1915 (1982)

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Released 6-Oct-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1982
Running Time 305:30
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Di Drew
Chris Thomson
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Scott Burgess
Scott McGregor
Lorraine Bayly
Gary Holmes
Bill Hunter
Jackie Woodburne
Arna-Maria Winchester
Russell Newman
Revelly Jones
Sigrid Thornton
Bill Kerr
Anne Haddy
Gerard Kennedy
Case ?
RPI $39.95 Music Bruce Smeaton


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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 Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    1915 follows the lives of two best friends, William (Billy) Baxter and Walter (Wally) Gilchrist, both of whom grow up in the same country town about 30 miles from Forbes in NSW. Billy is the town larrikin, while Wally is the son of a respectable farming family.

    The story traces the exploits of these two friends through the course of their lives. It starts when they are in school, and then focuses on the lead up to World War I. The story then follows both Billy and Wally as they each join the AIF Light Horse in Sydney, and eventually they find themselves embarking to go and fight the war in Europe. However, as fate would have it, the Light Horse is diverted from landing in France and they find themselves stranded in the desert of Egypt until they are asked to volunteer to provide reinforcements for the landings at Gallipoli.

    As well as following the story of Billy and Wally, we are introduced to Frances and Dianna who are also best friends. Dianna becomes romantically involved with Billy whilst Wally falls head over heels in love with Frances. The two couples end up spending the night before Billy and Wally embark in a seedy hotel in Sydney. From this encounter Dianna becomes pregnant, and we follow the story of both Frances and Dianna whilst they go about their lives while the boys are away fighting in the war.

    I personally found this mini series to be inferior in every respect to ANZACs. 1915 was made before ANZACs, but far too much time was devoted in 1915 to establishing the characters' personas. I found myself wondering by the fourth episode when we would come to the real point of the series - it just seemed to go round in circles covering much of the same ground over and over again. When we did start to see some promising signs, events were very superficially glossed over with more emphasis on what was happening back in Australia. I felt somewhat let down by the whole experience. Whilst some of the acting was good by the more notable cast members, most of the acting was pretty mediocre to say the least. I must say also that Lorraine Bayley did not look well at all in this mini series - I am not sure if this was a deliberate look by the make-up department or if she was in fact ill, but it was not a good look.

    This mini series is presented as a two disc set. Disc 1 carries the first four episodes, which are titled:

     Disc 2 carries the last three episodes. which are titled:

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This is a pitiful attempt at a video transfer. Unfortunately, my comments apply to both discs in this two disc set.

    The series is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.29:1 with no 16x9 enhancement.

    The video is not at all sharp. The overall picture has an overexposed look to it and shadow detail is completely lacking. The whole transfer is grainy and there are plenty of analogue tape transfer artefacts present.

    There is colour bleeding present but generally the colours have been affected by the overexposure issue.

    The video suffers greatly from MPEG overcompression artefacts and there are bucketloads of film artefacts present throughout the whole series.

    There are no subtitles provided on this release.

    The layer change for the first disc has been placed between episodes. The layer change on the second disc occurs during Episode 6 at 37:24. It is concealed in a scene change when Sigrid Thornton leaves a room and the scene cuts to the Gallipoli battlefield.

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

Audio

    The audio transfer is also, sadly, pitiful.

    We are presented here with a hideous mono soundtrack. The dialogue can at times be muffled, muddied and generally uninspiring. There was some hissing, clicks and pops present and I really wonder why a production company would go to the trouble of producing such a low quality transfer in this day and age.

    The only real saving grace in this audio transfer is that there was no evidence of any lip sync problems.

    When it comes to the music score I can only really compare this offering against the likes of ANZACs and by doing so I can only say that, unlike ANZACs, the music offered by Bruce Smeaton left me feeling underwhelmed. This may be the fault of the mono soundtrack, but against the inspirational music score offered by ANZACs, 1915 rates poorly in my book.

    This soundtrack is purely mono and hence there was absolutely no use of the surround channels.

    Don't bother turning your subwoofer on for this one as being a mono soundtrack there is no utilisation of the LFE channel.

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

Extras

     The main menu is static and silent, presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

      No other extras are present.

R4 vs R1

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

    I would be surprised if this were to be produced for any other market other than the Australian market. I do not know of an R1 release. On this basis I am going to say that the R4 version is the best and only version available.

Summary

    A rather long, drawn-out and poorly presented effort which has little going for it except some good performances by the likes of Sigrid Thornton. For those that were thinking that this series might be as good as ANZACs, forget it. This series does not even come close to matching the likes of ANZACs and as they are essentially based on the same formula it is somewhat of a letdown.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Svensen (So you have nothing else to do but to read my bio)
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDMomitsu V880DX upscaling player, Samsung DVD-HD747 player, Pioneer DV-535 player, Toshiba D-R1-S-TG , using DVI output
DisplayPanasonic PT-AE700 WXGA LCD Projector, 102" 16:9 Grandview motorised screen, Panasonic TH-42PV500A HD Plasma Display, Toshiba 83 cm 4:3 CRT. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderDenon AVR-2802. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete plus Sansui two channel amplifier driving Back Surrounds
Speakers Fronts, Centre, and Back Surrounds - Accusound Ref 8 speakers with 150W RMS accusound sub woofer, Surrounds - Sony

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