|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||No|
|Running Time||80:19 minutes||Other Extras||Production Notes|
|Region||1,2,3,4,5,6||Director||Michael A Simon|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536 Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||Full Frame||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, in credits|
The selection of songs on offer is not huge but what is there is very decent, and in order is:
Celine Dion is very well known now throughout the world, and possibly for no better reason than being responsible for just about the only decent thing to come out of that film - My Heart Will Go On. However, it is what she does with an icon of a song like River Deep, Mountain High that truly demonstrates her class. She offers up a superb rendering of a song in a style that is very much her own.
We also have the unique sound of Gloria Estefan, whose music has unified a number of styles of Northern and Central American music into a single, infectious sound that will almost be remembered solely as her preserve. Anyone who has spent time in the Miami region will know that sound well - it is an all-pervasive sound that virtually assaults you wherever you might be in Miami, as I long remember from my visits there.
Shania Twain is a singer who over the past three years has sprung from virtually nowhere, thanks mainly to one album - Come On Over. In the process, she has almost completely incurred the wrath of country music in the United States. The album was originally released as an almost new country music album, but was subsequently remixed into something that is not quite new country and not quite rock, but has certainly sold in numbers sufficient to exceed the gross domestic product of small African nations. It does not hurt, of course, that she is a gorgeous woman, whose husband ranks as one of the luckiest men on earth, and has parleyed her musical success and looks into a serious-sized cosmetics promotion deal.
In this company, Mariah Carey is definitely overshadowed - which is really saying something.
This is actually one of the better fund-raising events that I have seen in any form, and it is an enjoyable concert - even allowing for the promotional spots included in the video. If for no other reason, it is well worth acquiring to simply hear the Queen of Soul strut her stuff (with Mariah Carey gamely hanging in there, too).
The transfer is presented in a Full Frame format and is of course not 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is gorgeously detailed and is as sharp and clear as you could ever reasonably expect from a concert video. Indeed, this makes many a feature film pale into comparison. There is no hint of grain in the transfer to hide that nice shadow detail - just check out the definition in the audience shots to see how good concert videos can get. There were no low level noise problems in the transfer.
Matching the detail and sharpness of the transfer is a lovely rich, vibrant range of colours. The only times that the transfer drops in this regard is under a couple of instances of very extreme stage lighting, but even these do not descend into any sort of flare or oversaturation problems.
MPEG artefact problems? Forget it - no such thing here. Film-to-video artefact problems? Ditto - not even the usual shimmering culprits like instruments or microphones. Film artefact problems? None. End of story.
There are two audio tracks on the DVD, an English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack predominantly, as well as extensively sampling the Linear PCM soundtrack. As is usual from this source, the reference to Dolby Stereo on the packaging is incorrect - it is Linear PCM stereo.
The dialogue and vocals were stunningly clear and easy to understand throughout the transfer.
There did not appear to be any problems with audio sync in the transfer.
The only problem I have with the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is that every so often the bass channel becomes just a little too prominent in the mix. This is only an intermittent problem and really is better here than in many a Sony effort. Apart from that, this is a very natural sounding effort, with a nice clarity to the overall soundscape and lots of separation in the sound. There is no hint of murkiness here at all, and the bass and surround channels are very nicely used in general. Other than the intermittent bass problem, there is nothing to worry about here. Even the Linear PCM soundtrack rocks along very nicely.
A superb video transfer.
A very good audio transfer but with minor problems.
A disappointing extras package.
© Ian Morris (have a
laugh, check out the bio)
23rd July 2000
|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|