Billy Connolly's World Tour of England, Ireland & Wales (2002)

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Released 7-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Documentary Trivia
Web Links
Audio-Only Track-Music From World Tour (7)
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 233:00
RSDL / Flipper RSDL
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,3,4,5,6 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Billy Connolly
Case ?
RPI $49.95 Music Ralph McTell
Tommy Sands


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Billy Connolly's World Tour - Ireland/England/Wales is a very entertaining, absorbing, and informative travelogue series which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    Billy Connolly was born in Glasgow in 1942. He left school aged 15 to become a welder in the Glasgow shipyards. Connolly had a great love for music (especially folk music), and for performing music, but during the 1970s, it was his comic talent that led him to success on stage as a stand-up comedian, first in Scotland, and then throughout the UK. Apart from his very well-known work as a stand-up comedian, Connolly has appeared in many videos, television specials, and movies, including the recent The Man Who Sued God (2001).

    Lately, Connolly has also written, directed, and produced a series of travelogues set in Scotland, Australia, and this one, set in Ireland, England, and Wales. I found reviewing these discs very difficult, for I would watch an entire episode and then notice that I hadn't made any technical notes of any value. I would then have to re-watch that episode, and some episodes I ended up watching three or four times. The reason for this was that the programmes were so absorbing, fascinating and entertaining that I found it hard to watch them critically. Connolly has an infectious enthusiasm for his topics of conversation, and he displays great local knowledge (or excellent research) for every place he visits. The episodes are interspersed with clips from his live shows (the production of this series coincided with his live tour), and these comedy snippets often related to the rest of the episode. They certainly complement and spice up the series tremendously, as he's a very funny and witty man. Apart from being very funny, I also found many of his personal views very insightful, and his love of art, comedy, and music is obvious and endearing.

    The Episodes are as follows:

Disc 1:

Disc 2:

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The overall transfer quality is very good, and what one would expect from recent broadcast television. However, I will add that the 16x9 enhancement makes it a real pleasure to watch on a 16x9 television.

    The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The image is sharp throughout, but at times the shadow detail is poor. For example, consider the lack of shadow detail at 7:54 (Episode 5).

    The colour is excellent throughout, and flesh-tones are accurate.

    There are no problems with MPEG artefacts. In regards to film-to-video artefacts, there is some severe aliasing at times, such as at 28:26 (Episode 1) and 12:02 (Episode 4). A few very tiny white specks appear rarely, but there are no problems with film artefacts.

    English subtitles can be found on these discs, which are accurate to the spoken word.

    Disc 1 is single sided and single layered, but Disc 2 is an RSDL disc. I did not spot a layer change, so I assume that it is between episodes.

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

Audio

    There is only one audio option: English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo, which is fairly clear (only limited by the source material), and exhibits a good dynamic range.

    The dialogue quality is limited by the source material. Generally it is very good, but at times, such as during Episode 3, there appear to be a few crackles in the original recording. The audio sync was fine.

    The music is coordinated by Donard Duffy, and it features a lot of simple folk music, which includes Connolly singing and playing the banjo. There are also a few songs written by Ralph McTell and Tommy Sands.

    There is no surround presence nor subwoofer activity.

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

Extras

    The extras are slim, but I was surprised that there were any at all.

Menu

    An animated menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio.

Weblink

    This is designed to connect you to the related Billy Connolly website.

Music From The World Tour

    Four pieces of music are on offer, including the theme music. The viewer selects one, and then a PCM track plays while the same photographic still appears on-screen.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title does not appear to have been released on DVD in Region 1.

Summary

    With wonderful content, and an excellent presentation on DVD, this is a great series.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good, albeit limited by the source material.

    The extras are slim (but at least they did something).

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Saturday, November 23, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (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
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

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