Tour de France, Le-2005: The Highlights (Madman) (2005)

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Released 27-Nov-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Sports Menu Animation & Audio
Introduction
Featurette-Numerous
Notes-Results
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2005
Running Time 243:41
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor
SBS
Madman Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case ?
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.29:1 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

Before getting started on this review I should note that although it seems strange to only be publishing a review of 2005's Tour now in 2008, this two disc set forms part of a new 11 disc box set called Le Tour de France - The Ultimate Collection 2003-2007 from Madman Entertainment. This two disc set was previously released by Roadshow in 2005, however, we unfortunately did not receive a review copy at the time. The contents are exactly the same as the previous release due to SBS having moved their DVD distribution from Roadshow to Madman recently. This new set includes all the highlights releases for 2003 - 2007 along with an extra disc of documentaries, which I will review separately. Previously I reviewed the 2004 Tour & the 2006 Tour both of which I really enjoyed.

As I write Cadel Evans has moved up to second overall in the 2008 tour, however, in this 2005 tour he was a young gun on the rise who is mentioned surprisingly often. This race was the last one of Lance Armstrong's illustrious career and his control of the race is incredible. He also has an uncanny ability to rise to every challenge thrown at him by the other riders who regularly seem to work together against him and his team. This race is not as competitive as other more recent years but is definitely worth watching for the usual collection of bravery, drama, tears, blood, sweat and glory.

The race itself is made up of 21 stages spread over 3 weeks which takes the field of riders into Germany & Spain along with (of course) lots of France. Each stage is very different and they include hard slogs up mountains, time trials, 200Km+ flat out racing and all sorts of combinations. Each stage has its own winner and for many riders this is an achievement of a lifetime, in fact some riders try for years just to get accepted into one of the teams and start in the great race. In total the riders cover over 3500 kilometres and it is only when you sit down and watch these DVDs that you start to realise how far that really is.

In terms of the overall race, there are four main categories, overall, climbs, sprints and youth. The overall classification is won by the person with the lowest total time over the 21 stages. The person leading this competition each day gets to wear a yellow jersey signifying they are in the lead, but at the end of the day if they are no longer in the lead they must relinquish it. The climb classification is a prize for the best mountain climber in the tour and points are awarded in the various climbs included in most stages. The leader here gets to wear a red polka dot jersey. The sprint stage is similar except that points are awarded for pre-designated sprint portions of each stage. The best sprinter in each of these gets points which go toward the final classification win. In this case a green jersey is worn by the leader.

This set contains about four hours of highlights of the race, which to my mind gave great coverage of the various stages without going over the top. Some great photography is included not only of the action but of the beautiful scenery as well. The extra features also add more depth to the coverage, see below for details. Each stage has its own menu which allows access to a map of the stage, the highlights and any extras for the stage.

Overall, this is an excellent production and well worth digging out and watching again if you already own the Roadshow set. The Madman set of all five races is well worth a look especially if you have not bought the previous individual sets...but more on that in a future review.

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Transfer Quality

Video

The video quality is good but somewhat affected by it source being live very mobile sport.

The feature is presented in a 1.30:1 aspect ratio which would be the original aspect ratio or close to it.

The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout, despite some graininess especially in helicopter shots. Shadow detail is fairly irrelevant as most shots are in strong daylight.

The colour was very good with no colour artefacts.

From an artefacts perspective, there was quite a bit of minor aliasing on passing roofs etc and some pixelation and macro-blocking which I would guess was mostly from the source material. Signal break-ups from mobile shots were also quite regular.

There are burnt-in subtitles for foreign languages but no subtitle streams.

The layer changes were not noticeable and must have been placed between stages.


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

Audio

The audio quality is good.

This DVDs contain one audio option, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

Commentary was clear and easy to understand.The music was funky and not overly annoying except in one or two spots where it was mixed too loud.

The surround speakers added some atmosphere when played using Dolby ProLogic II.

The subwoofer was not used.

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

Extras

Menu

The menu included a moving shot of a road, some cool music and was clear and easy to use. The action was available either through a play all function or stage by stage using the stage index. The stage index also allows access to the extra footage mentioned below and gives some details of each stage including how long it is and the graded climbs along the way.

Intro (0:37) - Disc 1

Mike Tomalaris introduces the DVD set.

Stage Extras - Disc 1

A number of extras are available on Disc 1 through the stage index which do not form part of the main feature. They are included in different stages as detailed below:

Stage Extras - Disc 2

Nine extras are available on Disc 2 through the stage index which do not form part of the main feature. They are included in different stages as detailed below:

Results - Disc 1 & 2

A text based collection of statistics including details of the final results for all competitors in the race, the top ten in the climb and sprint races.

R4 vs R1

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

This set is only available in Region 4.

Summary

A great souvenir package of highlights, maps and results of the world's greatest bike race - 2005 edition.

The video quality is good.

The audio quality is good.

The set has a quality collection of extra material.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
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) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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