Road Movie

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Details At A Glance

Category Music Theatrical Trailer(s) None
Rating Other Trailer(s) None
Year Released 1996 Commentary Tracks None
Running Time 90:15 minutes Other Extras None
RSDL/Flipper No/No
Cast & Crew
Start Up Movie
Region 2,3,4,5,6 Director Peter Care

Warner Vision Australia
Starring R.E.M.
Case Super Jewel Case
RRP $39.95 Music R.E.M.

Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame MPEG None
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None Dolby Digital None
16x9 Enhancement No Soundtrack Languages English (Linear PCM 48/16, 1536 Kb/s)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio 1.33:1
Macrovision Yes Smoking No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, in credits

Plot Synopsis

    Every decade of rock and roll reveals a few select bands that may become immortal as a result of the originality of their music. Unfortunately, as we approach the end of the nineties, it is difficult to guess what that band will be, but I for one will suggest that R.E.M. will be up for consideration. Through the eighties and nineties, R.E.M. have progressed from a small fan base in Georgia to being one of the biggest bands in the world. However, they remain a band that you either love or hate, there is no middle ground with R.E.M. Me? I love them. Definitely one of the best bands to emerge from a period that will ultimately be shown to be a low point in rock and roll history.

    This is a concert video compiled from three nights at The Omni in Atlanta, Georgia in November, 1995.

Transfer Quality


    Well let us get it straight out into the open. This source material demonstrates just about everything that can be wrong about concert videos. The filming itself is quite poor, showing some quite appalling lapses in focus, and indeed subject - there are a couple of nice shots of empty stage and stage edges. This is edited from three concerts so there are seriously obvious continuity problems - just check out the clothing changes during each song! Colours are all over the place and range from absolutely washed out and virtually non-existent to over saturation. One camera in particular is especially bad. The picture at times is quite incredibly grainy, so much so it looks like it might have been filmed in the rain (even though an indoor venue)! And the transfer in general has quite horrendous problems dealing with the extreme stage lighting. In short, everything that I hate about concert videos is demonstrated to abundance here. Quite why it was decided to release it I do not know, other than the fact that the music is stunning.

    The concert is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The transfer reflects a wide variance in sharpness and definition, but overall is quite poor. At times though, especially with long shots of the stage, this demonstrates an almost perfectly sharp image with glorious definition. Detail at times is quite poor and apart from some short segments, the transfer is anything but clear. There was the hint of some low level noise on a number of occasions, although this may have actually been even more serious grain problems for at least one camera was producing an horrendously grainy image. It should be clearly understood that the problems are source material problems and not DVD mastering problems.

    The colours are all over the place in the transfer, with absolutely no consistency whatsoever. The colours range from woefully washed out through to gloriously saturated. Overall, the colours are very poor which is not helped by some of the most extremely intense stage lighting effects that causes horrendous problems in the transfer. Flare is a reasonably common problem here.

    There did not appear to be any significant MPEG artefacts in the transfer, but there were some minor film-to-video artefacts, mainly aliasing. There were no real film artefacts noted, perhaps indicative of the fact that most of the concert appears to be from a video source not a film source.


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

    The music and vocals came up very well in the soundtrack, and this makes the DVD worthwhile indeed.

    Audio sync did not appear to be a DVD problem.

    The soundtrack makes no use of the surround channels, nor the bass channel, and this is very much like listening to a compact disc, but with visuals as well. There is nothing much wrong with the soundtrack as it is, and it represents a glorious record of the band in concert.


    None at all.



    Nothing more than an advertisement.

R4 vs R1

    There is no apparent difference between the Region 1 and Region 4 versions, making the only deciding factor the inherent superiority of the PAL system.


    Despite the quite horrendous problems at times with the source material for the video transfer, the music shines through and fans will probably not need any excuse to play this loud and often. Everyone else should check the transfer out first to see if they are as badly affected by the quality of the source material for the video transfer as I am.

    Nothing wrong with the video transfer, apart from the very problematic source material.

    A damn good audio transfer.

    A non-existent extras package.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Ian Morris
28th November 1999

Review Equipment
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