Pilates-Conditioning for Weight Loss (Gaiam) (2001)

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Pilates Main Menu Audio
Multiple Angles-Combined W/O;Full Postures;Partially Modified;Fully Modified
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 195:12
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Ted Landon
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Suzanne Deason
Case ?
RPI ? Music Benjamin Davis


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Pilates - Conditioning for Weight Loss is an unusual DVD to review as it doesn't have a plot - being a video-based exercise regime. My wife has recently commenced a Pilates class, but my knowledge of the subject is limited to this DVD. The best I can hope to do, is describe the contents of the DVD and hope that those of you who are contemplating, or already undertaking, Pilates, will find it a useful pointer as to what resources this disc has to offer you.

    One caution for those of you who may consider buying this DVD - the language used is all rather "Californian" or "new-age"; personally I find it a little grating.

    Annoyingly, the DVD starts with a series of non-skippable copyright statements, warnings and disclaimers running for over forty seconds.

    At first glance, there appears to be quite a substantial amount of information on this DVD, however the menus are somewhat circular and many selections end up at the same video footage, with just a difference in the path chosen to get there. The "angle" icon appears on screen, which relates the ability to switch between video streams as described in the "Choose Workout Level" paragraph below. Selecting the angle button serves the same purpose as menu-selecting a workout level. The DVD is divided into the following sections:

    The overall workout includes various warm-up stretches such as Foot and Ankle Work, The Hundred, Leg Circles, Single Leg Stretch, and Hip Circles. The workout then progresses gradually through more tricky postures including The Mermaid, The Saw, Quadruped, Swan, Child's Pose, Bridges and so on. A complete session would take around an hour to complete.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The overall video transfer of this disc is quite poor, but adequate for its intended purpose.

    The material is presented in a ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is typical of a full-frame video source, with bright colours from the leotards and the breathtaking (Hawaiian) backdrop. There are no dark scenes per-se, but low level noise can be seen on some transitions in the branching video.

    MPEG artefacts are frequently present, and are most noticeable whenever anything on screen moves. These can be distracting when the image is displayed on a large screen, but on a small television the image is more acceptable. Edge enhancement is present throughout giving a visible halo effect. Aliasing is omnipresent.

    Film artefacts are totally absent and I imagine this was originally shot on videotape.

    There are no subtitle tracks offered, which is a shame for hard of hearing Pilates fans.

    This is a dual layer disc. I could not detect a layer change so it has probably been sensibly placed between chapters.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The overall audio quality of this disc adequate for its intended purpose.

    The sole audio track is an adequate Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack in English recorded at 192 kbps.

    Listening to the sole English soundtrack, the narration was always clear, which is critical as it provides the directions on how to perform each exercise.

    Music plays a minor role in providing a mellow background of instantly forgettable "elevator muzak" without drowning out the essential vocal narration.

    The surround channels are used to carry the background music track thanks to the Dolby Pro-Logic flag being set.

    The subwoofer is not used as there are no LFE signals present.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc, beyond the use of multiple angles as described above.

Menu

    The menus are musical, functional and cover the choices described in the Plot Synopsis section.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 DVD of this movie appears to be essentially the same as the Region 4, although it appears that the Region 1 suffers from commercials which cannot be skipped, prior to the start of the feature.

Summary

    Pilates - Conditioning for Weight Loss is a niche DVD, of interest only to those people undertaking or contemplating Pilates. It appears to provide a reasonable workout, catering for varying levels of ability from beginner to expert. The use of seamless branching and multiple "angles" is still quite innovative and suits the disc content well. The video and audio, whilst not stunning, are adequate for the purpose and the outdoor setting makes for a pleasant, restful backdrop.

    The video quality is poor but adequate for its purpose.

    The audio quality is adequate.

    There are no real extras, but the use of multiple angles and seamless branching make this a well-planned disc.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Tuesday, May 06, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-344 Multi-Region, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationONKYO TX-DS484
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

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