Frank Sinatra-In Japan-Live at the Budokan Hall (1985)

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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 1985
Running Time 71:00
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Danny O'Donovan

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
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, credits roll over last song

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

Plot Synopsis

    Sinatra in Japan is a great concert DVD, celebrating Sinatra's return to Japan as a performer, after an eleven year absence, in 1985.

   Sinatra's popularity knows no bounds. Language barriers did not prevent him from becoming an international recording and performing super-star. While a lot more reserved than their US counterparts, the Japanese fans obviously love him, and have crowded into the giant Budokan Hall in Tokyo to pay homage to their idol.

    While Sinatra is no longer at his prime here (he is 70 years old here after all), he exhibits a great voice, and delivers a passionate performance. His voice is thin at times, and falters occasionally, and some passages are 'spoken' rather than sung, but as a performer, Sinatra at his worst is still far better than many performers at their very best. And this is Sinatra far from his worst! This is Sinatra ready to rumble and give it his all.

     One of the first thing that one notices about this concert DVD is the length (71:00). It runs for over an hour, and that's over an hour of Ole Blue Eyes on stage. Sinatra performs some of his classic tunes here, and works his magic one last time for his Japanese fans. Sinatra, we will miss you.

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Track Listing

1. Introduction/Instrumental Medley
2. The Lady Is A Tramp
3. Fly Me To The Moon
4. My Way
5. I've Got You Under My Skin
6. Something
7. I Get A Kick Out Of You
8. My Kind Of Town
9. Someone To Watch Over Me
10. All Or Nothing At All
11. Mack The Knife
12. Luck Be A Lady
13. L.A. Is My Lady
14. Strangers In The Night
15. Come Rain Or Come Shine
16. Pennies From Heaven
17. One For My Baby
18. Theme From New York, New York
19. You Are There - Instrumental

Transfer Quality


    The quality of the transfer is good considering the age of the video tape source material.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, full frame (not 16x9 enhanced).

    The image is very clear, but is soft throughout. The black level and shadow detail are acceptable. There is some low level noise on occasion, for example at 28:48.   

    Considering that the source material is video tape that is almost twenty years old, the colour is very good.

    There are a few MPEG artefacts present. Despite the softness, the transfer displays slight pixelization, for example the stage at 36:59. Close-ups of Sinatra's face can display posterization, such as at 37:54. There is also some macro-blocking, for example the music stands at 45:31.

    There was some very mild aliasing on occasion, for example the mild shimmer on the trombone at 15:03.

    There are also a few video tape glitches which cause a black or white fuzzy horizontal line to appear on occasion. Examples of this can be seen at 9:52 and 26:30. There were also a few rare examples of overmodulation, such as at 58:38.

    All the subtitles promised on the packaging were present. While the non-English subtitles would only appear during the spoken passages, the English subtitles would also display the song lyrics during Frank's performance. The English subtitles were accurate. Interestingly, the lyrics would appear correctly, even when Sinatra mixed them up (a problem that plagued his later performances, even when using a teleprompter). For example, during Mack The Knife, Sinatra sings "stash from stash", yet the subtitles display the correct song lyrics: "cash from stash".

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

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


    The quality of the audio is good considering the age of the source material, and it exhibits a good dynamic range. There are a few drop-outs and other glitches, but I imagine that these are all in the source material.

    There is only one audio track on this DVD, an English PCM 2.0 track adapted from the original mono source.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are very good. Sinatra's lyrics, as always, are clear, and his unique phrasing sits well in the audio mix. Apart from singing, there is also quite a bit of Sinatra's banter during the concert. Strangely on occasion Sinatra refers to himself as "Ole Rue Eyes", or sings "Ruck Be A Rady" (instead of "Luck Be A Lady"). I assume was this was his sense of humour -- poking fun at Japanese accents. He sure knows how to pick the right crowd . . .

    The music is sensational, and is largely provided by a full orchestra conducted by maestro Joe Parnello. The orchestra features some outstanding talent, including famous jazz guitarist Tony Mottola, and brilliant jazz drummer Irv Cottler. Some of Sinatra's greatest tunes are here, including Quincy Jones' Count Basie style arrangement of Fly Me To The Moon, performed with all the swing and brassy power that this number deserves. There's also Nelson Riddle's brilliant arrangement of Cole Porter's I've Got You Under My Skin; Quincy Jones' arrangement of Pennies From Heaven; Neal Hefti's arrangement of Cole Porter's I Get A Kick Out Of You; and Sinatra's impassioned performance of one of his favourite songs, Nelson Riddle's arrangement of George Harrison's Something.

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

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    This DVD contains few extras.


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


    This four minute and nineteen second trailer is presented in as aspect ratio 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.


    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 1999. It only differs from the Region 4 version in the design of the slick. We can call it even, but personally, I easily favour our version based on its availability, and its superior PAL image.


    Warner Vision are releasing a series of ten Sinatra DVDs. Each captures a different Sinatra performance over the many years. This performance is well worth seeing, and while he may not have been at his peak here, Sinatra provides a gutsy performance.

    The video quality is good considering the age of the source material.

    The audio quality is good considering the age of the source material.

    The extras are not worth mentioning.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Wednesday, February 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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