|Category||Drama||Listing-Cast & Crew|
|Year Of Production||1997|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Gregory Nava|
Warner Home Video
Edward James Olmos
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.40:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
We see a 10-year-old Selena (Rebecca Lee Meza) grow up in her family's band, Selena y Los Dinos, becoming a passionate young woman (Jennifer Lopez) dealing with young love, racial issues, being constantly surrounded by family, financial hardships, and being under the watchful eye of her well meaning but difficult father Abraham (Edward James Olmos). Her journey to being successful runs parallel with her discovering her own voice and finding her happiness, until her life is tragically cut short.
The acting is solid, with Jennifer Lopez turning in a convincing performance in both the dramatic scenes and the large-scale singing pieces (in which she lip syncs to the actual Selena Quintanilla-Pérez). The supporting cast are also great, and while all of Selena's family shines, Oscar-nominee Edward James Olmos steals the show as passionate but overprotective Abraham.
While the film steers clear of a lot of overused dramatic conventions, it sometimes falls back on cliché and takes some liberties in telling Selena's story. But the sadly effective ending and footage of the actual Selena add genuine pathos to the film as well as authenticity, and it's also powerful to see the tremendous force of real fans for Selena who have been drawn to the film as an event giving honour to her.
This is ultimately a film for fans, who will have no doubt seen it and probably own it already, but it shouldn't be passed up on quickly - Selena features an interesting story and a lot of great music, as well as some performances that overcome the pop-flavoured image now connected with J'Lo.
I was totally unprepared for how good this transfer is; although the movie was only a minor hit, the video on this DVD is some of the best I’ve seen on the format. The transfer is extremely sharp, with very strong colours that reflect the different atmosphere of different sections of the film, only occasionally losing strong focus in wide scenes such as 19:07. There is also some light grain evident in extremely bright shots (46:15) and the sections of the movie shot on video tape or sampled from stock footage of Selena Quintanilla Perez look appropriately lacking in quality.
Shadow detail and black levels are very strong in most scenes (see 18:03 for an example of very clear, very detailed blacks) however does feature some low level noise in scenes shot separately on obviously cheaper footage, such as the video sequences (one example is 112:56). Overall, this is an excellent transfer, with the minor flaws not affecting the viewing experience.
The DVD features English and Spanish subtitles. The scenes I sampled of the English subtitles were accurate and easily readable.
This is a strong, clear soundtrack, mostly delivered through the front speakers, which still provides a very nice soundscape despite rarely utilizing rear speakers. The mix always gives a surround feeling and the music sounds excellent. It's an absolute treat for fans.
When the surround does kick in, mostly during the big musical numbers, it creates a strong sense of immersion (one example is at 64:03, in which the sounds of the crowd and cheering put you in Selena’s audience). Unfortunately, dialogue and sound effects in these scenes suffer, with an evident drop in volume, but the effect is maintained.
Dialogue is well synced with only some minor issues, including poorly dubbed singing for the young 10 year old Selena. Drop outs were not noticeable. Overall, this is a great audio track that matches the high quality of the video.
The scenes I sampled of the Spanish 5.1 dub seemed perfectly audible, maintaining the soundtrack with the new dialogue.
|Surround Channel Use|
The video and audio are both excellent.
This DVD is, unfortunately, bare-bones.
|DVD||LG LH-D6230, using Component output|
|Display||Benq PE7700. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device has a maximum native resolution of 720p.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to DVD Player, Dolby Digital and DTS. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL).|
|Speakers||B&W LCR 600 S3 (Front & Centre); B&W DM 600 (Rears); B&W ASW500 (Sub)|