Rage Against the Machine-Revolution USA? (Warner) (1999) (NTSC)

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Released 6-Nov-2000

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Game-Trivia
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 48:23
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Raul Baltazar
Jose Flores
Danielle Flores
Eddie Stratton
Alison Reynolds
Claire Dissington
Anthony Rodriguez
Ed Masley
Damani Baker
Sean Whelan
Jeremy Brown
Randy Cash
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $34.95 Music SKAT


Video (NTSC) Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 480i (NTSC)
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

    This DVD is one of a new series of music documentaries that are being released into the Australian market by Warner Vision Australia. This particular disc presents a relatively short, wide-ranging but light-weight documentary about the rap metal band called Rage Against The Machine.

   This band burst onto the scene with a landmark self titled album in 1992 to rave reviews. What made this band interesting was their unusual mix of politically inspired, rap-styled lyrics, delivered with the grinding sound of heavy guitar and the no let-up anger of the singing. Not everyone's cup of tea to be sure, but a sound that appeals to many people for a variety of reasons, some of which are explored during the documentary.

   Rage Against The Machine - Revolution USA? provides some insight into this somewhat controversial band by interviewing acquaintances of  some of the band members, two music writers, as well as members of some of the activist groups that the band have performed for over their 7 year career. It also interviews a couple of musicians to explore what influence the band has had on younger performers.

   I'm a bit of a fan of this band and have each of their 3 albums on CD and yet I found this documentary only mildly interesting. To be honest, there just isn't enough on this disc to hold your attention. The way in which the documentary is presented is quite low key. The presenter, Damani Baker is very casual and delivers his monologue in a very offhand manner. Actual interview footage with band members is limited to perhaps 1 minutes worth of material with Tom Morello (Guitar) and some written quotes from the other members. This disc is for rabid fans only.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Please note that the video on this disc is in NTSC format. You will need to ensure that your hardware is compatible with this format before attempting to watch it.

    This DVD contains a full frame 4:3 video transfer that is fine for what it is, a low budget documentary. It is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness of this transfer varies but is generally adequate. There is a mixture of footage from a wide variety of sources used throughout the disc. In some sections, old black and white war footage has been used. In others, old video-based news footage has been used. There are also sections that show a montage of still images from one or more of the band's concerts. The actual interview footage appears to have been filmed using older broadcast-quality video cameras and is the highest quality material seen.

    The quality of the colour palette varies according to the source material. The regular interview footage has natural, if slightly subdued colour while much of the older news footage has faded or distorted colours.

    Given the variable nature of the material presented on this disc it seemed silly to critique this transfer in the usual manner. I will say that I didn't notice any really obvious MPEG artefacts. No aliasing or moiré effects were noted. It's difficult to comment on film artefacts as it appears that some were deliberately simulated for effect during some sections.

Audio

     There is only one audio track present on this disc. It is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track encoded at a bit rate of 192 Kb/s. Competent is the only word I can think of to describe this track.

     Dialogue was always clear, although there were times when some concentration was required due to the strong Xicano accent of some of the participants.

    The score is by SKAT which was frankly annoying as the same passages are repeated throughout the presentation. The music, to use the term lightly, is basically distorted guitar riffs.

    As this is a stereo track there was no surround activity.

    The subwoofer was not used at all.

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

Extras

     The extras on this DVD are severely limited. A trivia game is the only treat on this disc.

Trivia Game

    This game takes the form of a number of multiple choice questions that you answer by moving the cursor to your pick and pressing the enter key. If you are correct some footage from the main documentary is played that confirms your choice. If you answer incorrectly a "bzzzt" sound is played and a static slide is shown with, coincidentally, the word "bzzzt" on it! At the end, the number of correct answers is shown with a comment. If you answer all of the questions correctly you are given the chance to enter a competition which gives you the chance of winning $200.00 U.S dollars worth of DVDs. All of the relevant entry details are shown at this point. There is nothing displayed that suggests that the competition is for U.S citizens only although the way in which the text is written seems to indicate that it is intended for that market alone.

R4 vs R1

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

    This disc appears to be identical to the one on offer in Region 1.

Summary

    This DVD is quite watchable, but is nothing special.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© John Richardson (read my bio)
Thursday, November 02, 2000
Review Equipment
DVDPhilips 711, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig M70-281. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSherwood 8090R
SpeakersMains and Rears: Tannoy Mercury M1. Centre: Tannoy Mercury MC. Subwoofer: Polk Audio PSW-120

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