Perfect Circle, A-aMOTION (2004)
Main Menu Audio
CD-A Perfect Circle "rEMIXED"
Music Video-The Outsider Director's Cut
Music Video-Blue - Three Contestant Runner-Up Videos
Trailer-Bikini Bandits (3)
Additional Footage-Video Clips
|Year Of Production||2004|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
The Brothers Strause
Maynard James Keenan
Troy Van Leeuwen
Maynard James Keenan
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||Varies|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||Varies||Miscellaneous|
Spanish Audio Commentary
French Audio Commentary
German Audio Commentary
Japanese Audio Commentary
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
A Perfect Circle is the brainchild of former housemates Billy Howerdel and Maynard James Keenan. Maynard is also known for his vocal duties in the eclectic and highly regarded metal band Tool, while Howerdel has acted as Tool's guitar technician in the past. The band have two albums of original material to their name; Mer De Noms (2000) and Thirteenth Step (2003). A Perfect Circle have also released an album of cover songs under the title eMOTIVe (2004) which is intended as the companion piece to this DVD. Both eMOTIVe and aMOTION were released in November last year, before the US presidential elections, and were targeted to influence the vote against president George W. Bush.
The band came about while Howerdel and Keenan were living together, and Keenan had some spare time as Tool were in hiatus. The various incarnations of A Perfect Circle have included the following musicians, all of which contribute to the music on this DVD.
Nine of the band's promotional video clips make up the bulk of this DVD. Some are great and some are average. I've written a little about each below.
A few years ago, when I was writing for a Sydney-based music publication, I was fortunate enough to meet the band during their first tour of Australia. I recall being struck by their approachability and easy-going nature and they remain one of the most memorable foreign artists I have had the pleasure to meet. As evidenced by the content of this DVD, this band are proof that one can be artistic, politically vocal and musically creative whilst retaining a healthy sense of humour.
2. 3 Libras
3. Weak And Powerless
4. The Outsider
5. Thinking Of You
|6. Counting Bodies Like Sheep To...|
8. The Noose (Live)
The aspect ratio of this transfer is variable, but most commonly presented in 1.33:1 full frame. A number of clips are presented in the intended ratio of 2.35:1, however none of the content on this DVD is 16x9 enhanced. Most of the promotional material presented here has translated well to the DVD format, however there are a few exceptions.
Judging by the level of image resolution and the absence of any gain in pitch, this PAL transfer appears to be an NTSC conversion. There is a fair degree of detail evident, however there is nowhere near enough fine detail to make a zoomed 16x9 image viewable. Blacks appear solid when intended and shadow detail is acceptable. There was no low level noise evident in the transfer.
Track 7 (Blue) is an amateur production and exhibited the lowest all-round quality of the clips presented here. A handful of issues are visible, most of all a lack of resolution.
Colouring varies greatly from one clip to the next. The first three videos seem to be colour corrected in post production, usually appearing washed out. The animated clip contains some very bold splashes of colour but doesn't appear to suffer from any bleeding at all.
MPEG artefacts are prevalent from time to time and are most obvious during the animated video (track 6), where some heavy pixilation can be seen. The live performance (track 8) also suffers greatly due to the fast movements and camerawork, combined with bright stage lighting. The first three clips use some extreme film damage and artefacting to artistic effect, most prevalent in David Fincher's clip for Judith.
The lyrics of the feature videos are not subtitled, however the two audio commentaries are subtitled in Japanese, French, Spanish and German.
This disc is single sided and single layered (DVD5 format).
There are three soundtracks available. The default soundtrack is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo (224Kb/s). Two commentaries are also included.
Maynard's singing voice is clear and easy to discern within the music. I don't have any issues with his enunciation personally, however I am aware of others who are not comfortable with his vocal abilities, so it may be a matter of taste. Audio sync seems to be fine, although in the more artistic music videos it can be difficult to determine at times.
Being a stereo soundtrack, there is no surround activity present. The quality of the music is comparable to that of the original CD: crisp, with good depth, but a higher bitrate would have been preferable. As I mentioned above this transfer appears to be an NTSC conversion, so there are no pitch issues to speak of.
There are no annoying hiccoughs in the audio, aside from a clumsy edit that cuts the fadeout of 3 Libras prematurely.
There was some overlap of bass guitar and kick drum to be heard in the subwoofer. In reality this response is subject to your own hardware setup, but is worth mentioning nonetheless.
|Surround Channel Use|
None of this disc's content is 16x9 enhanced.
This is the most detail I have heard from Maynard, covering each video and many aspects of the recording process. A little time is also spent explaining the lyrical motive of each song and his thoughts on the clip itself. This is interesting viewing and rare in the sense that Maynard is normally very guarded. Both audio commentaries are subtitled in Japanese, French, Spanish and German.
Billy discusses the song writing process he shares with Maynard and the history behind some of the compositions. A couple of anecdotes from the recording studio are also included. Only four of the videos are covered here; tracks 1, 2, 3 and 7. Both audio commentaries are subtitled in Japanese, French, Spanish and German.
What can I say? More Bikini Bandits. More tits and more guns. This director's cut adds an introduction and closing sequence in the style of an annoying infomercial. It's so riveting, you may have to watch it twice.
Three of the runners up in the competition are included here, each running for 4:07. Clip A features some great stop-motion animation that would have been very labour intensive. Clip B uses flash animation and looks equally great, while Clip C is clearly inspired by The Grudge. All three are quite good, considering the directors are amateur.
The Bikini Bandits are a b-grade amalgam of politically incorrect retro sleaze akin to Russ Meyer and weird Troma-style humour. Three Bikini Bandits trailers are available here; Bikini Bandits Experience (2:55), Bikini Bandits Save Christmas (1:15) and Bikini Bandits Sauvent Le Monde (3:12). All feature the involvement of Maynard James Keenan in some form and are certainly not for everyone.
This montage of footage covers various incarnations of the band while rehearsing and touring. It comes across as highly random in places and becomes laborious viewing in the second half, but there are a couple of moments that make it worth seeing at least once. The audio and video quality is highly variable here, so be warned. This featurette is presented in an aspect of 1.33:1.
There are 77 photos to flick through, covering most band members on stage and during their time off. There is no audio accompaniment.
On the main page, press the down button at any time to highlight the dot at the bottom of the frame. Press enter for a link to a not-very-secret website that uses flash animation to allow you to mix your own song.
As a general rule I find remixes to be a throwaway affair, adding little new value to a recording and in many cases tearing out the soul of music you love and replacing it with electronica. Some of the music on this CD falls into that category, while others are a simple alternate version or reworking of the original mix. Track eight is the stand out, an orchestral version played and sung by Paz Lenchantin. The disc itself is copy controlled and includes nine tracks.
A glossy 12 page colour booklet is included in the package, featuring lyrics and artwork similar to the DVD menus as well as many credits and thankyous from the band.
The video transfer is adequate.
The audio transfer is adequate.
The extras are substantial and worthwhile.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using DVI output|
|Display||Sanyo 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.|