The Beatles-From Liverpool to San Francisco (2005)
|Category||Music||Featurette-The Beatles Across America (22:38)|
|Year Of Production||2005|
|Running Time||66:16 (Case: 65)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||None Given|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
From Liverpool to San Francisco is an 'unauthorised' production that charts the Beatles' rise from British pop sensation to global superstars. The feature is compiled from news reels and interview footage, portions of which would be most familiar to those familiar with the huge Anthology series of the late 90s. Many of the segments here are slightly longer and offer a little more of the interviews that were trimmed for the Anthology set.
Being an unauthorised production, there isn't a note of The Beatles' music to be heard. A narrator (Alan Ravenscroft) guides us through the groups ups and downs via a diary-style graphic that often appears on screen, offering an itinery of their gigs and TV appearances. There are quite a few interviews here that I had never seen, and while there are some interesting tid-bits to be found, such as some of the more private events that were left out of the Anthology, this documentary is far too short to offer any seriously in-depth info.
The disc's biggest asset is a lengthy, unedited news item from the period, from which much of the footage for the above documentary was gleaned. It offers a great insight into their handling of the "...we're more popular than Jesus..." furor that had been ignited by a blinkered DJ in Birmingham, Alabama.
This is certainly worthwhile viewing for Beatles fans with an interest in the band's history. Just be aware that there is none of their music present.
For more Fab reading, check out my review of the excellent Maysels Bros. film, The Beatles- The First U.S. Visit.
The transfer is black and white throughout, presented in 1.33:1 full frame. The transfer is only limited by the source material, most of which would easily be forty years old.
The footage is generally clear and easy on the eye, with a few sequences that are derived from heavily damaged film stock. While they may be damaged, these scenes are great to see all the same. The majority of the content is analogue video, which looks in surprisingly good shape, with no major tape errors to be seen. There are no dire MPEG compression issues, either.
There are no subtitles provided on this single layered (DVD5) disc.
A Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack (192Kb/s) is included, with no dire issues to report. This is essentially a mono effort, which is hardly surprising. The dialogue is easy to make out, however I felt in some scenes that the voiceover came in a little loud in comparison to the other sources. I didn't notice any audio sync problems.
As with the video sources, the audio suffers from a few dropouts and pops here and there, which is to be expected. These don't detract from the interviews in a major way.
As I stated above, there is no Beatles music present, however some generic rock and roll doodling can be heard in the background at times. This music is not credited.
|Surround Channel Use|
In some ways, this piece is more valuable than the feature. Examining the U.S. reaction to John Lennon's comments regarding Christianity, a UK journalist interviews all and sundry about their thoughts on the fab four. An interesting historical document at the very least.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The transfer is only limited by the source material.
The bonus featurette is very worthwhile viewing.
|DVD||Denon DVD-3910, using HDMI output|
|Display||Sanyo 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 Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-3806 (via Denon Link 3)|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.|