The Beatles-From Liverpool to San Francisco (2005)

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Released 5-Feb-2007

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Featurette-The Beatles Across America (22:38)
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 66:16 (Case: 65)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Rajon Vision
Starring Paul McCartney
George Harrison
Ringo Starr
John Lennon
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    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.

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

Transfer Quality

Video

    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.

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

Audio

    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.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu pages are the simplest I have ever seen- they even look home made. No audio, no animation, no 16x9 enhancement.

Featurette- The Beatles Across America (22:38)

    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.

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 identical in content across all regions.

Summary

    From Liverpool to San Francisco is an interesting glimpse into The Beatles' rise to international fame.

    The transfer is only limited by the source material.

    The bonus featurette is very worthwhile viewing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-3910, using HDMI 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-3806 (via Denon Link 3)
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.

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