Journey (Warren Miller's) (2003)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Warren Miller Athletes
Trailer-Storm, Cold Fusion, Fifty
|Year Of Production||2003|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||None Given|
|RPI||$34.95||Music||John Erik Kaada|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
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!!
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.
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.
|Surround Channel Use|
Short 2-3 minute bios with some extreme skiing/boarding of some of the athletes in the movie. Nice, but nothing special
Trailers for a few of Warren Miller Entertainment's other films.
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.
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.
|DVD||Marantz DV4300, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL HS10 projector on 100 inch 16x9 screen + Palsonic 76WSHD. Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Sony STR-DE685. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.|
|Speakers||DB Dynamics VEGA series floor standers + centre, DB bipole rears, 10" 100W DB Dynamics sub|