Michael Jackson-Dangerous: The Short Films (1993)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 1-Mar-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation
Discography
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1993
Running Time 112:23
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Michael Jackson
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $29.95 Music Michael Jackson


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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 Yes, Jackson has lots of sponsors
Action In or After Credits Yes, background animation during closing credits

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

Plot Synopsis

    Michael Jackson Dangerous -- The Short Films is a DVD containing eleven Michael Jackson music videos and related material, drawn from his 1991 album Dangerous. Apart from the music videos, this DVD contains media clips, some behind-the-scenes footage, some concert footage, and sound-bites from fans around the globe. The DVD is a promotional piece that stresses Jackson's humanitarian image and global popularity.

    Michael  Jackson has spent most of his life in the spotlight. His showbiz career began at the age of four as the frontman for the Jackson Five. He later left the successful group to pursue a solo career. As an adult, Jackson released the very successful album Off The Wall (produced by the great Quincy Jones). Jackson and Jones followed its unexpected success in 1982 with Thriller, which remains one of the most popular albums of all time. The album contained a swag of hit singles, and each was accompanied by a high-quality promotional music video. One of the songs, Billie Jean, had a music video which portrayed Jackson as an amazing dancer, and a strange person who is not from (or part) of our world. This theme has recurred through his follow-up music videos, and later helped shape his image in the media, where he began to be seen as a sweet and sensitive but painfully shy crotch-grabbing child-like recluse.

    Following the staggering commercial and critical success (7 Grammies) of Thriller, Jackson achieved mythical status as a pop-performer. Bizarre stories about his personal life flooded the tabloid and later the mainstream press. Keeping to himself, Jackson again teamed up with Jones, and songwriter Teddy Riley to produce a new album, Bad, in 1987. Again the album contained a few hit singles which were all accompanied by great promotional music videos, including the title track's video which was directed by one of my favourite directors, Martin Scorsese. The stories about Jackson became even more weird, and he lay low for a while. The album Dangerous was released in 1991, which brings us to the subject mater contained on this DVD. Of course, Jackson's career didn't end here. He went on to 'break his silence' and make startling revelations to Oprah on international television, admit to a drug addiction, be accused of paedophilia (and have his home raided by the police), marry Elvis' daughter, and produce three more albums, (and two children with another women). But that's another story . . .

    This release is not the gloved one's first foray onto DVD in Australia. This release follows two very successful DVDs in our Region 4 market, Michael Jackson HIStory Vol. I and II. Considering that the gloved one already has two 'greatest hits' DVDs available, I was curious as to what this DVD would have to offer. After all, the three recognisable songs on this DVD, Black Or White, Remember The Time and Heal The World are all included on HIStory Vol. I (reviewed here). I suspect it's a bit of 'double dipping', and if you already own HIStory Vol. I and II, there's no real value for you to be found here. In fact, I was curious why this (his third most popular album) was chosen. I would have much preferred a release of Michel Jackson Thriller -- The Short Films.

    As an aside, I should mention that some of the music videos are great. For example, the synchronised dancing and effects in Black Or White are brilliant. There are also some noted directors at work here, including John Landis, John Singleton, and David Fincher. Interestingly, noted photographer Herb Ritts also directs one of the music videos. I am also often surprised at some of the people who pop up in Jackson's videos here, including Magic Johnson, The Simpsons, Eddie Murphy, Macauley Culkin, Naomi Campbell, Kris Kross, Iman, George Wendt, Michael Jordan and Slash. As a bit of trivia, you may be interested to know that Wesley Snipes' acting debut was in Jackson's video for Bad (not included here).

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. Black Or White
2. Super Bowl Heal The World
3. Remember The Time
4. Will You Be There
5. In The Closet
6. Gone Too Soon
7. Jam
8. Heal The World
9. Give In To Me
10. Who Is It
11. Dangerous

Transfer Quality

Video

    There are some archival footage and media clips presented as part of the content which are flawed, but generally, the quality of the music videos is very good.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, full frame, although I should note that three of the music videos (Remember The Time, Will You Be There and Jam) are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 non-16x9 enhanced, and the music video Who Is It is presented in as aspect ratio of 2.35:1 non-16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness is variable, with the image being quite soft at times. The black level and shadow detail are reasonable.

    The colour is excellent, and used to great effect in some of the music videos, such as Black Or White.

    MPEG artefacts are present. There is pixelization on occasion, such as at 49:05. There is also slight posterization, as evident on Naomi Campbell's face at 59:58. There is also slight macro-blocking , for example the pillars at 50:08 and the background wall at 41:46.

    Aliasing raises its ugly head throughout, and an example can be seen on the grass at 9:06.

    Film artefacts appear throughout most of the music videos, for example during Black Or White at 7:53 and 12:21.

    The only subtitles offered are English, and they are very accurate. They also display the song lyrics (including the background vocal lyrics).

    This is a dual-layered disc but I did not detect the layer change.

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

Audio

    The audio on this DVD exhibits great fidelity and dynamic range and is simply excellent. In fact, the audio on the first music video, Black Or White would provide a great DVD audio demo with either its PCM or its Dolby Digital 5.1 audio tracks.

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD, an English 2.0 PCM track and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track. I listened to, and enjoyed, both tracks, and the dialogue quality and audio sync are good on both.

    The music is, of course, Michael Jackson's mainstream pop, with its simplistic but catchy hooks. There is the guitar-heavy, rock-flavoured Give In To Me and Black Or White, and the gospel inspired Will You Be There and Heal The World, featuring great gospel choir arrangements. Carl Orff's Carmina Burana is also liberally used at the beginning of the DVD.

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 track has plenty of surround presence and activity. The music is well spaced with the principal vocals using the centre speaker, and the instruments and backing vocals using the other speakers and subwoofer. The rear speakers also provide some ambience with crowd sounds and some sound effects. There are even some great split rear effects, such as the 'swerving' effect at 7:30.

    The subwoofer is also utilised very effectively and deep bass is often present. The bass during In The Closet and Who Is It will rattle anything in your house that's not tied down. There are also some great effects such as the deep rumble as Macauley Culkin rolls out his giant guitar-amplifier-speakers at 8:26.

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

Extras

    The extras are very limited.

Menu

    A very simple menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is static and silent.

Discography

    This presents Jackson's various album covers starting with Off The Wall. The discography is hopelessly flawed, however, as neither a track listing, a year of release, nor any information is provided with any of the albums. This would have been very simple to do, and exhibits a complete lack of thought.

R4 vs R1

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

    Michel Jackson Dangerous -- Short Films is currently not released on DVD in Region 1. In fact, the only other country that I can locate it in at the moment is Holland, where the track list is identical. I assume its release here resulted from the very successful release in our Region 4 market of Michael Jackson HIStory Vol. I and II.

Summary

    Fans of the gloved one may wish to think twice before they moonwalk down to the shops to buy this DVD. If you already own the DVD HIStory Vol. I, you already own the highlights of this DVD.

    The video quality is acceptable.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are not worth mentioning.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Sunday, March 10, 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

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Derek B

Comments (Add) NONE