Top Gear-The Great Adventures: Middle East (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 2-Jun-2011

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Main Menu Audio & Animation
Audio Commentary-1 episode
Deleted Scenes-5
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 169:31 (Case: 180)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080i
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Top Gear has been on UK Television on and off since 1978, however most people probably associate the name more with the current incarnation featuring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May which has been running since 2002 (although May didn't join until 2003). This latest Blu-ray release features three of their recent adventure style episodes, all in longer 'Director's Cut versions. They are spread over a BD25 and a BD50. The three episodes were shown in the UK between 21 December 2010 and 6 February 2011. They are

    There is a lot of fun to be had in these episodes for fans of the show, with the Albanian one probably the pick of the three as the Middle East one feels a little more stage managed (understandably) and the United States one is a bit slow up until the Manhattan finale. The Albanian one has some great scenes including the bank job at the end. Regardless, all three are fun and very entertaining.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is pretty good but unfortunately only 1080i. The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080i encoded using AVC.

     The picture was quite clear and sharp throughout but not as good as some film based Blu-rays. The shadow detail was very good without being outstanding. The colour was very good with no issues to report. There was some minor aliasing and interlacing artefacts especially around faces.

     There are subtitles available in English which are clear and easy to read.

     There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

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

Audio

     The audio quality is very good. This disc contains an English soundtrack in DTS-HD MA 2.0 and the audio commentary is the same format.

     Dialogue was very clear and easy to hear and understand, the main benefit of the high definition format for this show. The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

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

Extras

Menu

     The menu included music and motion.

Disc 1

Commentary - Middle East Special (75:41)

     This commentary is on the original cut of the Middle East Special, hence the shorter running time. The participants are James May, the producer, the production manager and the sound recorder. It is not a bad commentary but not an excellent one either. They talk about some interesting background trivia and anecdotes however there are too many gaps.

The Boys get in touch with their Feminine Side (0:57)

     A deleted scene of the boys making up names for each other based on the cars they selected for the challenge.

Bored at the Border (1:15)

     Playing a game with locals while waiting for border crossing into Turkey. Another deleted scene.

Disc 2

Ride with Jeremy around V.I.R (1:54)

     Footage from car cameras as Jeremy drives around the Virginia International Raceway.

Hammond Chases May around V.I.R (2:26)

     Footage from car cameras as Hammond chases May around the Virginia International Raceway.

James May's Yoga Masterclass (4:47)

     Full footage of James' appearance on US Morning Television as a participant in a Yoga class.

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 available in the same format in the UK.

Summary

     A fun and entertaining set of specials from Top Gear.

     The video quality is pretty good. The audio quality is very good but only 2.0. A decent set of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, June 10, 2011
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplayLG Scarlet 42LG61YD 106cm Full HD LCD. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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