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Details At A Glance

Category Music Main Menu Audio and Animation
Year Released 1995
Running Time 71:02 minutes
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 2,3,4,5,6 Director Jim McKay
Chris Bilheimer
Warner Reprise Video
Warner Vision Australia
Starring Michael Stipe
Bill Berry
Mike Mills
Peter Buck
Case Transparent Amaray
RPI $39.95 Music R.E.M.

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536 Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, during and after credits

Plot Synopsis

    By the time you get to the third instalment of the forthcoming Warner Vision DVD releases of the great R.E.M., you pretty well know what to expect, right? Well, you pretty much get it. This is another collection of videos, and the tracks on offer on this effort are:
1. Drive
2. Man On The Moon
3. The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite
4. Everybody Hurts
5. Nightswimming
6. Find The River
7. What's The Frequency, Kenneth?
8. Bang And Blame
9. Star 69
10. Strange Currencies
11. Crush With Eyeliner

    And after the final video, you also get a little presentation called R.E.M. A B C, which is basically an A to Z of things associated with the band. I might add that it really is not much and merely serves to flesh out what would have been a 62 minute DVD to 71 minutes. This fleshing out is also aided by some interstitial footage that varies between rubbish and bizarre: it uses film taken during their 1995 tour, but is not much of a linking mechanism. It could certainly have been dispensed with in my view. Once again, there are no complaints about the music on offer, although the stand-out track here is Man On The Moon, a song that has had something of a renaissance recently thanks to a certain film of the same name. R.E.M. fans are obviously going to be suffering in the wallet area when this DVD and its companions hit the stores.

Transfer Quality


    As another collection of videos, it would seem natural that the quality would be much improved upon the standard R.E.M. concert DVD, as the source material has to meet certain standards to be played on television, and to some extent this is reflected in the transfer, although there are still plenty of opportunities for the "genuine" R.E.M. feel to be given a run!

    The concert is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and obviously is not 16x9 enhanced.

    Overall, the transfer on offer here is a moderately sharp and detailed effort, that vacillates between the needs of television and the demands of the band's style. Just do not expect lots of sharp detail, and you should get on fine here, as you will not get it - indeed you may well get the antithesis of it! Unfortunately, the style that is in general adopted in this collection of videos is not exactly the best and at times this is absolutely riddled with grain - both intentional and otherwise. You may well have guessed that clarity is not a key word here. Still, we continue to live content in the knowledge that the source material is the culprit and not any DVD mastering problems.

    The colours are somewhat all over the place in the transfer, although the general trend is certainly towards undersaturation. There are as usual significant chunks of black and white footage, and this displays the usual problems that are associated with such material from this source. Having said that, the likes of Man On The Moon look very good and this makes for a highlight of this DVD. Bright primary colours you can definitely forget, except perhaps in Everybody Hurts as this is the best-looking colour I have yet seen in an R.E.M. video. However, undersaturated tones you will certainly get more used to.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer. Unlike the previous efforts, there is something of a problem with aliasing in this transfer. It is most noticeable in Everybody Hurts, where just about every vehicle displays the problem. Aliasing was also apparent in other songs, such as Find The River, but mainly of the relatively minor, non-disruptive type. There were no real film artefacts noted.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    There is just the one English audio track on the DVD, being a Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack.

    The music and vocals come up very well in the soundtrack.

    There are no significant audio sync problems with the transfer at all.

    Just to keep the broken record syndrome running: the soundtrack makes no use at all of the surround channels, nor the bass channel, and this is just like listening to a compact disc, and a quite decent one, too. There simply is nothing much wrong with this soundtrack at all, other than the fact that it is not a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The great music on offer here gets to shine aplenty.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    Same lousy package, different DVD. And this time I would also have to say that this is a rather poor-looking menu, too.


R4 vs R1

    This release would again appear to be identical to the Region 1 DVD. In view of the nature of the bulk of source material, there would be little reason to prefer one version over the other.


    R.E.M. - Parallel continues the trend of being a must for fans of this great band, but with nothing to entice the non-fan to the DVD at all. Add in the asking price and this is not a DVD that will go beyond its target market - purely and simply, the R.E.M. fan.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris (have a laugh, check out the bio)
7th October 2000

Review Equipment
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