Rickie Lee Jones-Live at the Wiltern Theatre (1992)

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

Released 11-Jul-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music None
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1992
Running Time 56:32 (Case: 58)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Programme
Region Coding 4 Directed By L. Johnson
Studio
Distributor

Umbrella Entertainment
Starring Rickie Lee Jones
Sal Bemard
John Leftwich
Mike O'Neil
Keith Fiddmont
Ed Mann
Frank Morracco
Case Click
RPI $24.95 Music Rickie Lee Jones
Jimi Hendrix
Richard Jones


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Titling Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    I am no expert on Jazz so I had best describe the content of this disc by analogy. The music on this DVD reminds me of a big armchair, a very big, very padded reclining armchair...very laid back and relaxed.

    Rickie Lee Jones released her first song in 1979 and has been entertaining audiences ever since. This disc features a live concert recorded at the Wiltern Theatre in 1992. The Wiltern Theatre is in Los Angeles and is supposed to be a fine example of art deco, though we see very little of the theatre on this disc. There are only a few stage spots in use and the majority of the picture is black...well, actually not quite black, which is one of the problems with this disc, but very dark nonetheless.

    Rickie Lee Jones' web site is very interesting and she has obviously embraced the online concept fully. On her site you can purchase CDs as well as MP3 including full CD compilations or individual songs. You can also purchase the sheet music to her songs. It is a shame more artists do not do this.

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

Track Listing

1. Bye Bye Blackbird
2. Makin' Whoopee
3. It Must Be Love
4. The Last Chance Texaco
5. Up From The Skies
6. Dat Dere
7. I Won't Grow Up
8. Don't Like Goodbye
9. We Belong Together
10. Coolsville
11. Easy Money
12. Moon Is Made Of Gold
13. Love Is Gonna Bring Us Back Alive

Transfer Quality

Video

     Overall, this disc has very disappointing video. It is on par with a poor VHS tape.

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

    The image varies from soft to outright blurry. Shadow detail is also very poor and the black levels are terrible. If you look at just about any frame, outlines are very soft and blurred and there is a fair amount of video noise present as well.

     There are very few colours present due to the lighting and the dark clothing worn by the artists. Where there is some light from a coloured spotlight, the colour is rendered reasonably.

    There are a few MPEG artefacts such as some posterization on skin tones. An example can be seen at 34:42 on Jones' arm. There is also aliasing on some edges such as the white cloth behind Jones at 3:51. These artefacts are not obvious because they are mostly hidden in the blur.

    There are no subtitles on this single sided single layered disc.

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

Audio

    The solitary audio track is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack with the surround flag set. This is strange as this is pretty much a mono soundtrack. Surround decoding it causes the audio to settle into the centre channel with little happening in either the mains or the surrounds. There really isn't a soundstage at all.

     The dialogue quality of the songs is pretty good. I could understand most of the lyrics. Some of the comments in between the songs were a little hard to catch sometimes. There did not appear to be any problems with the audio sync.

    If you are into modern Jazz then you may already have some of Rickie Lee Jones' songs in your collection and know her style of music. The rest can go to her website and listen to some of the sample MP3s to see if this is your kind of music.

    There is a very small surround presence, more by accident than by design, but it is barely audible.

    I was disappointed with the bass on this disc although this may be how it was intentionally mixed. The double bass is very quiet and there are only a couple of instances of the drums using the subwoofer.

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

Extras

Menu

    When you put this disc into your DVD player it will go straight into play mode. I believe that Umbrella have done this so that you can put the disc on to listen to it without having to fire up your display device. Returning to the menu displays a single static page with no audio. You can choose to play the concert alone or with information subtitles. The subtitles appear at the start of each song and give you a few lines of info such as the title, the composer and so on. You can also select random play with the same option. The final selection is a static page with a picture of three other titles from Umbrella.

R4 vs R1

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

    There is a Region 1 version of this disc as well as a Region 2 version available but information is sketchy and reviews non-existent. Unless the video suffered during the NTSC to PAL conversion I have to assume the video is the same. The audio, at least in Region 1, may be PCM rather than Dolby Digital but even that is hard to confirm.

.

Summary

     Fans will be very disappointed with the image quality on this disc and probably with the audio as well, at least as far as the soundstage is concerned.

    The video is VHS quality or worse.

    The audio is pretty much mono.

    There are no extras apart from the subtitles feature at the start of each song.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Sunday, September 01, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationSony STR-DB1070
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Peter O

Comments (Add) NONE