Frank Sinatra-Sinatra in Concert-At the Royal Festival Hall (1971)

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Released 21-Jan-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Notes-Catalogue
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1971
Running Time 50:59
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Bill Miller
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Frank Sinatra
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $34.95 Music Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
French
German
Spanish
Italian
Smoking Yes, during 'One For My Baby'
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, credits roll over the end of the concert

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

Plot Synopsis

    Part of a series of ten Sinatra DVDs that Warner Vision have recently released, this edition features Frank Sinatra in concert at the Royal Festival Hall in 1971.

    This concert proves to be very disappointing for Sinatra fans, as Sinatra phones in his performance. There is very little time for banter with the audience, as he races through a relatively short set list, possibly to get to a dinner appointment. Many of the songs resemble a concert rehearsal, and they lack the punch and excitement that Sinatra usually injects into his performance. Sinatra himself appears bored, and often looks out to the sides of the stage, as if searching for inspiration. Sadly, he doesn't find it.

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Track Listing

1. Introduction by Princess Grace
2. You Make Me Feel So Young
3. Pennies From Heaven
4. I've Got You Under My Skin
5. Something
6. The Lady Is A Tramp
7. I Get Along Without You Very Well
8. Didn't We?
9. One For My Baby
10. I Will Drink The Wine
11. I Have Dreamed (From The King & I)
12. My Kind Of Town
13. My Way

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is limited by the source material, which has deteriorated with age.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, full frame, non-16x9 enhanced.    

    The image frequently ghosts, and this ghosting can be clearly seen at 17:47 and 44:16. The image is also very soft throughout, and at times has a blurry background, for example at 36:57. There is poor shadow detail throughout, and some low level noise on occasion, for example at 10:35, 19:32 and 43:44.

    The colour has darkened with age, and the entire concert appears quite dark.

    There are a few MPEG artefacts present, but occasionally it is hard to separate them from problems with the source material. At times, the transfer displays slight pixelization, for example at 22:30, 28:45 and 34:02 whereas close-ups of Frank's face often display slight posterization, such as at 19:25, 21:24 and 41:21. There is also some macro-blocking in the background, for example at 12:20.

    There is aliasing throughout the concert, and obvious examples occur at 5:31 and 10:49. On occasion there were also what appeared to be analogue tape tracking errors, which resulted in horizontal lines appearing on screen. An obvious example of this occurs at 44:40.

    All the subtitles promised on the packaging were present. While the non-English subtitles would only appear during the brief spoken passages, the English subtitles would also display the song lyrics during Sinatra's performance. The English subtitles were accurate.

    This is a single-layered disc which is acceptable considering the length and content of the material.

    The direction of the concert is sadly lacking. The camera work is fairly standard and unimaginative. The viewer never feels part of the performance, but rather remote and distant from it. I often felt as if I was monitoring a security camera, rather than enjoying a concert by one of the all-time great performers.

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

Audio

    The quality of the audio is acceptable, given the age of the source material.

    There is only one audio track on this DVD, an English PCM track adapted from the original mono source. Fortunately there is none of the heavy background hiss often apparent in mono tracks of this vintage.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are excellent. Sinatra's lyrics are clear, and his unique phrasing sits well in the audio mix. This concert was recorded before Sinatra began using a teleprompter, and he forgets the lyrics of Pennies From Heaven and The Lady Is A Tramp. There are some gaps and some noticeably long pauses.

    In regards to the music, this concert is very disappointing. While some of Sinatra's classic tunes are included here, their delivery is lacking. Sinatra busks his way through My Way, and disposes of My Kind Of Town with the same emotion that one might reserve for a chocolate wrapper. During Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen's evocative One For My Baby, Sinatra introduces some dramatics to his presentation, but then seems to lose interest during the number. His voice and his mind trails off elsewhere.

    As a stereo PCM track, the surround speakers and subwoofer are not called upon during this DVD.

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

Extras

    This DVD contains few extras.

Menu

    The DVD auto-plays on loading, but there is a menu if you select it. It is static and without audio.

Trailer

    This four minute and nineteen second trailer is presented in as aspect ration of 1.33:1, full frame, non-16x9 enhanced with an English PCM track. It advertises the series of ten Sinatra DVDs that Warner Vision is releasing, as opposed to this DVD in particular. I assume that this trailer appears on all ten DVDs.

Catalogue

    Purely text-based, this extra lists the tracks on Warner Vision's ten Sinatra DVDs. Again, I assume that this extra appears on all ten DVDs.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 1 version of this DVD was released in June 1999. It only differs from the Region 4 version in the design of the slick. Therefore, I  favour our version based on its availability and its superior PAL image.

Summary

    In his declining years of performance, Sinatra was plagued with problems relating to his memory and his health. Finally, a bloated, aged Sinatra was reduced to sitting on a stool and reading (not singing) from a teleprompter. While this DVD does fortunately not record that Sinatra, it offers the viewer a glimpse of that sad future. This DVD records the start of his decline as a performer. As such, its depressing and thoroughly disappointing.

    The video quality is poor.

    The audio quality is acceptable.

    The extras are minimal.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Sunday, January 27, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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