|Running Time||97:53 Minutes|
Warner Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English (Dolby Digital 1.0, 192 Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||
|Macrovision||Yes||Smoking||Yes, Jimi's guitar (literally)|
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Jimi Hendrix is still considered by many to be one of the most influential guitarists of all time, with his wild, frantic style of playing leaving an indelible mark upon many present members of the guitarist fraternity. This documentary, of the same name, features concert footage of the man playing a few numbers, and interviews with a number of people who knew him personally. If you're looking for a music video, you're better off buying the Live At Woodstock DVD, but this is worth buying for the insight it offers into the music industry in an age where it took musical talent and uniqueness to survive as an artist.
One thing I have to say about this transfer before continuing is that I would have much preferred an RSDL disc with the 4x3 Full Frame transfer, with the promo videos for such Hendrix classics as Fire and Are You Experienced? added as bonus features. Having viewed both sides of this disc, I can say that the 4x3 side of the disc is infinitely preferable due to the higher amount of active pixels in the image. The sharpness of the transfer is good, but it is clear that the photographic equipment used to make the film wasn't always the best kind. Shadow detail is poor, with an early shot of Jimi Hendrix being so dark that any semblance of detail is lost from anything outside of the stage lights. Low-level noise was not a problem with the transfer, although film grain is something of an issue at times.
The colour saturation of this transfer can best be described as inconsistent, with some stage lights frequently changing the colour they cast over whatever happens to be under them. The age of the film stock is variable due to the different stages at which the concert footage and interview footage was shot, but the faults are carried over from the source material rather than being any fault of the transfer. If anything, the real problem of this transfer in the colour saturation stakes is that the colours are heavily saturated while having a dull appearance about them, but this is a common problem in photography from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s.
MPEG artefacts didn't appear in the transfer at any stage, apart from some trivial blockiness in a blue haze cast by a concert light around the fifteen minute mark, which was only noticeable when zoomed in on. Since this is an excellent approximation of what this effect looks like under normal circumstances when viewed normally, it doesn't really count. Film-to-video artefacts were not noticed, although I may have let one or two trivial instances of aliasing go by. Unfortunately, film artefacts are a real problem in this transfer, with a ton of black and white flecks noticed in several shots. Given the age of the film and the manner in which much of it was photographed, this is forgivable.
The dialogue during the interview footage is clear and easy to make out at all times, although a few words here and there would be easy to mishear. The vocals in the concert footage, however, are sung quite rapidly and poorly separated from the music, making them difficult to understand at times. Audio sync was not a problem, although the concert footage occasionally had that "something's not quite right" quality to it.
The music by Jimi Hendrix is infrequently featured in the film, which is mostly comprised of interviews with anyone and everyone who had somehow become acquainted with the man. When the music is present, it is limited by the singular channel to the extent that it often sounds slightly muffled. In spite of this, the music somehow manages to take the listener on a journey beyond consciousness. In a nutshell, this is my argument against the DTS-mania that seems to have swept many a reviewer into a pro-DVD Audio frenzy. Crap will still sound like crap even if you play it in six channels with one and a half megabits allocated per second, but true maestros like Jimi Hendrix sound great even when they've been recorded inside a dishwasher with an answering machine.
The surround channels had nothing to do with this monaural soundtrack, but I thought that the subwoofer would at least get the chance to support the bass and drum tracks. It was completely silent from start to finish, however, in spite of really being needed by the music.
The video quality is acceptable, bordering on good.
The audio quality is functional.
The extras are limited.
|DVD||Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm), 16:9 mode/4:3 mode, using composite and S-video inputs|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Speakers||Panasonic S-J1500D Front Speakers, Philips PH931SSS Rear Speakers, Philips FB206WC Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|