Replicant (2001)
Artisan Entertainment
Cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Michael Rooker, Catherine Dent
Extras: Commentary Track, Deleted Scenes, Storyboards, Photo Gallery, Trailer, Biographies

Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of those action stars people have very different opinions about. While his fans believe he is the best thing since sliced bread, other observers disagree. Be that as it is, here is Van Damme’s latest effort, a thriller in which the Belgium star appears in a double-role, as himself and… himself. Once as a killer, and once as the hunter. Not a very innovative storyline, but neither is the rest of the film. It is a formulaic and clichéd thriller the likes we’ve seen many before – but I’m sure Van Damme fans won’t really mind.

Artisan is presenting ’Replicant’ in a perfectly clean and clear anamorphic widescreen transfer on this disc, in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The transfer shows slight signs of grain in certain shots but is for the most part very stable. Colors are nicely reproduced, bringing out the best of the atmospheric shots, from the cool blues of the nighttime scenes, to the warm color schemes of the indoor settings. Black level is well balanced and creates deep blacks and well-defined shadows. No serious edge-enhancement has been applied and as a result, the transfer is mostly free of ringing artifacts. In many instances, ’Replicant’ is a very kinetic movie and it shows in the compression, unfortunately. Pixelation is evident in a number of scenes where large portions of the frame are moving. While static shots are nicely compressed, those moments of movement lose some definition and wash out slightly.

The DVD contains a 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio track, as well as Dolby surround counterpart. The audio is very dynamic and aggressive, making good use of the surround channels for an engrossing presentation. Spatial integration is very good and with its wide frequency response, the DVD manages to create a fat sound field that is very pleasing. Dialogues is well integrated and only occasionally drowned out by the massive barrage of sound effects. The disc also features an audio commentary by Jean-Claude Van Damme which will make fans of the star happy, but offers very little of interest for other viewers.

A selection of eight deleted scenes can also be found on the DVD, as well as a selection of storyboards. A photo gallery with still images from the set, cast and crew biographies and the movie’s trailer round out this release from Artisan Home Entertainment.