|Category||Music Video||Theatrical Trailer(s)||None|
|Year Released||1999||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||60:01 Minutes||Other Extras||Discography|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||2.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Even if you hate reggae with a passion, as I did some years before when I equated reggae with the frankly appalling UB40, you have to respect Bob Marley for his message, which is actually not that far removed from that of an artist who is more to my tastes, namely Burzum. By this, I mean that Marley's music sounds to me like it is largely motivated by a need to bring his people back together after having been thoroughly divided by a very ethnocentric force. Whether or not he was successful depends a great deal on your opinion of the condition of the world since Marley sadly passed away, but to me, one indisputable fact is that he succeeded in making great music. If you want to see people with heavy connections to Marley himself talk about the era and how the fans got behind the man, then this is a very good place to start.
The video transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. The modern-day footage is razor-sharp, and the historical footage ranges from being very diffuse to moderately sharp, with the diffuse footage also having a great deal of film grain for good measure. The shadow detail also varies according to the age of the footage, but is rarely needed to be anything more than what it is. Low-level noise appeared to be slightly problematic in the archival footage, but was never a serious problem at any time.
The colour saturation is also variable according to the age of the footage, with most of the archival footage being straight monochrome, and the colour archival footage having a dull saturation. One section of footage that is marked as being "rare tour footage" suffers no end of problems with regard to colour saturation, with Marley himself looking as white as a ghost. Whether this is inherent in the source material, which also shows signs of film warping, or MPEG posterization is something I will leave for the viewer to decide. The modern-day footage, however, is very accurately saturated, with the colours being nicely balanced and kept in strict accordance with the subject matter.
MPEG artefacts were not noticed at any point in this transfer, with most of the archival footage being allocated nine or more megabits per second. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some aliasing on such things as keyboards, but this artefact was comparatively well-controlled. Film artefacts consisted of every type of nick, scratch and sign of decay you could imagine, with white flecks showing up in the eldest footage at an alarming rate. Still, when allowances are made for all of the previously mentioned problems, this is definitely a very clean-looking transfer by Classic Albums standards.
As I mentioned in the plot summary, the music by Bob Marley has different meanings to different people, and can either be taken as a call for solidarity among the Jamaican people, or music to get stoned by. Compared to the offerings of the past two decades that will someday become the subjects of these documentaries, this music is a real masterpiece, believe me. Another interesting factor is that Marley's music doesn't necessarily need the highest resolution possible in order to sound good. It is easy to see why this man and his music is still remembered by artists from all walks of life nearly twenty years after his death in 1981, that's for certain.
Being that this is a straight stereo mix, the surround channels had very little to do except play cards and ask me how the weather was every now and again. The subwoofer, on the other hand, had a whale of a time supporting the bass and drums, and did so in a conspicuous manner that indicated it didn't give a damn who knew about its presence. The bass-heavy nature of the music meant that this frequent pulsing seemed to be perfectly appropriate, even if it did cause the floor to vibrate from time to time.
The video quality is very good, especially considering the source material.
The audio quality is also very good.
There are almost no extras.
|DVD||Grundig GDV 100 D, using composite output; Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Panasonic TC-29R20 (68 cm), 4:3 mode, using composite input; 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 Subwoofer|