Pink Floyd-Meddle: Classic Albums Under Review (2008) (NTSC)

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Released 3-Nov-2008

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Featurette-The Remarkable Roger Barrett
Quiz-The Hardest Pink Floyd Trivia Quiz In The World Ever
Biographies-Cast-Contributors
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2008
Running Time 62:09
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Mark Sturdy
Malcolm Dome
Hugh Hopper
Mark Blake
David Stubbs
Mark Prendergast
Norman Smith
Peter Banks
Thomas Arnold
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI ? Music (Papa T) Flava Loc
Pink Floyd


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
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

    In Pink Floyd's broad catalogue of work, Meddle is considered by many to be a largely underrated album, overshadowed by the enormous success of it's follow-up, Dark Side Of The Moon. It's certainly a mixed bag to say the least, with folksy interludes and experimental passages that haven't dated well. It's the album's epic closing track, Echoes, that sets Meddle apart as a watershed in Pink Floyd's history. When you take a step back as a listener, it's easy to see that Meddle contains many sounds and concepts that hint at what was to come.

    This unofficial documentary, produced by Chrome Dreams in the UK, is simply an attempt to cash-in on a marketplace with an endless appetite for Pink Floyd-related material. What better subject than an album that is undoubtedly a fan favorite, largely underrated and screaming out for a bit of exposition? They go even further by putting "Classic Albums" in the title in order to mislead consumers about the quality of the content. I love the Classic Albums series, and this product, comprised mostly of lengthy stills, stock footage and critic's interviews is most certainly not deserved of that title.

    The first half hour of the feature covers very familiar territory; the 60s psychedelic movement, Pink Floyd's inception in Cambridge and their early influences. We touch on Syd Barrett's breakdown, the subsequent hiring of David Gilmour and the band's creative output leading up to Meddle. The second half of the production is a track-by-track dissection of the album's six songs and the artwork contributed by Storm Thorgerson. The only contributions from actual members of Pink Floyd come in the form of non-referenced text quotes on screen, complete with embarrassing typos.

    The interviewees who take part are:

    Fans will find nothing new here, and the lack of any legitimate involvement from the band themselves makes it an unsubstantial way to spend an hour.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This NTSC video transfer is about as satisfying as the content. A slightly amateurish, low-budget and ultimately superficial effort.

    The documentary on this disc has been produced in the 1.78:1 widescreen aspect, but in its transfer to disc it has been letterboxed. The image lacks sharpness and has a decidedly analogue look about it. Colours are noisy and bleed often.

    MPEG compression grain is common, but not overly distracting. Film artefacts can be seen in some of the archival clips, but they're not the fault of this transfer.

    There are no subtitle streams provided. The disc is single-layered (DVD5).

Video Ratings Summary
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Shadow Detail
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Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    A single Dolby Digital stereo soundtrack is provided, and it does the job adequately. The audio quality isn't especially involving, in fact overall it lacks a certain brightness that you would expect from a music documentary.

    The dialogue contained in the interview segments is clearly audible and the passages of music are balanced nicely. Some clumsy attempts to sync music with dated video footage aside, there are no dire sync issues to be found.

    There is obviously no surround or subwoofer activity to report.

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

Extras

Menu

    The menu pages are black, silent and very simple. No artwork, no audio clips, no animation of any kind.

Featurette- The Remarkable Roger Barrett (10:46)

    This short piece explores Syd Barrett's early musical career and was produced soon after his passing in 2006. It includes a rather lengthy anecdote from producer Norman Smith, regarding the difficulty he encountered in dealing with Syd on a creative level. I suspect this has been culled from another Chrome Dreams title Syd Barrett: Classic Album Under Review.

Quiz- The Hardest Interactive Pink Floyd Trivia Quiz In The World Ever

    Twenty-five questions relating to content found in the docco on this disc. Only hard if you weren't paying attention.

Biographies (9)

    There is a single page biography for each of the nine interviewees.

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 identical in content across the globe.

Summary

    I suspect this production is largely representative of all of the Chrome Dreams series, and would likely be appreciated by only the most hardcore of completist Pink Floyd fans. I found it an amateurish, ultimately superficial effort. For those interested in legitimate Pink Floyd documentaries on DVD, I would recommend the excellent Pink Floyd & The Syd Barrett Story (also on Umbrella in Australia), or the Classic Albums episode dedicated to Dark Side Of The Moon.

    The transfer is average.

    The extras are brief, but worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Rob Giles (readen de bio, bork, bork, bork.)
Friday, November 28, 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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