Paul McCartney-Back in the U.S.: Concert Film (2002)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 18-Mar-2003

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Backstage/ All Access Pass
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-On The Road With Paul
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Pre-show
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Meet The Band
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Macca Mania
Deleted Scenes-Driving Rain
Deleted Scenes-Every Night
Deleted Scenes-You Never Give Me Your Money/ Carry That Weight
Additional Footage-Bring It To Jerome
Additional Footage-Midnight Special
Additional Footage-San Francisco Bay
Web Links-Secret Website Access
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 122:50 (Case: 180)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (64:50) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Mark Haefeli
Studio
Distributor
Capitol Films
EMI Music
Starring Paul McCartney
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Paul McCartney


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, credits are played over the encore.

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Since Paul McCartney cancelled his Australian gig last year there has been no news or even a hint at a possible rescheduling of the show. It did seem a bit stupid to come all the way here to only do one concert, but we do have this golden DVD to keep us sated until he decides to do a proper Australian tour (i.e. more than one city).

    As the title suggests, this was filmed at various shows across the United States and made into a "concert film", not a live DVD. What's the difference, you ask? This feature basically represents an entire Paul McCartney show, but with backstage footage and inane celebrity back-patting interspersed between almost every song. In fact, four songs have this unnecessary banter over the top of them! (Coming Up, Hey Jude, a sound check performance of Matchbox and Loving Flame.) Having to listen to a not-very-entertaining interview over the top of a classic Beatles song is inexcusable.

    Thankfully, the good outweighs the bad on this DVD and part of the non-concert footage is actually quite interesting. Paul and his band visit a University where apes have been taught to communicate, utilising a very large vocabulary. They hang out (pun intended) with them for the afternoon and in one of the most hilarious scenes I've seen for a long time, Paul and his band jam with these apes on a few Beatles songs. Seriously, it has to be seen to be believed.

    The excellent direction is also worth mentioning - the use of split-screen images and fast editing adds a lot of energy to the pace of the feature. Although the running time is quite long for a music DVD, I don't recall ever being distracted during the experience.

    As you can see by the huge track listing below, we are treated to a great array of songs from throughout Paul's career. Apart from the two songs representing his new album, most of the material is from his Beatles and Wings eras. Paul makes a moving tribute to George Harrison with a surprisingly great ukulele rendition of Something and afterward he dedicates his ballad Here Today (one of my favourite songs from the Tug Of War album) to John Lennon.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. Hello Goodbye
2. Jet
3. All My Loving
4. Live And Let Die
5. Coming Up
6. Blackbird
7. We Can Work It Out
8. Here, There And Everywhere
9. Eleanor Rigby
10. Matchbox
11. Loving Flame
12. Fool On The Hill
13. Getting Better
14. Here Today/ Something
15. Band on The Run
16. Let Me Roll It
17. Back In The U.S.S.R.
18. My Love
19. Maybe I'm Amazed
20. Freedom
21. Let It Be
22. Hey Jude
23. Can't Buy Me Love
24. Lady Madonna
25. Long And Winding Road
26. Yesterday
27. Sgt. Pepper's (Reprise)/ The End
28. I Saw Her Standing There

Transfer Quality

Video

    After witnessing the excellent 16x9 transfers on his two previous DVD releases, Wingspan and Live At The Cavern, my expectations were high. This video transfer is sadly presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, full frame.

    No low level noise is apparent and sharpness is good, considering the amount grain that is present. Shadow detail is adequate for a stage performance such as this.

    Colours are quite rich, as you would expect for a brightly lit stage area. There were no instances of oversaturation.

    Grain is evident throughout, particularly during the backstage footage and crowd shots (0:40, 21:45, 87:10). Macro blocking is also a persistent problem (15:37, 40:25). Aliasing rears its ugly head on more than one occasion (37:55, 80:30, 105:25) and proves to be quite distracting at times.

    No film artefacts were present.

    English subtitles were paced accurately with the lyrics and the spoken word between songs.

    This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed between the songs Let Me Roll It and Back In The U.S.S.R. at 64:50.

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

Audio

    There are three audio tracks to choose from. The default is English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192 Kb/s). The other two are English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384 Kb/s) and English dts 5.1 (768 Kb/s). I listened to the dts and Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks in their entirety and sampled the Dolby Digital 2.0 for a few minutes.

    Dialogue and lead vocals were easy to understand at all times.

    Audio sync was generally good but for one small instance (8:45) when Paul's lips didn't seem to match the audio.

    The surround channels on both the Dolby Digital 5.1 and dts tracks were used exclusively for crowd noise. Disappointingly, I didn't notice any instruments spilling to the rears at all. The frontal music mix was good, however. The lead vocal and snare drum are placed in the front centre and all the remaining instruments were panned across the left and right of the front soundfield.

    Subwoofer use was quite aggressive in all three audio options, emphasising the kick drum and bass guitar very well.

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

Extras

    There are a good selection of extras available.

Menu

    Menus are animated and are based around the DVD packaging. They are accompanied by Dolby Digital 2.0 audio of various songs in the feature and are not 16x9 enhanced. Paul himself enunciates each menu item as you click on it, and his voice gets a bit irritating after a while.

Deleted Scenes

    Three songs that were edited from the feature, Driving Rain (03:27), Every Night (03:15) and You Never Give Me Your Money / Carry That Weight (4:55). Presented in 1.33:1 full frame, all contain optional English subtitles and are available with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192 Kb/s), Dolby Digital 5.1 (384 Kb/s) and dts 5.1 (768 Kb/s) audio.

Bonus Footage

    Three sound check performances, Bring It To Jerome (02:46), Midnight Special (02:37) and San Francisco Bay (03:00). Presented in 1.33:1 full frame, all contain optional English subtitles and are available with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround-encoded (192 Kb/s), Dolby Digital 5.1 (384 Kb/s) and dts 5.1 (768 Kb/s) audio.

    All the featurettes below are presented in 1.33:1 full frame, contain optional English subtitles and have Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Featurette- Backstage / All Access Pass (03:15)

    A look at Paul's wardrobe and the luxuries he can't live without while touring.

Featurette- On The Road With Paul (02:22)

    Paul discusses how great the relationship with his crew has been on this tour.

Featurette- Pre-Show (03:17)

    Explains the arty pageant that took the stage before Paul each night, instead of a support act.

Featurette- Meet The Band (03:31)

    Self explanatory.

Featurette- Macca Mania (03:12)

    Those wacky Americans are at it again. Boy, the accents do get annoying!

Web Links- Secret Website

    I've tried many times to view the 'secret site' without any success, I'm afraid. It apparently contains bonus downloadable video footage.

R4 vs R1

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

    Aside from the usual NTSC / PAL differences, this disc is identical across all regions.

Summary

    Back In The U.S. is a great film, but not a great representation of an entire uninterrupted live performance. In a nutshell, if you love Paul McCartney, you'll love this DVD.

    The video is not the greatest, exhibiting a great array of artefacts.

    The audio is excellent, although surround activity is minimal.

    There are a lot of great extras related to the feature.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-525, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE