Ignition: FIA World Rally Championship 2005 (2005)

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Released 23-May-2006

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-On-Board (Unedited)
Featurette-Shortcuts
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-At Service
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-On-Board Cameras & Wescam
Featurette-Behind The Scenes-Classic Rally Cars
Rating Rated E
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 73:12
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring None Given
Case ?
RPI $29.95 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 Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
Spanish
Italian
German
Dutch
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Formula 1 may have all the glitz and glamour, but if you want to see real driving the World Rally Championship is the place to look. No fragile cars running around billiard table smooth circuits for these guys. Instead, they pound their cars along some of the worst roads the world can offer. Narrow trails of gravel, dirt, snow, ice, mud and tarmac are where the cars and drivers are pushed to their limits with no catch-fences, run-off areas or fancy pit facilities. It is a real test of man and machine where driving skill and car control are at their pinnacle.

    The World Rally Championship runs over 16 rounds a year in locations all over the world. Each event lasts three days and, since it is held on closed-off public roads rather than circuits, coverage has always been difficult. Recent advances in in-car camera technology, helicopter camera mounts, and so forth have improved this greatly, although it is still impossible to have footage of everything that happens in these remote regions. A one hour highlight is usually shown on television here the week following the round, with the exception of Rally Australia, which is an extended broadcast with live action for the final day.

    With all this footage available, it was disappointing to see that the entire 16 rounds of the 2005 championship were covered in a mere 73 minutes on this DVD. Admittedly, the disc has been released as "highlights" of the season, but this means that each three day round gets an average of 4 minutes of "highlights". This is not really enough to get a true feel for what has happened in each round. It is little more than a few quick scenes of incidents and a listing of the placegetters in the round. Very disappointing. Surely a better coverage than this could have been offered.

    Rallying is an exciting, challenging contest against the clock on roads that are often difficult to drive and extend the machines and their human occupants to their limits, although you hardly get the full feeling from this very brief look at the 2005 season.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented in 1.33:1, the transfer is surprisingly good considering the circumstances that it must have been recorded under.

    There are a number of video tracking errors and video break-ups throughout the program, but these are a result of the original recording rather than an authoring problem. It is difficult to get good video tracking from a camera mounted in a car travelling some 200km/h over a rutted dirt road. Harder still when the car is running into a tree, dropping 20 metres down a cliff or rolling onto its roof, so these artefacts are forgivable.

    When the cameras are not being shaken to within an inch of their lives, video quality is good for live footage without the benefit of controlled lighting and staging. In all, an excellent transfer of a sporting event.

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

Audio

    Audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 and is good quality without being exceptional. Most of the audio is firmly placed in the centre soundstage with some panning to the left and right as cars rush by. Little is required of the surround speakers or sub-woofer, as you would expect of coverage of this nature.

    While fairly basic, the audio is clear and dialogue is easily understood - even the in-car audio does not experience any interference.

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

Extras

    Extras are varied with some being excellent and others mediocre.

    The menu is animated with looped background music.

Special Features

On Board
    These are a collection of three stages without commentary. A complete stage is run without interruption with Toni Gardemeister (20:18), Marcus Gronholm (17:52) and Petter Solberg (12:24) at different rallies. The only dialogue is the co-driver calling the pace notes and the occasional answer from the driver. The best of these is the Marcus Gronholm stage as it is the only one in which the pace notes are called in English. Comprised mainly of on-board camera footage, with a little helicopter and roadside camera, the entire stage is covered. This gives a fascinating insight into how the driver and co-driver interact on a rally.

Shortcuts
    Three brief extras of limited appeal.

    Promo (1:50) is some promotional footage of the WRC. No voice-over, just some footage of the cars in action with music.

    J-WRC & P-WRC Highlights (2:39). A very brief look at the two lower grade championships that run in conjunction with the WRC.

    Music (2:29). Scenes from the 2005 WRC with the WRC theme playing behind. All the footage was in the main feature anyway, but I guess it's good if you love the theme music.

Behind The Scenes

At Service (5:54)
    A look at what happens during a service stop with Petter Solberg. A rundown of what is happening along with interviews with Petter and some of his mechanics. An interesting insight into the running of a team.

On-Board Cameras and Wescam (5:46)
    A brief documentary on the on-board camera technology and the helicopter mounted Wescam system used throughout the WRC coverage.

Classic Rally Cars (7:39)
    A retrospective look at three of the great rally cars of all time. The Ford Escort MkII, Audi Quattro and Peugot 205 T16 are profiled and their significance to rallying discussed. Very interesting if you like classic race cars.

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as I can establish, there is no difference in content with other regions.

Summary

    I was disappointed with the content of this disc. Considering this was supposed to be the official highlights of the 2005 season, a 3 to 4 minute coverage of each round is just too spartan. It's not as if there was a problem with space. The entire disc, including extras, runs for only 2.5 hours. Hardly crammed with content. It really could have been so much better. Those with a passing interest in the sport may find it OK, but anyone with a genuine interest will feel cheated at paying $29.95 for such superficial coverage.

    The video was good quality, given the nature of the sport.

    Audio was serviceable.

    Extras ranged from interesting to mind-numbing.

    Not recommended at this price. Please WRC, give the fans some value for their DVD dollar.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Glen Randall (If you're really bored, you can read my bio)
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-1200Y, using Component output
DisplayPanasonic TH-42PV500A 42" HD Plasma. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V596
SpeakersRichter Wizard fronts, Richter Lynx centre, Richter Hydra rears, Velodyne CT-100 sub-woofer

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