This review is sponsored by
|Running Time||73:33 Minutes|
|RSDL/Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
Universal Home Video
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 384Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Tom Petty began making these videos before there even was an MTV, although the early ones show a lot less creativity than those which were created after the rise of that awful channel. The collection really hits its stride with You Got Lucky, the last of the videos to be directed by Jim Lenahan. My favourite video, of course, would be the Alice-In-Wonderland-on-PCP-style Don't Come Around Here No More. As a matter of fact, this exceptionally odd-ball video is the entire reason I stuck my hand up for this disc in the first place. The use of surreal and imaginative imagery really makes a big difference, and it is amazing how much more interesting a promotional video looks when some creativity has come into the equation.
The tracklisting for this DVD is as follows:
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and it is not 16x9 Enhanced. Given that the last of these videos was recorded in 1993, I doubt that Tom Petty or the directors had a widescreen ratio in mind when they shot these promotional clips.
The transfer is very sharp at all times, with a gradual improvement in sharpness overall as the videos get more recent. There were no problems with low-level noise. Mildly distracting grain is an issue during parts of Into The Great Wide Open, during some of the video footage showing the story detailed in the lyrics, but thankfully there are no such problems anywhere else in the transfer.
The colour saturation of this transfer is mostly impeccable, with every colour being as evenly balanced and well-represented as possible. There was some minor discolouration at the top of the frame towards the end of You Got Lucky, but this would more than likely be a source material issue rather than a fault of the transfer.
MPEG artefacts weren't a problem at all in this transfer, with the bitrate almost always at the DVD maximum rate of ten megabits per second, and the surprisingly clean source material giving the compression very little to stress over. Film-to-video artefacts consisted of some mild aliasing from time to time that wasn't particularly bothersome or even noticeable in most cases. A ghost-like outline surrounds the musicians during I Won't Back Down, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that this was an intentional effect given that there is no noise in these outlines, and they disappear during certain segments of the video. Film artefacts consisted of numerous nicks and scratches on the negative, as well as the occasional black and white flecks, but these were mostly confined to the early videos. By the time Don't Come Around Here No More began, the picture became so clean that one could be forgiven for thinking these videos were shot yesterday.
There are no subtitles on this disc, which was somewhat frustrating given that I wanted to sing along with Don't Come Around Here No More, but couldn't understand most of what Tom Petty was actually singing.
The vocals are always quite prominent in the mix, making them easy to understand for the most part, but the aforementioned Don't Come Around Here No More and later songs such as I Won't Back Down find Tom Petty's voice sounding rather unintelligible at times. This is as much the fault of the vocal style he used with these songs as the original recording engineer's, so this can be overlooked, particularly given how clear and focussed the other instruments always sound. There were occasional issues with audio sync, such as Tom Petty's lip movements not quite matching the sound, or a guitarist's finger movements not quite matching the timing of their notes, but these are normal problems for music videos.
The music by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakerscan be vaguely viewed as middle-of-the-road pop, but even the most radio-friendly songs here are more creative than what you'd find if you turned on the tuner today. Ironically, the most sinister-sounding song here, Don't Come Around Here No More, is the one that has gotten the most air play over the years.
Being that this is a straight stereo soundtrack, there was no activity from the surround channels. This was quickly forgotten, however, as the higher bitrate allowed much greater channel separation than is the norm for Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks. The subwoofer had a whale of a time supporting the bass and drums, adding a floor to the soundtrack that was tight and punchy, and it did so without becoming conspicuous.
The video quality is good, surprisingly so considering the age of most of the material.
The audio quality is excellent, building a great argument for the use of higher bitrate soundtracks.
There are no extras.
© Dean McIntosh (my
bio sucks... read it anyway)
April 7, 2001
|DVD||Toshiba SD-2109, using S-video output|
|Display||Samsung CS-823AMF (80 cm) in 16:9 and 4:3 modes, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built In (Amplifier)|
|Amplification||Sony STR-DE835, calibrated using the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Yamaha NS-45 Front Speakers, Yamaha NS-90 Rear Speakers, Yamaha NS-C120 Centre Speaker, JBL Digital 10 Active Subwoofer|