Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer-The Bank; Grass; Tackle Happy
|Year Of Production||2001|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||
D A Pennebaker
Kaleil Isaza Tuzman
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary 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|
Startup.com is a documentary about the rise and fall of a small American Internet start-up company, govWorks.com. This is the story of childhood friends Tom Herman and Kaleil Isaza Tuzman who decide to create a website that allows the public at large to deal with various government bodies online in order to carry out activities like paying parking fines and taxes as well finding government jobs.
The story as told in this documentary starts at the very beginning, in early 1999, as the friends try to come up with a name, and then proceeds through the capital raising phase, the launch of the website, the ultimate falling out of Tom and Kaleil and finally the demise of the company in December 2000. We also get to hear about the break-in at the company office that is suspected of being corporate espionage, the stock market crash and the personal lives of the founders.
Unfortunately, as documentaries go this one really didn't hold my attention. While the idea of seeing behind-the-scenes of such an enterprise was, for me at least, something that could have been fascinating, the disjointed manner in which the story is told and the superficial approach taken by the filmmakers when it came to explaining what was really happening made this fairly hard going. The most interesting parts of the story, sadly given what this documentary is about, is not how the friends started and ran their enterprise, but rather the segments that dealt with the relationships between the various characters.
Sharpness varies from acceptable to poor although sometimes this is due to out-of-focus camera work. There is an occasional trace of edge enhancement but this is fairly unobtrusive. Shadow detail is acceptable. No low level noise was seen.
The colour is never quite natural, having a tendency to be noticeably on the warm side.
As you might guess, given that this was shot on videotape, this transfer contains a variety of artefacts. Some minor aliasing is occasionally seen such as on the bookstand at 83:31, however this artefact is quite rare. There is also occasional evidence of colour bleeding such as at 83:31 where it can be seen on Tom's wristband. Cross colouration is evident at 1:12 and 1:19. On the positive side, I didn't see any film artefacts - this may be because the source material used for the transfer to DVD was not film, although this documentary was shown theatrically and so has been transferred to film.
No subtitles are provided on this disc.
Given that this DVD is a single layered disc, there is no layer change to disturb the flow of the content.
As this is a documentary you shouldn't expect too much from the audio on this DVD other than the ability to hear the dialogue clearly. If you can live with this expectation then you shouldn't be disappointed.
There are two audio tracks on this DVD: an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 commentary track. I listened to both.
There were no particular problems with the dialogue except for the odd mumbled word or phrase. There is a fair amount of hiss evident, although the level does tend to vary significantly from scene to scene. Given the live nature of the audio, there is also the occasional click or pop and some crackling noise is noticeable at 83:10. I wasn't aware of any problems with the audio sync.
The music content is very limited and consists of only a couple of numbers, the most notable being "Money (That's What I Want)".
The surrounds, as you might guess given the subject matter, were not used except for the musical score.
You can give your subwoofer the night off as it isn't needed for this DVD.
|Surround Channel Use|
The only extra of any value is the audio commentary track.
The menu features both animation and audio. The aspect ratio is 1.33:1 and it is not 16x9 enhanced.
A typical trailer shown in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 without 16x9 enhancement. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0.
Basically lots of information on how the documentary came about and various anecdotes about its making. If you're interested in making documentaries you could do worse than listening to this. In some ways, this was more interesting than the main audio track.
Biographies - Crew
Biographies and filmographies for Frazer Pennebaker (Executive Producer), D. A. Pennebaker (Producer), Jehane Noujaim (Producer, Director, Editor, Cinematographer), and Chris Hegedus (Editor).
Trailers - The Bank (1:57), Grass (1:38), Tackle Happy (2:45)
The Bank is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, without 16x9 enhancement, and Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio. The trailer for Grass is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. with Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded audio. The trailer for Tackle Happy is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. with Dolby Digital 2.0 mono audio.
The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on:
The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on:
Normally the inclusion of a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track would make us favour the R1 version. However, given the subject matter, I'm really not convinced that purchasing the R1 for this reason alone would enhance the listening experience.
Startup.com is a documentary that failed to hold my attention. Coupled with the limited audio and video quality, it really made the experience hard going.
The video can best be described as adequate for the task but a long way short of what we expect from our little silver discs.
The audio quality is suitable for getting the story across.
With the exception of the audio commentary, the extras have little appeal.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515, using S-Video output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front L&R - B&W DM603, Centre - B&W LCR6, Rear L&R - B&W DM602, Sub - Yamaha YST-SW300|