|Year Released||1999||Commentary Tracks||No|
(not 55 minutes as stated on the packaging)
|Starring||The Big O|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||No||Dolby Digital||2.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||Full Frame||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, in credits|
So why does a man of this stature end up with a pitiful 50 minutes of very well fleshed-out videos?
The tracks on offer here run the entire gamut of his career and comprise the following:
Interspersed between the videos, and fleshing out the program enormously, are interview snippets with artists such as The Bee Gees, Robert Plant, Jeff Lynne, K.D. Lang, Bernie Taupin, Don Was and Dwight Yoakam, amongst others, who leave you in no doubt as to the influence of The Big O.
The only problems with this program is that it is too short, and the technical quality leaves a lot to be desired.
The transfer is presented Full Frame and is not 16x9 enhanced.
Have you ever sat down and watched VHS tapes of old black and white westerns from the 1940s? Well then, you will have a fair inkling of what this transfer looks like. If there was any point of this transfer that could be considered sharp and well defined, it must have been an accident: even the (colour) interview material which presumably was recorded relatively recently is barely adequate in this regard, let alone the main interest of the DVD - the videos. This is as diffuse an image as I have seen on DVD and in general is on a par with the lamentable The Story Of O in this regard. This is a real wishy washy style of transfer that really should not have been let loose on DVD in anything like this quality. There is barely anything that needs to be said about the detail as it is virtually non-existent. Obviously, it is not what we could consider a clear transfer at all. Grain and low level noise did not appear to be a problem here, but the transfer is so murky in parts that you really would not know the difference if it were a problem.
The black and white videos in general are very weak in the depth of their tones and really are just a collection of wishy washy greys. The colour videos are almost as bad, as the colours lack any sort of real tone and solidity to them and they sort of look like they were taped from a bad NTSC television transmission. The overall quality of the colour videos is so bad that they look like they are oversaturated in a glossy sort of way. The overall effect is completely devoid of anything approaching naturalness. Colour bleed is not a problem for the simple reason that there is not enough colour to let it happen. Words like appalling, gross and terrible spring readily to mind here.
There are no apparent MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There were no real problems with film-to-video artefacts in the transfer, at least as far as the transfer allowed me to see them. Film artefacts were absolutely rife in general with a couple of videos being especially bad - showing all the signs of negative damage that you could possibly think of.
This would be considered a bad transfer by VHS standards, let alone DVD standards.
There is only the one audio track on the DVD, being an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack that in all probability is a mono soundtrack tweaked to sound stereo - and failing quite badly.
Dialogue and vocals were generally clear and easy to understand, in the circumstances.
There did not appear to be any real problems with audio sync in the transfer.
Aside from the fact that the overall quality of the soundtrack is poor, it is on occasions blessed with audio dropouts, most especially during Running Scared. The fact that despite the rather frontal mono sounding effort at times, the unique vocals of The Big O shine through is as good a testament as you will ever require to the greatness of the man. Audio dropouts, no surround presence, no bass support, congested sound - what more could we want from a soundtrack?
A bad VHS quality video transfer.
A poor audio transfer.
A completely unworthy extras package.
© Ian Morris (have a
laugh, check out the bio)
7th August 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|