Ricky Martin-La Historia (2001)

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Released 9-Aug-2002

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Notes-La Historia (Spanish)
Biographies-Cast
Featurette-Video Biography (Spanish/English)
Discography
Gallery-Photo
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 58:34 (Case: 60)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor
Sony Music
Sony Music
Starring Ricky Martin
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $29.95 Music Ricky Martin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame Spanish Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/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

    When I last reviewed a Ricky Martin DVD (The Ricky Martin Video Collection) over a year ago, I commented that "he sings a lot better in Spanish than he does in English". Well, Sony Music Video must have been listening to me (then again, maybe they are just pandering to their Latin customers), because La Historia is a another collection of music videos, but this time featuring his Spanish-sung hits.

    Ricky Martin was born in 1971 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Early in his career, he was the lead singer of a band called Menudo before launching a solo career. He became known to American audiences by playing Miguel Morez in the soap opera General Hospital and Marius in Les Miserables.

    Ricky shot into worldwide fame when his song La Copa de la Vida (The Cup of Life) was selected as the official song of the World Cup France '98. His performance of the same song at the 41st annual Grammy Awards was so electrifying that it quickly captured fans from around the world. In that same night, his song Vuelve won the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Performance.

    As this is a "greatest hits" collection, it features material from his previous albums, including Ricky Martin (1991), A Medio Vivir (1995), Vuelve (1998), Ricky Martin (his self-titled English debut - 1999) and Sound Loaded (2000).

    The music videos in this collection were produced between 1995 and 2000 in a variety of locations, including The Bahamas, Barcelona, France, Los Angeles, Mexico, Miami, New York and Puerto Rico. Some of them appear to be fairly straight-forward, others seem to feature an underlying theme or story line. Each video is prefaced by a short transition segment that provides the name of the song, the location the video was made in and the year of production.

    I like the slow songs the best, but of course some will forever associate Ricky with frenzied numbers such as María, Livin' La Vida Loca and She Bangs. My favourite is still Bella which strongly reminds me of the film What Dreams May Come, but Te Extraño, Te Olvido Te Amo and Fuego De Noche, Nieve De Dia are worth listening to. In fact, most of the songs featured in this collection are listenable and I'm starting to get tempted into buying the CD.

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Track Listing

1. María (Spanglish Radio Edit)
2. Te Extraño, Te Olvido Te Amo
3. Fuego De Noche, Nieve De Dia
4. Volverás
5. Vuelve
6. La Copa De La Vida (Spanish)
7. La Bomba (Spanish)
8. Por Arriba, Por Abajo
9. Perdido Sin Ti
10. Livin' La Vida Loca (Spanish)
11. Bella (She's All I Ever Had)
12. She Bangs (Spanish)
13. Solo Quiero Amarte

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer of this disc is full frame, but individual music videos may be letterboxed into various aspect ratios including 1.66:1 (María and Bella) and 1.78:1 (Te Extraño, Te Olvido Te Amo, Por Arriba, Por Abajo, and Solo Quiero Amarte).

    The transfer quality hasn't improved since The Video Collection. In other words, the transfer is somewhat soft, features rather garish looking colours and I suspect the music videos have been mastered from analog video tape.

    Some videos look rather grainy, but I suspect this may be intentional. Some scenes are deliberately presented in black and white, or with under-saturated colours for artistic reasons.

    Video artefacts are mainly confined to interlaced artefacts such as aliasing and shimmering. I did not really notice any compression artefacts.

    There are no subtitle tracks on this single sided single layered disc.

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

Audio

    There are two audio tracks on this disc: Spanish Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536 kb/s), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kb/s).

    The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is mastered at a relatively high level (Dialog Normalization Offset +4 dB) and I had to turn the volume control down by at least 6 dB. In contrast, the PCM audio track is slightly softer than a normal CD but not much (only about 3 dB or so).

    The surround mix appears to be artificially generated through a processor. However, it is definitely not as aggressive as the surround mix on The Video Collection DVD (which also sounded like a artificially processed mix), as the music is more front focused and the rear speakers are mostly used for ambience.

     The subwoofer was consistently engaged to supplement the low frequencies in the music.

    All in all the audio track did not sound too bad except for the high frequencies which were full of "glare" and it seems to me the audio track for some of the music video suffers from analogue tape tracking misalignment, resulting in impaired high frequencies. This is evident in both the PCM audio track as well as the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track.

     I did not notice any audio synchronization issues.

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

Extras

    The extras on this disc are pretty standard fare, and include featurettes, a biography and discography. Most of the extras are duplicated into English and Spanish versions.

Menu

    The menus are full frame but feature animation as well as background audio. The scene selection menus feature animated thumbnails. The menus are in English as well as Spanish.

Notes-La Historia (Spanish)

    This is a set of 26 stills that provide a biography of Ricky Martin, presented as a timeline.

Biographies-Cast

    This is the English translation of the above timeline, spread over 25 stills.

Featurette-Video Biography (English) (11:22)

    This is a short featurette (presented in full frame and Dolby Digital 2.0 192 kb/s), consisting of an edited set of interviews with Ricky Martin, plus excerpts from public appearances, concerts and music videos as well as pans of album covers. Ricky actually speaks in English, and sounds quite fluent. The video also includes sound bites from many of his female fans.

Featurette-Video Biography (Spanish) (13:10)

    This is the Spanish version of the above. Many of the excerpts are the same, but some are different. The interviews with Ricky now have him speaking in Spanish, and are shot in different locations. I don't understand Spanish, but it seemed to me Ricky is saying mostly the same phrases and comments as in the English edition, which strongly suggests that these comments are scripted rather than off the cuff. Some of the interview segments are in English, and the video includes burned in Spanish subtitles.

Discography

    This is a set of stills providing information on Ricky Martin's seven albums. Each album is presented in a still that includes the album cover and track listing

Gallery-Photo

    This is a set of 10 stills containing publicity photographs of Ricky Martin.

R4 vs R1

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

    According to DVD Empire, the Region 1 version is missing the PCM audio track but gains English and Spanish subtitles. However, I am not able to verify this, and I suspect the both versions are in fact identical.

Summary

    Ricky Martin - La Historia is a collection of music videos for his Spanish-sung songs. Although the usual fast paced numbers are here, I found myself preferring some of the slower moving songs which better showcased his singing voice (plus I'm a romantic). Video and audio are okay, extras include a video biography in Spanish and English versions.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Tuesday, September 17, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW11HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (254cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront and rears: B&W CDM7NT; centre: B&W CDMCNT; subwoofer: B&W ASW2500

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