Jack Dee-Live at the Duke of York's Theatre (1992)

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Released 6-Sep-2004

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Animation
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 66:58 (Case: 65)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Juliet May
Studio
Distributor
Warner Vision
Warner Vision
Starring Jack Dee
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Jack Dee is an accomplished stand up comedian. His trademark is his cynical, impassive deadpan style. He has been rather aptly described as a "bulldog on Valium". On this DVD we are presented with a 1992 concert performance from the Duke of York's theatre in London, and a funny set it is too.

    Dee tackles a range of topics, largely observational and based around his take on day to day life in the nineties. His friends and family are fair game, as are the Royal family, sensible drivers, craft makers and amateur videographers. He has a particular talent for creating "pathetic" voices - those of young children, nerds and dogs feature prominently. His sharp dress sense and boyish looks belie the acid tongue and scathing wit buried within. Some of the humour may not gel with Australians as it relates to very specific aspects of British life - references to Dixons (essentially Dick Smith) or "catalogue stores" (Argos is a brand of store in the UK where you can buy items by selecting them from a catalogue on a stand) may have Aussies scratching their head a little. For Aussies and Poms alike however, there is plenty of acerbic wit to be enjoyed.

    Whilst not having seen this particular set before, I have been an admirer of his work for some years, so perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised by how much of this material I was familiar with. Even having seen much of the material before, I still found this DVD to be a very entertaining hour, with numerous laugh out loud moments to be had. The MA 15+ rating is well deserved however - there is some occasional swearing present and the odd graphic sexual image (Fergie in a pornographic threesome anyone?). Unfortunately there are no extras present and this limits the repeat viewing potential of the DVD - unlike the bountiful extras provided on other recent comedy releases such as Dress to Kill from the wonderful Eddie Izzard. For fans of stand up comedy, of the droll British ilk, Jack Dee Live is certainly worth a watch. For dedicated fans of Jack Dee it will be worth a purchase - but it is rather light in the value stakes, running for just over an hour and having no extra features.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality of this transfer is pretty good for a tape source which is now a dozen years old.

    The video is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and it is therefore not 16x9 enhanced. Sharpness is good in close-up shots and is fine throughout on smaller displays. The limitations of the original footage become more apparent on larger displays and in distance shots - there is quite a degree of softness present in these situations, with some noticeable loss of definition.

    Black levels and shadow detail are only lightly tested, but are perfectly acceptable. The stage is well lit throughout, with a striking purple backdrop keeping the image reasonably colourful. Skin tones look quite natural.

    There are no major compression artefacts in the way of macro blocking or image break-up. Edge enhancement and minor aliasing are occasionally noticeable but were never significant enough to become a distraction on my system. Film (video) artefacts are pretty well absent in a nice and clean transfer.

    There are no subtitles available.

    The disc is in DVD 5 (single sided, single layered) format so there is no layer change in this brief set.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is perfectly fine for a stand up comedy act.

    The sole audio track is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 affair, encoded at 192 kbps.

    There are no significant audio defects present. The all-important monologue is always perfectly clear, never being drowned out by the crowd, and there are no audio sync problems.

    There is nothing in the way of music - other than a brief introduction as Dee enters the theatre.

    The overall audio stage is of course fully frontal, with a reasonable stereo spread across the front speakers courtesy of the crowd laughter. If Pro Logic II is enabled then the audio is spread around all channels - this makes the stage slightly more enveloping as audience laughter and applause is redirected to the surround speakers - but the vanilla stereo is more than adequate for this material.

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

Extras

    Sadly, there are no extras on offer.

Menu

    The main menu is a basic animated affair with the sound of a crowd awaiting Dee's arrival on stage. It allows the meagre options of playing the main show or choosing one of twenty chapter stops.

R4 vs R1

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

    This DVD does not appear to be available in Region 1. The Region 2 release appears to be the same as our own. Buy whichever can be found at the lower price.

Summary

    Jack Dee Live is a very funny stand up set from the laconic and acidic Mr. Dee. I laughed out loud at many points and a smile rarely left my face during this pithy, punchy, but rather short set. The lack of extras is a disappointment and makes me question the repeat viewability of the DVD. For fans of Jack Dee however, the clean transfer may make the disc worth a purchase.

    The video quality is good for a twelve year old stand-up gig.

    The simple but clean audio transfer is just fine.

    Extras are, sadly, absent.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel O'Donoghue (You think my bio is funny? Funny how?)
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDMomitsu V880 upconverting DVI player, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR600 with DD-EX and DTS-ES
SpeakersJensenSPX-9 fronts, Jensen SPX-13 Centre, Jensen SPX-5 surrounds, Jensen SPX-17 subwoofer

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