|Year Released||1999||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||45:02 minutes||Other Extras||Gallery - Photographs
Menu Animation and Audio
Music Video - Shake Your Bon-Bon (3:04)
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||No||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||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Yes, I feel much better now. Sorry, but listening to a bunch of women screaming at a bloke for doing nothing more than wiggling his way around a stage is guaranteed to reduce me to a state of severe frustration and anger. And just so I don't get accused of being sexist, if the roles were reversed I would still be frustrated and angry. Unfortunately, lost amongst all the hype and corporate machine dollars being flung at this gentleman is the fact that he actually does have something to offer musically - but from this effort you would not really know it. I suppose one day the bright boys who run record companies will wake up to the fact that the reason why the music industry is declining worldwide is because they forgot one damn important thing - the music. Hype and good looks may open the door, but the only thing that will keep people coming back is the music. Strip away the hype and the good looks, and what you have to have is the music. The sad fact is that at the core, this guy does have some talent, and his earlier slower stuff shows it, but it is slowly being subverted by the corporate hype machine, predominantly based upon one song and lots of screaming women. Hence the reason why the best stuff on offer here is nothing that has made the charts in the last two years!
And if you have no idea who the heck Ricky Martin is, why on earth are you still reading this?
Just for the record, this apparently was a concert recorded for television in Liberty State Park, New Jersey last year. And a very short concert it is too, comprising:
I went into this reviewing experience expecting the worst, but actually found myself very mildly enjoying the earlier music (although still detesting the later stuff). But fans will no doubt lap this up, as it does give you lots of looks at Ricky Martin shaking various parts of his anatomy to the adoring crowd of women. The fact that the music does not translate well to the concert stage will remain of minor concern.
The transfer is presented in a full frame format, reflecting its origins and is not 16x9 enhanced. Somewhat perversely, some of the inserted non-concert material is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1.
In general, this is a fairly typical concert video: reasonably sharp, barring the inevitable odd lapses in focus, and reasonably well detailed, although not quite in the league of a good feature film. The transfer is generally quite clear. Shadow detail is generally fairly good. There did not appear to be any problems with low level noise in the transfer.
Whilst in general this is a nicely vibrant transfer, the odd washout due to the stage lighting as usual disappoints. The main problem though is the lack of depth to the darker colours at times - a good example is at the end of the concert with Ricky standing in front of the New York skyline: the colours, especially of his trousers, look a little grey. Still, the rich tones will please many, and this certainly looks better than many concert videos that I have seen. There was the one instance, during the songs with Carlos Santana and Jose Feliciano, where the transfer seemed to suffer just a little from oversaturation owing to the intense red stage lighting, but that was the only such problem in the transfer.
There were no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There were no apparent film-to-video artefacts in the transfer. There were no film artefacts in the transfer.
Overall, it is fair to say that any deficiencies in the DVD presentation, video-wise, are as a result of inherent limitations in the source material, and not a reflection on the mastering of this DVD.
There are two audio tracks on the DVD, an English Dolby Digital 5.1 sound track and an English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack. I listened to both soundtracks.
The vocals are generally clear and easy to understand throughout, although somewhat recessed in the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.
There did not appear to be any audio sync problems with the transfer.
As usual, the Linear PCM soundtrack is very similar to the sound we are used to from compact discs and is very easy to listen to. There is certainly nothing inherently wrong with the soundtrack. The same cannot be said for the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack however, and it would seem that this suffers from some poor mixing. Nothing desperately wrong, but just a little lack of separation of the channels that results, at least in my view, in the overall sound being a little congested. With the vocals a little too recessed in the mix, the overall effect is not quite what I would expect from a recent Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The overall sound picture lacks a lot of space and perhaps needs a little tweaking of your normal listening levels on each channel to get this really nicely balanced. Had there been more separation of the channels, then this would really have shone as a concert. The bass channel was nicely present throughout, although seeming to lack just a little in variety and by the end of the disc it certainly was sounding very monotonous. Overall, I felt that this could really have been a lot better than it is, but as it stands it is not too bad an effort at all - just don't compare it to some of the real gems in the music video catalogue.
A very good video transfer.
A good audio transfer.
A sadly deficient bunch of extras.
And just a note of thanks to Sony Music - included
in the disc case is a nice little booklet catalogue of their releases.
A little unusual as we do not see it too often, but what makes this one
a little different is that it also includes catalogue numbers - makes it
a lot easier to walk into your local DVD retailer and order a DVD (if they
do not have it in stock) when you have this information. I wish more distributors
would include small details such as these in their packages.
© Ian Morris (have a
laugh, check out the bio)
21st March 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|