Gunther's ER (2006)

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Released 17-Jun-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Featurette-The Gunther von Hagens Body Appeal (36:08)
Menu Audio
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 144:00 (Case: 190)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By David Coleman
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Gunther von Hagens
Emma Rand
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/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 None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Dr. Gunther von Hagens is to autopsies what Jamie Oliver is to cooking. "Celebrity Anatomist" might be the phrase I'm looking for, but there's no doubting Gunther is splendid at what he does. The reality of witnessing human dissections live in a studio is most certainly not for everyone, but his shows are always factual and informative. His series' are produced in a studio with a live audience made up of future body donors and their guests, which makes for some interesting facial expressions in the crowd.

    Gunther's first series, produced several years ago, focused on the anatomy and general mechanics of the human body. His second series, Autopsy: Life & Death, was dedicated to potentially fatal diseases, and in some cases, the lifestyle choices we make that decide how we die. In his third and latest series, Gunther's ER, Gunther uses his knowledge and expertise to illustrate common injuries that are presented in emergency rooms.

    Despite our body's resilience having built up over thousands of years of evolution, we're still surprisingly susceptible to injury. Over these three episodes, Gunther recreates human injuries and trauma to illustrate exactly how injuries affect the body and how they should be treated. On hand and offering their expertise throughout are Dr John Heyworth, an accident and emergency consultant, and Emma Rand of Red Cross First Aid.

    At the conclusion of each episode there's a great Q&A session with the audience. These episodes are presented exactly as they were screened on television, including interruptions for ad breaks. A bonus documentary is included on this disc, outlined in the extras below.

    If you were fascinated by any of Gunther's past series, this DVD is a must.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This video transfer is precisely what you would expect from a recent studio production. The series was produced for broadcast on digital television, in an aspect of 1.78:1. The video stream is 16x9 enhanced.

    The level of sharpness is great, with plenty of fine detail visible in skin textures and the like. There was no low level noise evident in the transfer.

    Colours are vivid and lifelike, with no signs of bleeding or oversaturation at all..

    Being a digital production, there are no film artefacts to be concerned about. A little compression grain creeps in on occasion, but the MPEG bitrate is generally well controlled.

    No English subtitles are provided, which is a shame.

    This disc is DVD9 formatted. I didn't note any pause on my equipment, nor could I find one manually, so I would guess the layer transition is between episodes somewhere.

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

Audio

    The show's original English stereo soundtrack is included, presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s).

    Like the video transfer, the audio was captured in a studio environment via the usual array of lapel and boom microphones. The dialogue is always clear and easy to discern in the mix. I didn't note any audio sync issues.

    Obviously there is no surround or subwoofer activity to speak of, nor is it called for in a series such as this.

    The score is generic and not particularly memorable. It does its job, I suppose.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu pages are static and 16x9 enhanced. An audio clip from the theme plays in the background.

Featurette- The Gunther von Hagens Body Appeal (36:06)

    UK body donations are at an all-time low, leaving some medical students with no chance for first hand experience. Along with psychologist Dr John Marsden, Gunther heads out on the street to sell the idea of body donation to the public. What makes this piece interesting is the differences between British and German concepts of death, and it would have certainly benefited from a bit more depth in this area. Gunther attracted some negative reactions from the British establishment in 2002 when he performed the first public autopsy in many years, which points to some of the issues facing the body donation program. This is an interesting featurette, made for television, that manages to dispel some of the urban myths surrounding body donation for the benefit of medical science.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title is only available in Australia (Region 4) at the moment.

Summary

    Gunther's ER is fascinating, thought provoking viewing. It's most certainly not for the squeamish!

    The transfer is on a par with the free-to-air digital broadcast.

    The extras amount to a documentary about body donation in the UK.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Thursday, July 31, 2008
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 DVD player. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Digital Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3806 (7.1 Channels)
SpeakersOrpheus Aurora III floor-standing Mains and Surrounds. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Center. Mirage 10 inch powered sub.

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