411VM-Surfing 02 (2002) (NTSC)

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Released 19-Dec-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Surfing Additional Footage-4th Annual Surfer Cross
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 47:10
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
Stomp Visual Starring Bruce Irons
Mick Fanning
Jamie O'Brien
Cheyne Magnusson
Matt Archbold
Randy Welch
Kalani Rob
Tim Curran
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $32.00 Music Various


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    411VM is a US "video magazine" that covers a number of sports, such as surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. Each episode or issue of the magazine is broken up into a number of "articles", which are mirrored throughout the whole series. For some reason, it's been decided that we get issue 2 as a DVD release here in Australia, and the articles present in this offering are as follows:

    The format is made for a regular 1 hour slot on American TV (if you add on the time for commercials), and I've actually caught short snippets from these episodes on Sunday television here in Australia. So the idea is that you can keep up to date with what's going on in the surfing world (or should that read "American surfing world"?), without actually having to read a real magazine - something that can be taxing at the best of times! As such it probably achieves its goal successfully, but as a standalone DVD package it really is lacking substance.

    What we have here are short segments which contain some surfing (much of which is excellent viewing), a lot of footage of surfers "goofing off", swearing at each other, and generally doing what young guys do when they're together in groups, combined with a plethora of commercials for other 411 DVDs and surf/skateboarding/snowboarding brands. It's hardly The Search, and for the asking price I don't think I could even recommend a purchase to anyone but the keenest/richest of surfers out there.

    Having said that though, there are certainly some good moments, especially in the Road trip segment, and Jamie O'Brien handles some incredibly late backdoor drops in the Rookie article. These manage to make it worth a rental for a summer afternoon when the sea breeze has hit, and there's nothing but slop at your local beach.

    As a side note, once again I beg for someone in Australia to release Endless Summer II in Region 4 (16x9 enhanced of course)!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a bit of a mixed bag, since the source for the transfer is made up of a lot of varying quality video footage. Basically it's an NTSC transfer of mostly hand-held video, produced for television, so you really shouldn't expect too much.

    This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and hence not 16x9 enhanced. This is its original broadcast aspect ratio.

    Sharpness is acceptable considering the source, and the NTSC format. Occasionally a shot will actually be beautiful and crisp, while others are taken in poor lighting and are murky, grainy or unclear. The rare bits of footage that are shot at night, with hand-held cameras, exhibit low-level noise and poor shadow detail.

    Colours again are mixed, depending on the source. Some of the shots highlight the beautiful greens and blues of our various oceans, while others seem washed-out and drab. Some shots are also in black and white. There are no technical problems with bleed or chroma noise.

    No edge enhancement, and very little aliasing were visible. There is the occasional dot-crawl in some shots, but in general this transfer is fairly artefact-free. There are no film artefacts, for obvious reasons.

    There are no subtitles, and this is a single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There is just the one audio track on this disc; English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s). This low bitrate stereo track is really not going to test out your home theatre setup.

    What very limited dialogue there is is often hard to make out due to hand-held recording, mumbled delivery, and incessant beeping-out of bad language. There doesn't appear to be any audio sync problems though.

    Music is of the sort you'd expect of a surf video; mostly fast and loud. There's even the occasional death metal track where we just have some guy screaming incoherently at us. In general, it's suitable for the material.

    There was no surround usage.

    Your subwoofer can take the night off.

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

Extras

Additional Footage - 4th Annual Surfer Cross (3:04)

    This short extra is a quick look at a competition which combines motocross riders and surfers in a team event. Surfers featured are Adam Wickwire, Sunny Garcia and Josh Sleigh. It's of moderate interest, and has a few humorous moments. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

R4 vs R1

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

    This is a multi-region DVD, with every country getting exactly the same product, NTSC video and all.

Summary

    Some more than decent footage of some of the world's best, showcasing some incredible surfing. Unfortunately, it is interspersed with way too much advertising, and too much meaningless banter. Combine this with the short runtime, and you don't really have a disc with enough substance to warrant a purchase. Definitely worth a rental, though, if there's no swell.

    The video ranges from poor to great. It averages out to being pretty mediocre.

    The audio is of minimal quality.

    I'd hardly call a 3 minute segment an "extras package".

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© David L (Only my Mum would have any interest in my bio)
Tuesday, February 03, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDOmni 3600, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252QM CRT Projector, 250cm custom built 16x9 matte screen. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS797- THX Select
SpeakersAccusound ES-55 Speaker set, Welling WS12 Subwoofer

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