Joey: The Andrew Johns Story...So Far (2002)
Featurette-Joey's Tips (9)
|Year Of Production||2002|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Bradley Howard|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Auto Pan & Scan Encoded||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
All sports need their heroes, none more so than Rugby League which has, over the past 5-6 years, seen tremendous divisions take place within both its administration and on the field. A near fatal split and the formation of Super League, the bitter court battle by the South Sydney Rabbitohs to be readmitted and on-field incidents like that involving John Hopoate have all left Rugby League tottering like a boxer on the edge of being knocked out. In addition, low attendance numbers, dwindling ratings and a steady flow of some of the best players in the game to that 'other' code have all driven stakes into body of the game. Although none of these alone is fatal, fighting back off the ropes hasn't been easy, so it's no wonder that any chance to show off some of the strengths of the game is a priority.
Joey - The Andrew Johns Story So Far is a typical example of trying to redress the balance of negativity surrounding the code, as well as showcase some of the better examples of how good the game can be while the player is still actively participating in the game itself. It's sort of like a pop star putting out a biography when they are 20. Personally, I think these things are best left until after the player has retired from playing, thereby avoiding any possible fallout, but when you need a hero, anyone who comes close to the mark will do. There is no denying Andrew Johns is a good player and the footage used shows that he deserves praise for his on-field ability. Off field, he's typical of your standard Aussie battler; he likes a drink and a bet on the horses, is a larrikin at heart and would probably prefer to stay in the background and let his football do the talking. Still, he has managed to avoid most of the controversy surrounding the game, has won two league titles (although some will say that the one gained during the Super League split has a little less value), three Dally M's (best player in the game) and countless other accolades.
For the most part, unless you are a big Rugby League follower, or a Newcastle Knights supporter this probably won't hold that much interest for you, but it is an excellent visual presentation apart from some minor problems and does go to show that even amongst all the gloom there is always someone who can hold the torch and show the way, and Johns is about as good as they get in the game. Maybe he's not the perfect representative off the field, but then shining knights (sic) seldom are and for a rough hewn diamond he does stack up well even against the more glittering examples in other sports, because he is that good.
For the most part the picture quality is quite superb with only the TV footage exhibiting any major problems, and that is probably due to it being video quality only.
The disc is offered up in 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced. Some of the game coverage looks a little stretched as a result, but everything else looks fine.
Clean, sharp, precise and few major problems are the order of the day throughout. Grain is minimal except in the video footage. The picture is sharp and clean with minimal edge enhancement. Low level noise is not an issue.
Chroma noise was not detected. Colour bleed was not noted during the interviews or much of the additional footage. The use of television coverage of the games, however, is different. Excessive colour bleed can be seen in these parts (eg: 26:30) and is probably due to the video nature of the source material. The normal palette is excellent with plenty of variety and colour on display. Skin tones are very natural and the whole thing is beautifully presented.
Pixelization (3:37 - along picture frame, 26:45 - along news clipping) is plentiful throughout although it can't be considered detrimental to the overall quality. Similarly, there is some slight shimmering at 9:50 on the shirt worn by Peter Sterling, but this is more the exception than the rule. There are some very noticeable video artefacts at 16:50 (akin to motion blur/ghosting) and again at 34:50. Apart from these few very obvious flaws, the rest of the disc is very well presented with no major dramas.
There are no subtitles present on this disc which isn't a major issue for the most part.
This is a single layered disc.
The audio consists of two tracks, a simple English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack at a respectable 384 kilobits per second and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track at the same bitrate. The difference between the two tracks comes down to 'crowd noise'. Whenever there is some cheering or other ambient noise, the 5.1 cuts it into the surround channels. Apart from this is there was no difference between the two tracks that I could detect. Both are well set up across the fronts with some minor separation but not a lot (since there isn't a lot for even the fronts to do). The sound out of the centre channel is good with no noticeable audio glitches.
Apart from some minor issues understanding a couple of the people being interviewed, there was no problem with the dialoguing or the audio sync throughout.
The music is mostly incidental as you'd expect on a documentary of this nature and therefore mostly irrelevant.
The surround channels only become utilised whenever there is ambient or crowd noise in play. Given the limited nature of the material they do what they have to do well, but there is very little for them to do at all.
The subwoofer was not noticeable during the playback of this disc.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This disc doesn't appear to have been released in any other region at this time.
Sports fans and rugby fans as well as those who follow the Newcastle Knights will probably snap this up but for the rest of the population it probably won't hold too much appeal.
The video quality is excellent except for the television coverage, but that is to be expected to some degree.
The audio is adequate to perform its task of supporting the video.
The extras are limited to some tips on training.
|DVD||Toshiba SD5300, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Xelos (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Rotel RSP-976. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Rotel RB 985 MkII|
|Speakers||JBL TLX16s Front Speakers, Polk Audio LS fx di/bipole Rear Speakers, Polk Audio CS350-LS Centre Speaker, M&KV-75 Subwoofer|