|Category||Drama||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.78:1, not 16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0|
|Year Released||1982||Commentary Tracks||Yes, 1 - Gerald Scarfe (Animation Director) and Roger Waters (Writer/Composer)|
|Running Time||95:10 minutes||Other Extras||Documentary - The Other Side Of The Wall (25:44)
Documentary - Retrospective: A Look Back At The Wall (42:58)
Deleted Scene - Hey You (4:34)
Menu Audio and Animation
Music Video - The Wall (3:13)
Technical System Set Up
Sony Music Entertainment
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
English (Linear PCM 2.0, 1536Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Broadly speaking an autobiographical film based upon the life of Roger Waters, this is the story of Pink (Bob Geldof as the older, Kevin McKeon as the younger), a young boy failing to come to terms of the death of his father during the war whilst still an infant. Finding it difficult to come to terms with the lack of a father in his life, and as the result of some over-mothering, Pink grows up to be something of a maladjusted adult who becomes a rock star. In what appears to be typical fashion for such people, Pink over-indulges in alcohol and drugs and slowly withdraws within himself to the exclusion of all, including his wife. In other words he builds The Wall, brick by brick, and slowly withers behind it.
The enigma that it is, the synopsis could be completely off the wall (sorry about the pun) but then again the film can be so many different things to so many different people. But whatever it is, it remains a memorable film, for many reasons. The animation by Gerald Scarfe is some of the most amazing that you are ever likely to see, blending magnificently with the live action segments of the film. Some of the segueing between the two forms is utterly sublime and the imagery that is invoked is stunning. I doubt that anyone who has watched the "horrors of war" segment will ever truly forget the poignant imagery of the futility of war. And the "flowers" is so riddled with sexual power that it sometimes surprises that the famed BBFC managed to let the film through with only a 15 rating. How much of the film is derived from Alan Parker is difficult to say, but there is no doubt that his realization of the words of Roger Waters is visually different, surreal at times, sublime at others, frightening too often. To many, the film is optimized by the fascist basis of some of the dream, but this is not really a celebration of fascism as many think but a damnation of fascism in its extreme. Director of photography, Peter Bizou, excelled himself in the way this film was realized, with some especially effective simple use of light. Bringing the whole thing together is the stunning music of Roger Waters and the rest of Pink Floyd, and the complete absence of any core dialogue to the film.
The film itself may be something of an enigma, but the quality of the film is undoubted. Whatever your reaction to the film, this is a film that you should indulge in at least once.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.
Okay, we are talking an actual film that is bordering on twenty years old so we have to make allowances right? Wrong. I have seen five year old films that look worse than this. That mastering from the original interpositive shows in just about every aspect of this gem of a transfer. It is further helped by being anamorphically filmed, so what we end up with onscreen is an uncommonly good transfer that is sharp and well defined throughout. Although of course there are a few intended sequences which are not supposed to be sharp, the only time that this starts to show its age in any way is during some of the darker scenes (both literally and figuratively). Suffice to say, any lapses in the transfer are more than likely deliberately intended. This is a quite clear transfer and there are no real problems at all with low level noise in the transfer.
The style of the film does in general mitigate against strong, vibrant colours and what is on offer is generally quite a drabbish palette of colours. However, when the opportunity arises, this positively shines with vibrancy and clarity in the colours and damn nearly puts to shame almost every DVD in my collection. Even in the drab scenes on offer, there is a sharpness to the colours on offer that is quite amazing for a film of this age. Obviously, there is little or no chance of having oversaturation problems here.
Having gone to the trouble of making a master from the original interpositive, it is pleasing to see that some effort has gone into the compression of the data itself. I doubt that you will find an MPEG artefact lurking in this transfer: after two straight viewings, I am damn sure that I did not. The only real problem at all with the video transfer is in the form of some extremely minor film-to-video artefacts, most notably (but not really noticeable) minor aliasing. It is almost churlish to mention it given the general quality on offer here, but it is all that really denies this reference quality status. And as for film artefacts, forget it. I think there were a few, mainly minor flecks, but nothing that I would call remotely distracting and this is a stunningly clean transfer for a film of its age. Perhaps some of the people responsible for some of the far more recent artefact heavens that we have been blessed with should sit down and take a look at what we should expect from every DVD transfer in this regard.
Those same people should also perhaps look at the fact that despite the reasonably standard 90 odd minute length of the film, the transfer has been blessed with an RSDL format disc. The layer change comes at 62:28 and whilst it is noticeable, it is not at all disruptive to the flow of the film.
There are three audio tracks on the DVD: an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, an English Linear PCM Stereo soundtrack and an English Audio Commentary in Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. I listened to all three soundtracks.
It is somewhat difficult to discuss the dialogue here as that is one of the notable features about the film: there is no real dialogue. The entire narrative is really in the music and any dialogue that is audible is entirely superfluous to the film. The music is always clear and easy to understand though.
There are no audio sync problems with the transfer.
The original musical contribution comes from Roger Waters and the rest of Pink Floyd, predominantly David Gilmour. Whilst much of the music was re-recorded for the film and does not bear direct correlation to the album of the same name, the basics are very much the same and this is the entire raison d'être for the film. Superb stuff indeed, and a highlight in the generally distinguished Pink Floyd legacy.
And so what is the fault of the soundtrack that denies it reference standard? Quite simply, a couple of rather disturbing bouts of overly excessive bass reverb, most notably whenever the keyboards were used in the music. Okay, I know I am excessively bass sensitive, and this may not bother many, but this really detracts from what is otherwise a quite superb soundtrack. At times quite ethereal, at other times quite aggressive, this is a seriously good soundtrack in all other respects. Whilst there is not the ultimate demonstration of surround usage here, that is simply a fact of life with a soundtrack that is so heavily based upon the music. If only that bass reverb was not there - this would have been a certainty for the Hall of Fame.
A superb video transfer, bordering on reference quality.
A superb audio transfer, hampered by a bad bass reverb problem at times.
A superb extras package.
© Ian Morris (have a
laugh, check out the bio)
13th 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|