Somewhere, Anywhere, Everywhere (2004) (NTSC)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Scoring With Taylor Hawkins
Featurette-Gerr & Snips: Big Wave Adventure
Featurette-A Conversation With Gerr & Occy
Additional Footage-Hans Hagen & Pete Mendia
Featurette-Florida Fun With The Hobgoods
Short Film-All Tha Way Live
Trailer-Taj 's Book Of Hot Surfing, Opinion, Globe World Cup 2004
Trailer-Rodney Mullen Superpart, Darkstar Battalion
|Year Of Production||2004|
|Running Time||42:56 (Case: 174)|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||480i (NTSC)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes|
There's a lot of big claims and quotes on the front cover of this DVD, not least of which is the Not just another surf movie statement right under the title. Having been blessed with a string of good surf movies and DVD releases this year, I was very optimistic for something a bit special from this disc. Unfortunately I became a victim of the dreaded high expectations syndrome, but that doesn't mean this is a bad movie. Read on for details...
The film starts off with a pretty cool intro to the globe surf team, done in a parody of many 1980s TV shows (most notably, the A Team), followed by various shots of them doing some incredible surfing. The rest of the movie is broken down into individual sections showcasing each surfer in turn. Often we get a little bit of an interview with them as well, or some insight into where they live and what sort of things they like doing other than surfing. It's not groundbreaking stuff, but is done in such a way that it's very watchable.
The individual segments make up the bulk of the movie, but we also get to see other surfers, and the team in general, ripping it up all over the world. Locations cover Europe, Australia, South America, Hawaii, Tahiti, USA, and so on.
The surfers-mucking-around-out-of-the-water footage includes a ping-pong championship (with a well-known cameo appearance), pig-hunting, fishing, head shaving, and speedway action, amongst other things.
Be aware parents that the "M" rating for this video is there for good reason, since there is bad language and sexual comments that might prevent you from leaving the younger grommets alone with this DVD.
I guess the most important question is; what is the surfing actually like? Well when you've got Taj Burrows, the Hobgood brothers, Luke Hitchings, Nathan Webster, Pancho Sullivan, and the ever-charging Occy on display, you don't really have to worry about quality. These guys really are amazing, and upon repeat viewings (after I'd got over my initial disappointment), I did not find myself getting tired of watching them in their element.
Don't watch this straight after Step Into Liquid, Endless Summer II, or Billabong Odyssey (the 1.33:1 aspect ratio video will jar with you straight away after these widescreen movies), but certainly check it out. Rent first if you're not sure, but make sure you check out the extras section below, since that might be enough to make you want to buy it anyway.
When you consider the varied sources used for the original filming of this feature, the transfer is about as good as could be expected. I'm usually quite a vocal whinger when it comes to Region 4 NTSC transfers, but in this case I'd be guessing that the source would be NTSC video, which means it avoids the problems of conversion.
This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which I'm assuming is the original aspect ratio for the video footage.
Sharpness ranges from acceptable to good. Due to the nature of the hand-held cameras often used, there are times when things are out of focus, but this is inherent in the source. In poor lighting conditions, grain is evident (such as 2:58 and 8:25), again not being a problem in the transfer itself though. There aren't many dark scenes, but shadow detail is lacking in the few that are there.
Colours are good, although not as rich as those found in footage captured on film stock. They are solid and even vibrant at times, most noticeable in the tropical environments of Hawaii and Tahiti.
Compression artefacts are absent in the main feature, although they are rife in the extras. There is minor aliasing throughout, but it's generally kept very well under control for video sourced material. Film artefacts are of course absent, except for some manufactured ones in the opening scenes, which are deliberately made to look like footage of a film/TV show from the 1970s/1980s.
There are 6 subtitle streams on this DVD; Japanese, French, Portuguese, Spanish, English Information, and English. I looked at the English Information (see extras section), and English subtitles. Note that by default the English subtitles are on, and have to be turned off every time you watch the feature, which is rather annoying. The subtitles themselves are pretty accurate, but they unfortunately always seem to appear a little too late. Occasionally this results in them disappearing before you've had a chance to read them.
The layer change on this disc doesn't take place during the actual feature.
There are 3 tracks on this DVD; English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s), English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s), and English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s). If you think that might be a typo, it's not. I thought the same myself, but for some strange reason there are two English stereo tracks with just a slight difference in bitrate between them. I listened to the 320Kb/s track as well as the commentary, and sampled the 256Kb/s track.
Dialogue is very minimal, and consists mainly of surfers mumbling comments in the general direction of the camera. It's as clear as can be expected considering the recording devices and locations. There are no problems with audio sync.
Music is by a host of different bands (including what used to be called Oasis, believe it or not), and is your standard surf video style. In other words, usually loud and aggressive with the occasional mellow track.
There is no inherent surround activity found in the stereo transfer, and even using Pro Logic II processing, I only heard occasional music and water sounds coming from my rear speakers.
The subwoofer was silent throughout the whole runtime.
|Surround Channel Use|
The extras department of this DVD is where the cover's claim of Not just another surf movie actually does ring true. I've only seen one other surf movie DVD with as many extras on it. Note that all extras are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound.
Menus are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, with animation and music looping in the background of most of them.
A pretty interesting commentary with 4 participants all involved in the filmmaking process (their intro doesn't make it 100% clear what each of them actually did!). They discuss the trials of collecting and putting together footage of the world's best surfers playing in their playground, as well as anecdotes about the team, the methods used to do things cheaply, and so on. There aren't many quiet spots, but you wouldn't expect there to be for such a short feature.
Presented by two of the film creators, sitting in front of their work desks mere hours before having to finalise the DVD, this short featurette is interesting at times. It can get a bit boring and self indulgent when we're stuck in the office listening to two talking heads. The behind the scenes stuff and interviews are well worth watching though.
Warning: if compression artefacts bother you, then don't watch this extra. Actually, just don't watch it anyway. It basically consists of a drummer with his shirt off putting together some of the beats for the surfing footage. It's far from riveting.
A short extra outlining a surf camp that the two Hobgood brothers run in the summer for grommets.
Travels with tow-in proponents Brad Gerlach and Mike Parsons, who obviously carry a video camera around with them. This promises so much, when you consider some of the waves that this pair have towed each other into, but it delivers so little. We get to see a few seconds of the famous action at the Cortez Bank, and lots of footage of waves that are hardly tow-in material. The remainder is padded out with Gerlach making faces into the camera and trying to crack funny jokes (with some limited success I must admit).
One of the most interesting extras, this is just what the description suggests. A failed attempt to get footage of Occy surfing, due to poor conditions, results in a candid chat between these two aging surf legends. Topics covered vary from wipeouts to fear, competition surfing, old age, motivation, and growing up. For those of us who can remember the old days when men like the two Toms, Martin Potter, Occy and Gerlach were top of the pile, this is a real treat.
Some pretty cool footage of random pro surfers doing their stuff in Mexico.
Some decent footage of these two pro surfers in action.
Fairly detailed profiles on all the surfers featured on the DVD. Admittedly a lot of the information is related to their part in making the movie, but it's still worth a read.
Home movie footage of the Hobgood brothers out at the speedway, watching all manner of redneck racing entertainment (at their own admission). Worth one viewing for the sheer bizarre nature of the events.
This is a great little extra, which has almost as much substance as the main feature. It is a full length surf video in itself, which is well worth watching. Make sure you stay through the credits as well, as there's a scene with a radio-controlled surfboard as well as some guy getting a really long barrel.
A 30 second and 1:24 trailer for the main feature, as well as trailers for 5 other surf/skate books/movies; Taj 's Book Of Hot Surfing, Opinion, Globe World Cup 2004, Rodney Mullen Superpart, and Darkstar Battalion. note that the Rodney Mullen trailer runs for 5:40 and is more of a mini-featurette.
These aren't listed in the special features section, but can be found in the setup menu. They are your standard pop-up factoids, which appear with a dripping sound effect at regular intervals. These vary in their content from silly trivia about kangaroos to information on the surfers/locations/movie (a lot of which is repeated in the commentary), but are for the most part pretty interesting.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
At the time of writing, this Australian release is the only one that exists, but it is encoded for all regions.
A good surf movie, but not really deserving of all the hype on the cover. This doesn't live up to the standards of some recent surf movie offerings, but it makes you want to go for a surf, which means it must be doing something right!
Video is as good as can be expected considering the source. Note that this is an NTSC transfer.
Audio is good enough to do the job.
Extras are many and varied. Overall it's a great extras package, but with some weak entries.
|DVD||Omni 3600, using RGB output|
|Display||Sony 1252QM CRT Projector, 250cm custom built 16x9 matte screen. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS797- THX Select|
|Speakers||Accusound ES-55 Speaker set, Welling WS12 Subwoofer|