Make It Funky! (2005)

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Released 22-Feb-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Dolby Digital Trailer
Alternative Version-Concert Only
Deleted Scenes-Showdown At The Funky Butt
Featurette-Culture Of New Orleans
Featurette-Family
Featurette-Music And Musicians
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 110:02
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (82:19) Cast & Crew
Start Up Ads Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4,5 Directed By Michael Murphy
Studio
Distributor

Sony Pictures Home Entertain
Starring Michael Murphy
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Italian
Spanish
Dutch
Arabic
Czech
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Hindi
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Portuguese
Romanian
Swedish
Turkish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes

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

Plot Synopsis

    As anyone who has read a few of my reviews may have noticed I am a great lover of music of many styles including blues, soul, funk, jazz and many more. One city from which a disproportionate amount of great music has come is New Orleans, covering all of the styles I mentioned above and many more besides. This disc includes a feature length documentary / concert film which was released theatrically in the US. It sets out to provide an informative documentary about the music, heritage and culture of New Orleans combined with footage from a concert held in New Orleans on April 27, 2004. In some ways it is similar to a disc I reviewed recently based around a similar premise for blues music, Lightning in a Bottle. The main difference is that the focus in that one was the concert whereas the focus here is on the documentary. The concert is about 47 minutes of the 100 minute running time. You can choose to play only the concert portion of the show.

    The documentary portions, which are between the songs, include interviews with various important personalities either from New Orleans or with a great love of its music including Ahmet Ertegun (Atlantic Records), Bonnie Raitt, Aaron Neville, Art Neville, Irma Thomas, Allen Toussaint, Keith Richards and many more. Topics covered include the second line (a term which I finally found out the original meaning of in this show), voodoo, congo square, Mardi Gras Indians, the piano styles, segregation and many of the New Orleans musical legends such as Louis Armstrong, Danny Barker, Professor Longhair, James Booker, Snooks Eaglin, Fats Domino and more. These sections are informative and well put together.

    The concert portions of the film comprise 15 tracks, which makes them mostly quite short. It was a little disappointing to me that there was no more music included in this show or at least in the extras. I am sure the actual concert went on much longer. Despite this, they cover a wide range of musical styles and artists. The tracks are:

  1. Skokiaan - 3 trumpeters jam on this cover of a Louis Armstrong tune
  2. My Feat Can't Fail Me Now - Dirty Dozen Brass Band - Funky horn-based tune
  3. Bah Duey Duey - Big Sam's Funky Nation - One of the new generation of New Orleans bands play an even funkier horn tune
  4. Sew Sew Sew - Chief Monk Boudreux & the Golden Eagles - Mardi Gras Indians
  5. Tipitina - Allen Toussaint & Jon Cleary - Duelling pianos on this classic Professor Longhair cover
  6. Old Records - Irma Thomas
  7. Lawdy Miss Clawdy - Lloyd Price - The fire is still there but the voice sounds a little old
  8. Rip It Up - Ivan Neville featuring Earl Palmer - Cover of the Little Richard tune which he recorded in New Orleans featuring the great drummer, Earl Palmer 
  9. Fortune Teller / Medley - Allen Toussaint 
  10. What is Success - Bonnie Raitt - Frankly, this one's a bit average
  11. Fire on the Bayou - Neville Brothers - The only tune by the Neville Brothers is great, but one is nowhere near enough
  12. Barefootin' - Walter 'Wolfman' Washington - The highlight of the show, great guitar, idiosyncratic vocals on this Robert Parker classic
  13. Come On (Let The Good Times Roll) - Snooks Eaglin - Another highlight by this legend of New Orleans guitar
  14. I'm Ready - Keith Richards - OK, how did this become the big finale?
  15. Hey Pocky Way - All - Nice ending but the song gets cut off

    In summary, it's great to see a DVD which shows off the great music on offer in New Orleans but I felt that more of the actual concert could have been included. Despite this, any fan of New Orleans music will want to see and probably own this disc. Let's just hope that the hurricane and floods in New Orleans have not destroyed this great musical heritage and the places which it came from.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio or close to it.

    The picture was very clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was excellent. There was some occasional very light grain.

    The colour was wonderful, rich and solid throughout.

    The only noticeable artefact was aliasing which was occasional such as on the shutters at 28:10, a sign at 29:40 and a grille at 53:30.

    There are subtitles in twenty languages including English and English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear, easy to read and exact to the spoken word.

    The layer change occurs at 82:19 and was not noticeable.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is excellent.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack encoded at 448 Kb/s.

    Dialogue and vocals were clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The music sounds wonderful with excellent separation of instruments and a warm and immersive overall sound.

    The surround speakers added crowd noises plus some extra music. Some instruments were sometimes enhanced by also being mixed into the surround speakers.

    The subwoofer was nicely integrated adding significant bass to the music.

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

Extras

    The extras consist of one short deleted scene and three featurettes which are obviously left over material from the documentary portions. It's a shame that no further concert footage could be included here.

Menu

    The menu was simple and silent allowing access to scenes and subtitles.

Deleted Scene - Showdown at the Funky Butt (1:55) 

    This is actually an extended version of a scene in the film showing more interplay between the members of Big Sam's Funky Nation at another live show.

Featurette - Culture of New Orleans (18:49)

    A collection of various pieces of footage which have some minor crossover to footage in the feature. It includes Jon Cleary and Irma Thomas talking about the city, some discussion of a local record studio, a section on a famous nightclub, the Dew Drop Inn and a section on Mardi Gras Indians. Quite interesting.

Featurette - Family (13:50)

    Focuses on the importance of family in New Orleans culture and music including for the producer himself.

Featurette - Music & Musicians (34:20)

    A lot more information is included here about many of the legends mentioned in the show itself. This is a very interesting featurette which also includes a drummer, Herman Ernest, showing us how to play various New Orleans rhythms. The artists covered include Danny Barker, Professor Longhair, James Booker, Snooks Eaglin, Earl Palmer & Zigaboo Modelieste. The best of the featurettes.

R4 vs R1

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

    This movie is available in Region 1 with the same extras but less subtitle options. May as well call it a draw.

Summary

    An enjoyable documentary/concert film about the wonderful music of New Orleans.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is excellent.

    The set has an extra hour of footage but unfortunately no more concert footage.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersBose 201 Direct Reflecting (Front), Phillips SB680V (Surround), Phillips MX731 (Center), Yamaha YST SW90 (Sub)

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