Jimi Hendrix: Two-Disc Special Edition (1973)

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Released 16-Nov-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio
Featurette-FromThe Ukuele To The Strat
Featurette-The Making Of Dolly Dagger
Bonus Track-"Machine Gun"
Bonus Track-"Stone Free" Uncut
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1973
Running Time 97:54
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (65:14)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Joe Boyd
John Head
Gary Weis
Studio
Distributor

Warner Home Video
Starring Arthur Allen
Albert Allen
Stella Benabon
Eric Barrett
Paul Caruso
Eric Clapton
Billy Cox
Frankie Crocker
Monika Dannemann
Jenifer Dean
Alan Douglas
Germaine Greer
Pat Hartley
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music Bob Dylan
Jimi Hendrix
Peter Colbert


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Arabic
Croatian
Czech
Dutch
Finnish
French
German
Greek
Hebrew
Hungarian
Italian
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Romanian
Serbian
Slovenian
Swedish
English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Jimi Hendrix influenced a generation of guitarists with his unique style and continues to influence musicians to this day. This 'official' documentary of his rise to fame and musical career was produced a few years after his death in 1970.

    Through intimate interviews with Jimi's friends, family and colleagues, we're taken from Jimi's humble beginnings as a musician playing in service clubs and behind acts such as Ike & Tina Turner, to finding popularity in England and making his first album. His triumphant return to the US is given particular attention, as is his later forming of the Band of Gypsies with drummer Buddy Miles and old mate Billy Cox on bass. His untimely passing is touched upon briefly at the film's end without becoming overly sentimental. It's clear that this film is intended to be more a celebration of Jimi's life than anything else.

    An array of friends, family and fellow musicians participated in the interviews, including Jimi's father Al Hendrix, Pete Townsend, Eric Clapton, Billy Cox, Little Richard, engineer Eddie Kramer, Mick Jagger, Lou Reed, drummer Mitch Mitchell, and several former girlfriends. The insightful interviews and anecdotes are broken up by many excellent live performances of Jimi's best songs. These are taken from concerts such as the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, Berkeley in May 1970 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. Also featured is Jimi's famous Beat Club performance of Purple Haze and his controversial rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock in 1969.

    This is the second release this film has received in Region 4. The first was essentially an open matte transfer on a bare bones disc, reviewed by DeanM here. A second disc of interviews that were cut from the film makes for interesting viewing and certainly makes this a worthy upgrade for serious fans.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This video transfer is good considering the condition of the source material. I don't have the original Region 4 release on hand for comparison, however I'm certain this is the best presentation this film has received to date.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, complete with 16x9 enhancement. This is relatively close to the film's 1.85:1 theatrical presentation.

    The image is as sharp as could be expected. A significant amount of grain is present, which doesn't help, but there is an adequate amount of detail and I didn't feel the slightest bit uncomfortable watching it. Brightness has been boosted a little in this transfer, which can be seen clearly in the closing titles.

    Colouring is rich and relatively consistent. I didn't notice any annoying bleeding or flaring in the assorted footage.

    MPEG artefacting is completely absent. The feature has been encoded with an average bitrate of 5.78 Mb/s, which is a little low and surprised me to be honest. On the other hand, film artefacts are rife and range from small scratches, dust and dirt to large hairs and damaged frames. There are no unsightly reel change markings, but mild telecine wobble can be seen on occasion. Despite this, the documentary has been well restored for DVD in my opinion.

    English subtitles for the hearing impaired are included, along with a myriad of other languages, selectable via a Language Selection menu that loads once the disc is inserted. I viewed a few minutes with the subtitle stream active and found them easy to follow and relatively accurate.

    Disc one is dual layered, with the layer transition placed during the feature at 65:14. This appears to be mid-sentence in a Buddy Miles interview, but doesn't come across as too clunky.

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

Audio

    There is only one soundtrack included; English Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded at 384 Kb/s. This new audio treatment has apparently been overseen by Jimi's engineer Eddie Kramer.

    The dialogue and interview segments are easy to understand and I didn't notice any catastrophic audio sync issues.

    The use of the surround channels extends to echoes, atmospherics, audience applause and the like. Musical segments are particularly well mixed, weighted evenly across the front soundstage with plenty of depth. Voices are generally confined to the front centre channel. The audio level is not particularly loud - in fact, I found that I had to turn the volume up well above my normal listening level before I was satisfied.

    The LFE channel is active, but on close inspection I found most low frequency instruments directed to the front main speakers. Still, I liked the soundtrack and was happy with the overall depth present.

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

Extras

    This is a two disc set, with all the extras contained on Disc 2. All of the extras are presented in 1.33:1 full frame (open matte), with stereo audio.

Menu

    The menu pages are psychedelic, static and 16x9 enhanced. Most pages have an audio clip from the film looping in the background.

Featurette- From The Ukulele to the Strat (63:05)

    This featurette is essentially a series of interview outtakes from the film. Most of the guests that made the final cut of the film are featured here, offering additional insight into their relationships with Jimi. There are some great anecdotes to be found here as well, but the condition of the source film is pretty ordinary at times.

Featurette- The Making of Dolly Dagger (6:14)

    Producer and Engineer Eddie Kramer talks us through the multi-track tapes of Hendrix's Dolly Dagger session. It's interesting to hear the many layers that comprise this recording, as well as Eddie's anecdotes of working in the studio with Jimi. This footage is of the same vintage as the other unused interview footage.

Music Videos (2)

    We are treated to uncut performances of two songs from the film, first Machine Gun (12:15) videotaped at Fillmore East on New Years Eve 1969, and also Stone Free (5:52) from the Atlanta Pop Festival in 1970. Machine Gun has been sourced from monochrome videotape, but is great to watch.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 release is labelled a Deluxe Edition, but only includes an additional English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround soundtrack. Strangely, the uncut performance of Machine Gun is not included. I can't comment on the packaging, however I don't see any problem with the local release.

Summary

    Jimi Hendrix is an entertaining portrait of the renowned guitarist, focusing heavily on his personal relationships and live performances.

    The video transfer is good considering the condition of the source.

    The audio transfer is great.

    The extras are insightful, entertaining and pertinent to the feature.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using DVI output
DisplaySanyo PLV-Z2 WXGA projector, Screen Technics Cinemasnap 96" (16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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