Supershow (1969)

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Released 7-Jul-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Scene Selection Animation
Menu Animation & Audio
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 1969
Running Time 70:40
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By John Crome
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Eric Clapton
Jack Bruce
Buddy Guy
Stephen Stills
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Eric Clapton
Jack Bruce
Buddy Guy


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 1.0 (160Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Considered by many to be one of the last significant musical events of the 1960s, Supershow was staged over two days in a derelict Linoleum factory in the west of London. Performers at the funky event included Buddy Guy, Stephen Stills, Buddy Miles, Jon Hiseman, Jack Bruce and a brief appearance in the film's finale by Eric Clapton.

    There is some brilliant blues and jazz performances to be seen here - my personal highlight was definitely Black Queen performed by Steve Stills, a considerably rockier tune in comparison to the other songs presented in the film. Buddy Guy's rendition of Stormy Monday is also excellent, highlighted by some absolutely magic keyboard work.

    As a film, Supershow is a disjointed and confusing effort. The sometimes laughable camerawork was almost certainly performed under the influence of psychotropic substances - see the camera operator almost fall over at 53:10 - and the resultant editing is clumsy to the extreme. The film's seventy minute runtime was most certainly culled from hours upon hours of footage, but as a viewer I would have certainly preferred to see songs find their natural end rather than hear them prematurely fade out or be consumed by a cut-and-paste of audience applause. If the original cans of film still exist, a significantly longer edit of the footage would yield a more cohesive performance and a much more enjoyable film.

    One point that I did find hilarious - among the myriad of enigmatic, youthful faces that are present in the audience are some truly sour expressions from elderly folk who look like they bought tickets to the wrong show. Maybe they were chaperones? I guess we'll never know.

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Track Listing

1. Those Who Are About To Die Salute
2. Love Potions
3. Under The Jasmine Tree
4. Mary Had A Little Lamb
5. Primitive Ohio
6. Checking On My Baby / Texas Blues
7. Visitor From Venus
8. Bad Hat
9. Hoochie Coochie Man
10. Debut
11. Stormy Monday
12. Kansas City
13. I Say A Little Prayer
14. My Time After A While
15. Black Queen
16. Slate 27

Transfer Quality

Video

    The stills on the DVD cover are black and white, so you'd be forgiven for thinking this film is not colour. Apparently this film has been remastered - a broad term in any case - but if this is the truth, then the source must have been in shocking condition prior to treatment. This is very disappointing indeed because a company called The Machine Room is credited with the film's restoration and re-mastering.

    This transfer is presented in a ratio of 1.78:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer as a whole is pretty terrible and irritating to watch. Film artefacts of all kinds dominate the film from beginning to end, with some dirty frames of film covering almost half of the image area. Scratches, hairs, filth and grain are inescapable. There is also a considerable skip in the film at 69:06 that must omit many frames.

    Some scenes appear to have been given a soft focus look, which in the scheme of things looks absolutely atrocious. The blurry images have some awful ghosting and almost look smeared.

    Although it is presented in colour, the palette is very washed out and dated. There are simply no examples of bright colours or boldness of blacks in this transfer.

    There are no MPEG artefacts present. There are some moments of aliasing but they are very brief and of the mildest variety, so they are barely noticeable amongst the quagmire of other problems.

    There are no subtitles on this single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There are three audio options on this DVD; Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital 2.0 and the film's original mono soundtrack. Both the 5.1 and 2.0 tracks claim to be remastered.

    All three soundtracks possess a lot of unnecessary distortion and crackling, probably due to the poor acoustics of the venue and the limited live recording techniques of the day. Most of the song lyrics are discernable, however it would be impossible to decipher every word.

    Many scenes were ridiculously out of sync. This began with a missed cymbal hit at 5:13 and a laughably mistimed xylophone solo at 11:00. Even more upsetting was to see that the film's climax of Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy exchanging bluesy licks was not even close to being in sync. This aspect of the film is what irritated me the greatest.

    The two remastered audio tracks are almost certainly an equalisation effort, not a remix from the original multitrack masters. The 5.1 effort has no panning to the left or right, and rear activity is limited to some slight echo effects. There was also a distinct lack of midrange frequencies, making some moments of the soundtrack overly bright. The stereo track was very similar to the surround track, but did not have the same midrange issues - making it my preferred track of the three.

    The film's original mono soundtrack is a great reference point to sample the work that has been done on the two new mixes - but a lot of detail is lost in mono, particularly the more percussive elements and cymbal crashes.

    I didn't note any subwoofer activity in any of the audio tracks.

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

Extras

Menu

    All menus are animated and are not 16x9 enhanced. The accompanying audio on the menus is taken from the feature.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc appears to be identical across all regions.

Summary

    Supershow is a disappointing film, promising so much on the sleeve and failing to deliver in the transfer department. I do hope that the original elements exist so that we can one day see this coming together of superstars in a different light.

    The video transfer is sourced from very, very heavily damaged film.

    The audio transfer is not the greatest, but listenable.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Saturday, October 04, 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.

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Comments (Add)
Interesting, Priced Right - Joel Conner