Foster & Allen-Partners in Rhyme/Isla Grant Sings (2000)
|Year Of Production||2000|
|Running Time||97:53 (Case: 91)|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
Foster and Allen
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Partners In Rhyme is a DVD of music by Foster and Allen, or at least that's what the cover would have you believe. The cover mentions "plus bonus recording: Isla Grant Sings". Well, Partners in Rhyme lasts 47:27, while Isla Grant Sings is 50:26 - hmmm.
I find it rather hard to describe Partners in Rhyme. It feels like a series of music videos, strung one after another. Not exactly music videos, though - perhaps musical segments from a variety show? Or perhaps this is a compilation from other videos they have made? There's an advertisement at the start for their other videos and CDs.
Foster and Allen describe their music as easy listening, laidback music. It seems to be successful - they've been doing it for 25 years, and they have reached the top of the album charts in Britain more than once. To my ears it sounds like a combination of Irish traditional music and country music. I like a lot of Irish traditional music, and I have an irrational (or is that rational?) dislike of country music, so I found this disc entertaining and uncomfortable by turns.
Isla Grant, on the other hand, sounds like straight country music. Lots of classic country music themes - dead mothers, abandoned lovers - you know what I'm talking about. No, I didn't like her music. She sings with her mouth fully two millimetres from the microphone - how am I supposed to judge audio sync if I can't see her mouth? Many of her songs sound quite alike to me.
Isla Grant Sings is a straight concert video - all of the songs are performed on the same stage. Foster and Allen perform two numbers in the middle, but they are on the same set.
The two pieces of this disc need separate discussion, because they have quite different transfers. Partners in Rhyme is extremely variable in quality, while Isla Grant Sings is uniformly quite good.
This disc is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.
For Isla Grant Sings, the image is quite sharp, with fair shadow detail, and no trace of low level noise. The shadow detail was only fair because of the strong lighting, characteristic of a live performance. Partners in Rhyme varied from song to song; sharpness was generally reasonable, and shadow detail was usually fine, but one or two of the songs were softer and less detailed.
Colour is fine throughout the disc; Isla Grant Sings showed some distorted colours, but that's perfectly normal for the strange lighting of a live concert. Partners in Rhyme was generally fine, but one number, filmed outside, looked a bit washed-out.
There were no film artefacts to be seen - I suspect both of these were filmed on video. Isla Grant Sings was free of most artefacts, but there was some pixelization on distance shots, and quite a bit of aliasing on guitar strings. Partners in Rhyme varied considerably, but most segments showed quite a bit of aliasing, some to distracting levels. More than one song was given very heavy edge-enhancement; it looked like someone had been running around with a thick black crayon - I have never noticed aliasing on edge enhancement before.
This disc offers a single soundtrack, and no subtitles - understandable enough on a music disc. The soundtrack is Dolby Digital 2.0, not surround encoded.
Vocals are clear and easy to understand, even with the Irish and Scottish accents. There's no visible audio sync problems, but Isla Grant's singing style makes it nearly impossible to tell.
The surround speakers and subwoofer are not called for on a straight 2.0 soundtrack.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are no extras on this disc.
The menu is static, with a short sample of music playing - it repeats quite quickly. The only entries on the menu are a play option for the two videos, and chapter stops for each.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
As far as I have been able to discover Region 4 is the first region to have this title, but it is an all-region disc, so it may ship elsewhere later. Partners In Rhyme has been released in Region 2, but only on VHS, so far.
Foster And Allen-Partners In Rhyme/Isla Grant Sings is a variable transfer of two fairly short videos.
The video quality is variable, with both showing quite a bit of aliasing, and Partners In Rhyme showing many other artefacts.
The audio quality is adequate.
There are no extras.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-737, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics matte white screen with a gain of 1.0 (280cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front Left and Right: Krix Euphonix, Centre: Krix KDX-C Rears: Krix KDX-M, Subwoofer: Krix Seismix 5|