The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball (Disc 3) (1989)
Main Menu Introduction
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Trailer-What's Up, Tiger Lily?; The Natural History Of The Chicken
|Year Of Production||1989|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Mike Holgate|
|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|
The Secret Policeman's Biggest Ball is, not surprisingly, the biggest comedy ball ever held to raise money for Amnesty International. It was filmed in 1989 with an impressive all-star line up of comedians including the likes of Robbie Coltrane, Lenny Henry, French & Saunders, John Cleese, Ben Elton, and Michael Palin, amongst many others. This by far the best line-up of comedians in a Secret Policeman's Ball that I have seen on DVD, a truly enjoyable ride of hilarity from start to end.
British comedy doesn't get much better than this. Another interesting note is the lack of musical acts on this disc. There is only about 5 minutes out of the 90 that are purely musical acts - the disc is chock full of comedy goodness this time around! This is a very funny one-and-a-half hours and is the best Secret Policeman's Ball disc to date that I have seen. Recommended.
This transfer is presented in the original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, non-enhanced.
Sharpness is quite poor throughout, generally as a direct result of relatively high levels of grain and the presence of dot crawl (a good example of this can be seen on a piano at 23:20) on every sharp boundary. This is very obvious on large screen TVs or projection systems. Shadow detail is acceptable but there is really very little image detail to show due to the lack of sharpness. In general, close-ups are reasonable, whereas long stage shots are really terrible, usually displaying blobs of moving colour that are vaguely human-shaped. Low level noise is quite prolific just to add to the list of video artefacts.
Colour is passable throughout. However, the purply/blue haze caused by cross colouration on every sharp colour gradient becomes very annoying, especially on my CRT projector as it kept making me think that my blue gun was not converged correctly.. even though it is!
There were no noticeable MPEG artefacts, indicating that the majority of problems with this transfer can be blamed on the poor source material, although I imagine that the source material options for this program would be rather limited and far from in pristine condition. Aliasing is rife, occurring on just about every straight surface throughout the transfer. Some examples can be found at 6:50 (table), 10:10 (jacket), 20:40 (desk), and 27:35 (piano).
There are no subtitles available on this disc.
The full 93 mins of this feature have been compressed onto a single layer so there is no layer change to negotiate.
There is one English Dolby Digital 2.0 (mono) soundtrack on this disc, encoded at 224kbps.
Dialogue is fine throughout, always in sync and without distortion problems. Around 59:38, there is an obvious increase in volume and accompanying hiss which seems to slowly return to the original volume. This will not cause problems with your equipment, but is just interesting to note.
The only music in this transfer is that provided by the acts. The few musical acts presented come across quite well without any stand-out problems.
The surrounds and subwoofer remain silent throughout.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The video quality is quite poor.
The audio quality is much better.
The extras are becoming repetitive.
|DVD||Pioneer 106S DVD-ROM with PowerDVD 4.0 scaling to 864p, using RGB output|
|Display||Mitsubishi VS-1281E CRT front projector on custom 16x9 screen (270cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Onkyo TX-DS787, THX Select|
|Speakers||All matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)|