Journey (Warren Miller's) (2003)

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Released 18-Nov-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Warren Miller Athletes
Trailer-Storm, Cold Fusion, Fifty
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 97:33
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Warren Miller
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music John Erik Kaada


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.37:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    There are two types of people in the world; those who know who Warren Miller is and those who don't. Those who don't know who he is have most likely never gotten off a chairlift, breathed in the crisp mountain air and then promptly thrown themselves off a slope so steep they probably wouldn't hike down it in the off season.

    For most hardcore skiers and snowboarders Warren Miller is god. Warren Miller's Journey marks the 54th consecutive annual film that he has made. Spielberg eat your heart out.

    Warren Miller narrates all of his own films; anecdotes, confessions, bad jokes and all. For the most part he adds a human and paternal side to a genre of film-making that is usually more MTV than warm and fuzzy. That is a good thing - his films are more substance than style, more travelogue than extreme skiing. Most importantly, his films have personality. In an era where fame fizzles out a lot faster than in 15 minutes for many, Warren Miller is a fantastic example of longevity. He has been making ski movies for over 50 years and you can tell he has been loving every second of it.

    Highlights of this DVD include;

    Overall this is an enjoyable journey, but there is nothing much in here to distinguish it from other recent Miller films. It certainly makes you pine for winter though!!

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This transfer is presented in 1.33:1, the original aspect ratio, and is therefore not 16x9 enhanced. Given the type of feature it is with beautiful locations and panoramic mountain scenes that would suit a widescreen presentation, I am disappointed that Warren Miller Entertainment don't film with a widescreen camera. Maybe next year.

    Being originally shot on film, the main problem I have with the video quality is that there is a lot of grain. In fact, there is almost as much grain as there is snow. The grain problem seems to be worst when there is a lot of white (i.e., snow) in the frame and the camera is moving (i.e., like following a skier down the slope). So in other words, the majority of the movie.

    Unfortunately, another problem with this film is the edge enhancement. The speed of the movie is often slowed down for effects to show the skier or boarder heading down some insane cliff. During these moments the edge enhancement is downright ugly.

    These two issues severely hurt what is otherwise a pretty decent transfer. Being a sports movie, though, the action is generally too fast to get too hung up on technical issues.

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

Audio

    The audio presentation is a very good English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s) track. The main voice-over work by Warren comes through well from the centre speaker. The narration never detracted from the music and vice versa.

    The music tracks were hit and miss. Some the music didn't really suit the film much, but overall the 2.0 track came through clearly with a clarity that was very good.

    The audio didn't have the depth or immersion factor that would benefit this kind of extreme sport presentation.

    No surround or sub-woofer use hurt an otherwise good sound presentation.

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

Extras

Rider Profiles

    Short 2-3 minute bios with some extreme skiing/boarding of some of the athletes in the movie. Nice, but nothing special

Trailers

    Trailers for a few of Warren Miller Entertainment's other films.

R4 vs R1

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

    R1 seems like the better deal;

    With a Dolby Digital 5.1 track plus more special features R1 is the winner.

Summary

    The plot is great if you like skiing and/or snowboarding.

    Overall the video is OK, but is let down by grain and edge enhancement issues.

    The audio is pretty good, but why is there no 5.1 audio like on the R1 release?

    The extras are OK, but there are less of them than on the R1 disc.

    Probably a rental if a casual fan, but worth a purchase for diehard fans.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Ben Smith (boku no bio)
Friday, October 28, 2005
Review Equipment
DVDMarantz DV4300, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderSony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPioneer
SpeakersDB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub

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