The Norman Gunston Show-Volume 2 (1975)

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Released 20-Mar-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Unedited Shirley MacLaine Interview
Notes-Guarantee Of Excellence
Trailer-Segment from Volume 1; Segment from Volume 3
Trailer-Malcolm; Secret Policeman's Ball
Trailer-What's Up, Tiger Lily?; The Natural History Of The Chicken
DVD Credits
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1975
Running Time 87:04 (Case: 75)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Simon Francis
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Garry McDonald
Case Click
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

†††† For those of you that donít know who Norman Gunston is, or if you havenít read Nemirís review of Volume 1 of this three volume set, Norman Gunston is a character portrayed by Australian comedian Garry McDonald. In the 1970s, Norman interviewed such talent as Mohammed Ali, Paul McCartney, and at times asked controversial questions such as questioning Boy George's sexuality.

††† Following on from Volume 1 of this The Best Of The Last Norman Gunston Show, this time Norman meets with the likes of Shirley MacLaine, Paul Mercurio, Julian Clary and Rod Steiger, and features musical numbers from Sonia Dada and The Dukes.

††† Normanís, and McDonaldís, comedy is hit and miss for me. He can be clever and laugh-out-loud funny one minute, average the next, and even embarrassingly unfunny at times. This collection is no exception to the way I feel about McDonald, with the MacLaine interview being the real highlight, and Gunstonís rendition of ďAchy Breaky HeartĒ the low point.

††† The total running time including extras of 75 minutes or so does seem a bit short for each disc, and all of this footage could perhaps have been put onto a single disc, or even a 2 disc set.

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Transfer Quality

Video

†††† Being not quite 10 years old, the made-for-television footage is still in good shape.

††† The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not 16x9 enhanced.

††† Being produced for Australian commercial television, The Norman Gunston Show didnít feature top production values. The transfer cannot improve on the source material, and the fairly low-budget production comes up quite well. The sharpness is only ever adequate, and the shadow detail fares no better. The fact that the show features multiple shooting locations results in differing lighting qualities for different segments. A constant, but never distracting, low level of noise and grain keeps this transfer from becoming anything more than expected.

††† Colours seemed consistently decent throughout the entire collection of clips, never bleeding or oversaturating.

††† MPEG and film artefacts were quite rare, and barely noticeable.

††† Being a single-layered, single-sided disc, there is no layer change.

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

Audio

†††† The audio, much like the video transfer, is nothing outstanding, but simply adequate.

††† There is only one soundtrack, English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono.

††† The dialogue was always clear and never experienced any dropouts. The soundtrack is clear of any distinct background noise or hiss. There were no problems with audio sync, either.

††† The few minutes of music contained within these clips came across very well, and was always clear.

††† Being a mono soundtrack, the surround and LFE channels were never required.

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

Extras

†††† NOTE: Being part of a 3-part collection, some extra features are repeated on all discs, so some sections here are repeated verbatim from Nemirís review of Volume 1.

Main Menu Audio & Animation

††† The menu background is a still of Norman Gunston, cropped from the same image that adorns the cover. The only audio component is about 15 seconds of applause, which strangely enough represents the only use of the front left and right or rear speakers during the entire programme.

Featurette

††† What we get here is the unedited footage of Normanís interview with Shirley MacLaine. With a forewarning quality notice stating that the footage has been transferred from poor quality source material, this is a great extra feature. Running for almost 36 minutes, and being the best interview of the lot in my opinion, this was a great inclusion.

Notes

††† A guarantee of excellence that is really just Norman explaining in three paragraphs why we should buy this series.

Featurette

††† A snippet from the first disc in the series, this is a clip from a rave party where Gunston interviews some of the partyís participants.

Featurette

††† A snippet from the third disc in the series. This time, Norman Gunston is in attendance at a public press conference given by Guns 'n' Roses.

Trailer

††† The original theatrical trailer for Malcolm. It is presented in widescreen letterboxed format. Lots of charm, lots of film artefacts.

Trailer

††† I believe this is the original television ad for the recording of the first Secret Policeman's Ball. As with the previous trailer, it has lots of film artefacts.

Trailer

††† A trailer for Woody Allen's What's Up, Tiger Lily? It is a full frame presentation, and in keeping with the previous trailers has lots of film artefacts.

Trailer

††† A weird 15 second grab of a chicken wandering around the screen to the sound of the Eurythmics, presumably to get me interested in viewing The Natural History Of The Chicken. This trailer is presented widescreen letterboxed and is blessedly free from film artefacts.

DVD Credits

††† Not really an extra, more something that shows up after the feature (or can be selected from the main menu as an Easter Egg of sorts). I love the fact that this title has DVD credits, but I don't feel they go far enough, really only listing the producers individually. It would be great to know who it was at Madman that did the encoding.

R4 vs R1

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

†††† This is a PAL multi-zoned release for the Australian market. At this stage, we are unaware of any other releases of this DVD.

Summary

††††Hit and miss entertainment from Norman Gunston, spread across three discs when it all could have possibly fit on one. The video quality is decent for a television show, without becoming anything more than that. The audio quality is adequate for this release, without any problems. The extras are better than expected, with one stand-out feature.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Pockett (If you're really bored, you can read my bio...)
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-525, using Component output
DisplayTeac 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
Speakers5 Sony speakers; Sherwood 12" 100w Powered Subwoofer

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