Solo (1996)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Cast: Mario Van Peebles, William Sadler, Adrien Brody, Barry Corbin
Extras: Featurette, Theatrical trailer, Production notes

Columbia TriStar Home Video is presenting Mario Van Peebles in “Solo” on a double-sided DVD that contains the film’s widescreen presentation as well as a pan and scan transfer of the movie. The widescreen version is rendering the image at a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Although not noted as such on the packaging, the transfer is enhanced for 16×9 television sets and maintains a good level of detail. It is very clean without notable film defects and the compression is largely without digital artifacts. Slight signs of edge enhancement and ringing artifacts are evident in high contrast areas of the picture. The black level on the disc is perfect, creating very deep shadows that are solid throughout. Color reproduction is good with balanced and powerful colors and faithfully rendered fleshtones.

The disc contains a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track as well as a Dolby Surround mix. Given the action nature of the film, extensive use is made of the split surrounds and the bass extension gives many of the scenes a thorough punch without over-emphasizing the low frequency channel.

The idea of a one-man army out for revenge is not a new one and neither is the idea of an android starting to think on its own. As such, “Solo” doesn’t have much to offer, but as an action movie with the intention to deliver some big explosions and fight scenes, it turns out to be quite entertaining and offers quite a bit of band for the money that is truly reminiscent of many 80s action flicks.