Laserdisc Reviews

Just a few comments on some laserdiscs that I've recently listened to/watched on my AC-3 system. The standard demos like Independence day I watched pre-AC-3 system so I can't really comment on them.

Anyway, just a few comments because there is a superb laser disc review site at When it comes to sound quality I agree with him most of the time. However, there still a niche for me as he reviews LDs only monthly and he reviews the 'top' US LDs and not stuff like Some Mother's Son :).

Some Mother's Son
One comment: despite it stating AC-3 on the jacket and on the laserdisc itself, this is not an AC-3 disc! Its only Pro-logic. However, if you've read my AC-3 vs Pro-logic comments elsewhere, the fact that something isn't AC-3 isn't necessarily bad.

As for the movie, well its from the producers of 'In the name of the Father' and its a movie about the Irish troubles. Specifically, the 1981 IRA prisoners' hunger strike. Not a subject everyone's interested in. But if thats your interest, and you like Helen Mirren. This is a great movie because:

  • Great music composed by Bill Whelan. Further, at the end theres this haunting melody that is stunningly good; shows that my processor does have a half-decent DAC :).
  • Good sound effects: the gunshots are very very good. Not only is there the initial attack, but there is a reverberant decay. If you've been to a firing range, you'll notice how gunshots do echo off. But also, the gunshots themselve sound timbrally very accurate. (compared say to Air Force One)
  • Nice vignettes of Irish Scenery

ultimately, you'll watch this only if you're interested in the subject matter. If you are, you'll also be treating to a good sounding movie :)

Now this is a fun movie. Accuracy, plot believability is all sacrificed for a fun roller-coaster ride, and whats so bad about that? Especially if the AC-3 soundtrack is wonderful? Now, you don't need me to tell you that in this movie, Harrison Ford whacks the nasty Hi-Jackers because they've hi-jacked his plane and his family. Also, that Glenn Close looks very regal as the vice-president.

However, I love the AC-3 sound effects, especially all the plan sequences. The 747 swooshing bye, the F-15 kicking in the after burners, executing turns etc. The F-15/Mig-29/Air Force One doglight is totally awesome! Added to this is a totally superb score in the sense that it complements the movie perfectly (over-the-top flag-waving music I supppose). The AC-3 version is superior to the Pro-Logic version here. A superb transfer.

Air Force One