Mavis! (2015)

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Released 6-Apr-2016

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2015
Running Time 77:22
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given

Madman Entertainment
Starring Mavis Staples
Pops Staples
Yvonne Staples
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Mavis Staples was born in Chicago in 1939 and has been a professional singer for nearly all of her lifetime, starting as a young singer in her father's gospel group at the age of 11. She and her brother, sisters and father soon rose to local and then national and international fame as The Staple Singers, probably one of the most famous gospel/soul singing groups ever. They had many hits during the 1960s and 70s, with their biggest hit, I'll Take You There, hitting No 1 on the Billboard charts in 1972. The family continued to perform together until her father Pops' death in 2000 and her sister Yvonne continues to tour with her now as they are inseparable. This quality documentary tracks her life and career and the career of The Staple Singers which also included her brother Pervis and her other sister Cleotha at certain times. Mavis was always the lead singer of the group with the others providing backup vocals and, in Pops' case, also guitar. She also had and continues to have a successful solo career.

     The documentary is a good mixture of interviews, rehearsals, recent concert performances, family films and historical footage of both her and the group. Other famous musicians also pop up in interviews including Bonnie Raitt, Chuck D, Sharon Jones and Bob Dylan (who supposedly Mavis had a relationship with). Subjects covered include their rise to fame, their recording career, Pops' background, the impact of segregation on them and how they chose to become protest singers, their relationship with Martin Luther King, her recent records and awards and the impact of Pops' death on her and Yvonne. Also included are interviews with her current band members and current collaborator Jeff Tweedy from Wilco.

     This is an interesting, emotional and realistic presentation of her life and career which is certainly worth seeing for fans of soul and gospel music. Recommended.

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Transfer Quality


     The video quality is very good.

     The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout despite the various sources. Shadow detail is very good.

     The colour was very good with no issues to report..

     There was some mild macro blocking at times and some aliasing.

     There are no subtitles.

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


    The audio quality is very good.

     This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack (the case mistakenly shows stereo only).

     Dialogue was clear and easy to understand throughout.

     The music sounds great, utilising the surround speakers and subwoofer especially with the newer footage.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



    The menu features music.

Theatrical Trailer (1:51) 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This seems to be the only release available of this documentary currently.


    A quality documentary about the life of a great gospel/soul singer.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good.

    Trailer only for extras.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, April 30, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DMR-PWT500, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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