This review is sponsored by
|Running Time||244:54 minutes|
Warner Vision Australia
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192 Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||No|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||
|Macrovision||Yes||Smoking||Yes, mostly illegal substances|
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
And so why exactly am I attempting to review this monument to A-grade rubbish? Well, the short answer is that this was sitting around gathering dust for months waiting to be reviewed, and there has in general been a rush of reviewers away from the title over that time. In the end, someone has to do it and so in a fit of madness I volunteered - a decision that I regretted wholeheartedly within about three seconds of firing the first video up. Indeed, if this review ever gets finished by me, it will be a miracle as I tried to beg out of doing it after suffering through the first 40 minute video. But, masochistic perseverance, along with sufficient help from my mate Jack to dull the pain and the complete lack of anyone else stupid enough to volunteer, ensures that eventually completion is at hand. Started 12th November, 2000, finished 20th January, 2001. That probably is an all time record for the time taken to complete the viewing and reviewing of one DVD. It also tells you more than you need to know about whether this DVD is of the remotest interest to you. Tip: it isn't unless you are under the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegal substances - and preferably both.
Since there are those people who hold different views
to me over this pathetic excuse for a rock band, and thus actually like
this trash, the details of the offerings (at least according to the packaging)
|Cowboys From Hell: The Videos||Vulgar Video|
|1.||Cowboys From Hell||1.||Mouth For War|
|2.||Psycho Holiday||2.||This Love|
|4.||Heresy (Live)||4.||Domination (Live)|
|5.||Art Of Shredding (Live)||5.||Primal Concrete Sledge|
|Pantera 3: Watch It Go|
|3.||5 Minutes Alone|
|4.||Drag The Waters|
The less said about this collection of putrid songs, the better in my view. Suffice it to say, you would really need to be a seriously die-hard fan of the band to want to indulge in this rubbish, so unless you are, give this the widest possible berth that you can. Still, apart from a rather unusual choice as far as audio goes, and allowing for the shocking state of some of the source material, the DVD itself is not too bad at all. A classic case of the quality of the material being nowhere near the quality of the transfer it has been given.
The transfer is presented in a Full Frame format, and it is not 16x9 enhanced.
You can forget the usual notions of sharpness and detail here. There really is simply not much of it on offer. At times, the videos descend into very diffuse images, with so little real detail on offer most of the time as to almost prompt me to suggest that there is none. Whilst it is not that bad, you would be hard-pressed at times to find anything really positive to say about the detail on offer. Shadow detail is uniformly mediocre at best. The overall transfer seems to be clear and free of grain, even if the source material is anything but. There does not appear to be any low level noise problems with the transfer. Basically, take the average quality of home video tapes and you have a rough idea of what to expect here mostly, at least for the best bits (best not referring to the actual content, which is uniformly manure). The only time that the video transfer approaches anything close to respectability is during the "proper" film clips. Unfortunately to get to those "proper" film clips you have to endure a lot of manure.
The colours here are pretty much all over the place too. The more controlled environment in which some of the bridging interviews are done is generally quite decent in tone, although not especially vibrant. The videos themselves are pretty ropey as far as colours go and there is a general tendency towards a lack of tonal depth here, excluding the generally good "proper" film clips. That being said, there certainly is the odd instance where oversaturation comes to notice. However, this is usually the result of some rather extreme stage lighting, which also has the effect of washing out colours at times. Some of the source material does suffer from colour bleed, but this is a source problem and not a DVD transfer problem.
There are no significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. There are also no really significant film-to-video artefacts in the transfer, although Vulgar Video and Pantera 3: Watch It Go are blessed with some aliasing problems as well as some cross colouration issues. There are no great problems with film artefacts in the transfer. You may notice a slight break up of the lower portion of the picture at 4:10 during the first video, Cowboys From Hell: The Videos, but this appears to be a source material problem and not a transfer problem.
Since I did not notice any layer change during the presentation, although I may have been asleep at the time, I am presuming that this is a Dual Layer formatted disc with the the first two videos mastered on one layer and the rest mastered on the second layer.
You should also note that there is no chaptering
on any of the videos, so you have little option but to use the fast forward
button to avoid the extended sections of utter dross to get the the relatively
minor sections of the DVD that do actually have some noise in them (sorry,
I cannot possibly use the term music here).
Overall, there is not much of a problem with the vocals and dialogue here, but again it has to be borne in mind that at best this is nothing more than a mediocre home video tape. Audio sync does not appear to be an issue in the transfer.
After the shock of this being an exceedingly wimpish
sounding audio transfer, which really does not do the presentation any
favours whatsoever, there is little to say about it. Despite the noise
crying out for surround and bass channel enhancement, there is unfortunately
nothing here of that nature. The sound is at least relatively free of distortion,
but is not exactly a spacious sounding transfer - which again does not
aid the noise. I am presuming that this is a reflection of problems with
the source material, as opposed to transfer problems. Overall, a decent
enough soundtrack but totally out of character with what this noise requires.
|Surround Channel Use|
© Ian Morris (have
a laugh, check out the bio)
Started 12th November, 2000 finished 20th January 2001
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 80cm. 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 C-2; rears EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|