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Enemy of the State

Enemy of the State
A Touchstone Home Video Release
1998, 132 Minutes, Color, Rated R (14A in Canada)

Starring:  Will Smith, Gabriel Byrne, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet, Regina King, Stuart Wilson, Jake Busey, Loren Dean, Barry Pepper
List Price:  $29.99 USD, released 06/15/99
Packaging:  Keepcase, Region 1 NTSC
Disc Format:  Single Sided, Dual Layered (DVD-9)
Aspect Ratio:  2.35:1 Widescreen
Audio Formats:  English 5.1, French 2.0
Subtitles:  English
Closed Captioning:  English
Features:  Interactive Menus, Scene Selection, 2 Featurettes, Theatrical Trailers

Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) is a successful Washington D.C. attorney who just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when he unknowingly obtains a video that ties the top official of the NSA to a political murder. His married life is immediately turned upside down by a lethal team of professionals determined to reclaim the video and silence him and anyone else who knows about the recording. While on the run, his only hope for survival is to contact an ex-NSA agent played convincingly by Gene Hackman. Styled very much after The Fugitive, Enemy of the State is a suspense thriller containing high tech surveillance techniques and non-stop action.

The 2.35:1 widescreen presentation is positively superb. Brightly lit with perfectly calibrated black levels, vibrant colors and fine details. There are no dirt specs, film grain, noise or aliasing anywhere; indeed everything is smooth and flawless. Dark scenes are admirably easy to make out with excellent contrast and none of the artifacting that can occur on a poorly compressed release. Itís one of the most impressive non-anamorphic video transfers Iíve seen. The film is presented on a 7.8gb dual-layered disc, with 29 chapter stops and static scene selection screens. The layer change occurs at the beginning of chapter 18 between two scenes.

The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is every bit as enthralling as the video with an energetic score and earth-shaking sound effects. High activity can be found in the discrete rear channels for music and effects. Bass (and there is plenty) is spread out well throughout the film, utilizing all speakers. The vocal track is strong with no background noise or hum. A French 2.0 track is available in addition to 5.1 English.

Touchstone has elected to package a few extras with this $30 release, an unusual move for them. Featured are two three-minute full-screen featurettes, one on production and one on filmmaking. However, little information can be conveyed in such a small amount of time. Important to collectors is the original theatrical trailer, presented in 1.85:1 widescreen video and stereo sound, plus three additional trailers for Armageddon, The Rock and Con Air.

An excellent transfer and a few extras make this a worthwhile disc for anyone looking for a good conspiracy thriller. Enemy of the State is rated R (14A in Canada) for moderate profanity and violence.

- Reviewed by Daniel Tonks on June 19, 1999.

Video Quality:
Audio Quality:
1-Poor 2-Fair 3-Good 4-Excellent
System Equipment
Sony DVP-S500D DVD Player
Sony STR-GA8ES 5.1 Receiver
Sony KV-27V65 27" Television using S-Video
Nuance Spatial & Star Series Speakers

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