a definite pick me up.
WOW!! I didn't even know this was on Blu-Ray. Thanks for reviewing it. As someone who was ALSO there that day (and works across the street from it), it definitely stirs up some deep emotions. Especially now with all that is being brought to light about certain aspects of the world we live in and certain "aspects" of the U.S. Government. I still have my DVD version of this. IMHO, this movie seemed 75% realistic before 9/11 and 99% after 9/11. Thanks again for your review on this one. Everyone should at least watch this one, even if not on Blu-Ray. Another movie with an interesting coincidence; The Long Kiss Goodnight.
Thanks for your post thebesthereis. This is certainly worth the cost of an upgrade..
I must politely disagree with Ralph...to a point. The current U.S. BD is a bit of an embarrassment, possessing a middling MPEG-2 transfer on a wimpy BD-25 and absolutely none of the supplements that were on the Martial Law Edition DVD released a few years back. In my opinion, a BD should at least sit at the bar set by an earlier DVD, if it is not to surpass it. However, there are Brazilian and Hong Kong BDs of this film which are recorded with AVC on BD-50s with every single bonus feature from the Martial Law Edition, plus an extra one. As an owner of this one (the Hong Kong release, specifically, but the Brazilian one is identical to it), who returned the U.S. release to Amazon in disgust, let me assure you that it is worth the extra money to import this much superior version.
Thanks for the heads up guys. I will look into it, for sure.