Bob Marley-Spiritual Journey (2003) (NTSC)

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Released 23-Oct-2005

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Gallery-Photo
Booklet-32 Pages
CD-The Lion Of Reggae-14 Tracks
Audio Interview-Cast-Bob Marley (on the CD)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 56:05 (Case: 55)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
Rajon Vision Starring Bob Marley
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $29.95 Music Bob Marley


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles German
French
Italian
Spanish
Portuguese
Dutch
Smoking Yes, incl lots of Ganga, mon!
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I recently reviewed another DVD/CD release from Rajon, entitled Jimi Hendrix - Feedback. This product is along very similar lines being a documentary on a DVD about a musician and an accompanying CD of material by the artist in question. In this case, the artist is Bob Marley. This product includes a better CD of music than the Hendrix one, but the DVD material is not as good. I will cover the DVD here and the CD in the extras section below.

    The DVD contains a documentary about the life of Robert Nesta 'Bob' Marley featuring many interviews with his friends and family including his mother, his son Ziggy Marley, Bunny Wailer, Tony Calder, an ex-manager of the Rolling Stones, Chris Blackwell of Island records, two former Prime Ministers of Jamaica and many of his friends and childhood neighbours. It also includes a short interview with the man himself recorded for Canadian television mostly focusing on drugs, Rastafarianism and how they are responsible for all the crime in Toronto. The documentary is entitled His Journey. Generally, the documentary is pretty patchy, consisting of lots of disjointed footage stitched together rather than being one show, made at the same time. There is certainly some interesting stuff here such as a BBC report from Jamaica covering his funeral. Quite a bit of the running time is made up of stills of Bob Marley with music playing over them. There is no live performance footage of Marley.

    Topics covered include his childhood, his beliefs, the assassination attempt, his battle with cancer, living in the Trenchtown slums, his music, career and his many women and illegitimate children. None of these topics are covered in any great depth, more just mentioned in the various interview segments. Generally, I didn't feel this was much of a documentary despite including some worthwhile and interesting footage.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is average.

    The feature is presented in a 1.29:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio. The colour system is NTSC so those who cannot playback NTSC should avoid this product.

    The picture was variable in clarity and sharpness depending upon the footage being used. Most of the archive footage was quite soft and full of issues. The more modern interview footage was better but still nothing special. There was no evidence of low level noise. Grain was abundant in most archival footage, sometimes drifting into macro-blocking.

    The colour was generally quite washed out but better on newer footage. There were a couple of spots of minor cross-colourisation.

    Artefacts included some very minor aliasing and lots of specks, flecks and hairs on archive footage.

    There are subtitles in 6 languages but none of them are English. They were clear and easy to read, in white.
    

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

Audio

    The audio quality is decent.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear but quite often difficult to understand due to the Jamaican accents. Subtitles would have been very useful. There was no problem with audio sync.

    The music by Bob Marley & The Wailers sounds quite decent in this transfer. The songs used are from the 1971/72 period before they hit the big time. The CD also contains material from this era.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu included music and the ability to select scenes and subtitles.

Booklet

    An excellent full colour booklet of 32 pages is included in the case. It includes a quite interesting essay about his life and career plus lots of pictures. Better than the documentary.

Disc 1

Picture Gallery

    10 stills of Bob Marley which are the same as the ones used regularly throughout the documentary.

Disc 2

Music CD - The Lion of Reggae - Bob Marley & The Wailers

    This disc contains 14 quality tracks recorded by the original Bob Marley & The Wailers (including Peter Tosh & Bunny Wailer) in 1971/72 before they signed with Island records. Included are:

  1. Lively Up Yourself 
  2. Soul Rebel
  3. Treat Yourself Right
  4. Rebel's Hop
  5. Soul Almighty
  6. Kaya
  7. Trenchtown Rock
  8. Soul Shakedown Party
  9. Natural Mystic
  10. Fussing and Fighting
  11. African Herbsman
  12. Keep on Moving
  13. Go Tell It On The Mountain
  14. How Many Times 

Audio Interview

    After the music tracks a 29:17 audio interview with Marley is included. There is no information about when it was done or by whom. It's not bad but hardly spectacular.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc is available globally in the same format right down to the colour system.

Summary

    An ordinary documentary about Bob Marley, well packaged with a worthwhile CD of music and an excellent full colour booklet.

    The video quality is average.

    The audio quality is decent.

    A well packaged set which includes various extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, August 26, 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
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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