|Year Released||1999||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||89:59 minutes||Other Extras||Biography - Cast
Featurettes - 4
Gallery - Costume
Gallery - Photos
Main Menu Audio and Animation
3D Cover Insert
Warner Vision Australia
|Case||Super Jewel Case|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Well, I have to admit that my views of Cher's music career are very much based upon videos emphasizing her physical attributes rather than the quality of her music. And to be blunt, whilst I enjoyed this concert immensely, I still do not think too much of her musical abilities. And dare I suggest that maybe, just maybe, and just possibly, some of this concert was lip synched? I have no concrete evidence other than the fact that whilst watching this concert, that was the impression I got. My apologies if I am completely wrong. And again, despite that, I still enjoyed this concert.
Like the stunning Bee Gees: One Night Only, this concert, part of her Believe 99 Tour, was recorded by HBO at the MGM Hotel Grand Arena in Las Vegas before a very enthusiastic crowd. And there are a lot of similarities between that effort and this as far as the quality goes. And despite all the costume changes (seven I believe) and the banter, Cher manages to get through most of the hit highlights of her career to date.
And if you want a tip - listen to the Linear PCM soundtrack first, then the Dolby Digital 5.1. Other than that, a most enjoyable concert video and fans should be rushing their local stockist for this effort.
The transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.
This is a quite superb transfer, wonderfully sharp (apart from one very minor lapse in focus) with some gorgeous definition. It is a wonderfully clear transfer. The only real problem was the intense stage lighting a couple of times washed out the colours and created a small loss of detail, but to be honest I am starting to expect this in concert videos and am not finding it too much of a distraction. There did not seem to be any problems with low level noise.
The colours come up very nicely saturated throughout, and the whole transfer, apart from the small lighting induced problems, is gorgeously vibrant - which really helps the appreciation of the somewhat over the top wigs that Cher indulges in! There was only the slightest hint of oversaturation of colour at one point where the stage lighting was quite an intense red, but that would be the only complaint about the colour throughout.
There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, apart from one very blurry pan shot of Las Vegas at the start of the video. Unfortunately, there were some minor film-to-video artefacts - most noticeably some minor aliasing on a few occasions. Overall, the aliasing was not too much of a problem though and many may find it unnoticeable unless they were really looking for it. There were no film artefacts present that I noted. The only real complaint about the video is there is a noticeable glitch at 62:04, which I believe is an inherent fault in the video of the source tape: it is quite distracting.
This is an RSDL format disc, but I do not know where the layer change is; I would presume that since I did not notice a layer change, the concert is on one layer and the extras are on the second layer.
There are just the two English audio tracks on the DVD, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and the Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and sampled the Linear PCM soundtrack. The comments relate to the awesome 5.1 soundtrack, unless noted.
The music and vocals came up very well in both soundtracks.
Audio sync did not appear to be a problem with the transfers.
The soundtrack makes limited use of the rear surround channels, mainly for audience ambience, but the front surround channels are well used to create a very nice sound. However, it is the bass channel that really sets this soundtrack up and it is an awesome, thumping bass that really sets this concert rocking from the very start. Now if you have read my reviews consistently, you will know that I have a dislike for too much bass. This is a great illustration of how an excess of bass can be used without going way over the top and drowning the entire mix. Gorgeous stuff indeed and it is very difficult to resist the temptation to crank this up a few notches and let that wonderful bass track just wash all over you. This is truly recommended for annoying the neighbours, although do not crank it all the way up as I would suggest that equipment damage would be quickly forthcoming.
That is why you listen to the Linear PCM track first. It is a very good clean sound just like a compact disc and is very enjoyable in its own right. It is just a fact that if you listen to it after the 5.1 soundtrack, it comes over as totally flat without any depth to the sound at all - and it truly is not.
A superb video transfer, denied reference status by a few minor problems.
An awesome Dolby Digital 5.1 audio transfer.
A very good extras package that beats many film presentations (not mentioning any names of course).
Note that this has been given an M rating for low level course language, but for the life of me I do not know why. I don't recall hearing any course language.
© Ian Morris
20th December 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|