Paul McKenna's Stop Smoking for Good (1999)
|Category||Self Help||Main Menu Animation|
|Year Of Production||1999|
|Running Time||50:01 (Case: 49)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Chris Short|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Paul McKenna's Stop Smoking For Good is the strangest DVD I have yet reviewed. It is unusual in that it doesn't have a plot, being a self-help video-based hypnosis disc. I have to confess to being a smoker - one of the last few of a dying (yes, I know) bunch. I have tried unsuccessfully to quit innumerable times - including visiting a hypnotherapist. Unfortunately for me, half-way through the second session, all I could think was "I wish this bloke would hurry up, so I can go and buy some cigarettes".
So, here is a DVD which purports to be able to help me finally quit "easily, right now"... Whether or not it does, only time will tell. One caution for those of you who may consider buying this DVD - there is a warning on the cover which states it should not be watched by those who "suffer or may suffer from epilepsy or clinical depression."
The DVD is divided into two main sections. First of all, the Technique section presents Paul McKenna as a talking head, describing the principles behind hypnosis and the nature of smoking addiction. This is quite informative and explains how our bodies react to nicotine and how we can train our mind to make use of positive visual imagery (creative imagination) to overcome addiction. The second section, ominously entitled Hypnosis, is the section which should be watched repeatedly over the course of your journey to quit smoking for good (for at least three weeks). It runs for around twenty-eight minutes and presents a series of new age video sequences of palm trees and lapping waves, blending together and accompanied by McKenna's dulcet tones which provide a willpower-boosting narrative.
That's about it I'm afraid. The value of this DVD will be immense if you manage to successfully use it to quit smoking - both monetarily and in terms of your quality of life. If however, it doesn't float your boat, this will become a coaster very quickly. But hey, what have you got to lose by giving it a try?
The overall video transfer of this disc is of reasonable VHS standard. Indeed it is obviously a port from VHS as McKenna frequently refers to "watching this tape" throughout.
The material is presented in a ratio of 1.33:1 and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced, I suspect this is the original aspect ratio.
The transfer is typical of a full-frame video source, with some mild pixelization evident in the background, but overall it is of a perfectly watchable standard. There are no dark scenes to test the black levels or shadow detail but overall contrast appears fine. The colours are rendered fairly well throughout, with a preponderance of blues in the first half and lots of water, palm trees and flowers in the second half of the video. Low level noise is not a problem.
There are a couple of very minor tape glitches present (at 5:26 and 48:09 for example), but these are fleeting and not overly distracting. MPEG artefacts are negligible. There is some mild edge enhancement (or possibly even backlighting) evident around McKenna, but that is the limit of the transfer defects, with no sign of aliasing.
Film (video) artefacts are almost absent and this is overall a very clean piece of work.
There are no subtitle tracks on offer.
Unsurprisingly, given the very brief running time of fifty minutes, this is a single-sided, single layered disc (DVD 5).
The overall audio quality of this disc is perfectly adequate for its intended purpose.
The sole audio track is a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack in English, encoded at 256 kbps.
McKenna's voice is always crystal clear, which is critical as it it the main content of the disc. There were no problems with audio sync.
Music plays a minor role in providing a calming background of anonymous "elevator muzak" without drowning out the essential vocal narration.
The soundstage is primarily frontal, with the vocals in the "Technique" section emanating from the centre speaker. With Pro Logic II enabled, the surround speakers are used to carry the background music and to spread McKenna's voice around the room during the "Hypnosis" section.
The subwoofer is not used as there are no LFE signals present.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are no extras on this disc.
The menu is a silent photo of McKenna which allows the choice of playing the entire DVD or watching the "Technique" and "Hypnosis" sections individually.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This DVD does not seem to be available in region 1. The Region 2 version looks to be identical to our own. Buy whichever is cheaper.
Stop Smoking For Good is another niche DVD, of interest only to those people undertaking or contemplating smoking cessation. It appears to offer a reasonable mix of theory and practice and may be of use to some people in supporting their lifestyle change. If it works for you, it will be worth its weight in gold - if not, well there's always next time!
The video quality is perfectly adequate for its purpose.
The audio quality is perfectly adequate for its purpose.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Harmony DVD Video/Audio PAL Progressive, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX-47P500H 47" Widescreen RPTV. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES|
|Speakers||JensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer|