Fatboy Slim-Big Beach Boutique II (2002)

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Released 25-Nov-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Interviews-Cast
Audio Commentary
Game-Dolphin Derby; Weapon Of Choice
Custom Play
Multiple Angles-2
Booklet
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2002
Running Time 89:14 (Case: 128)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (56:59) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Tony Gregory
Danny Bronx
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook)
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $34.95 Music Various


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English dts 5.1 (768Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary 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 Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, Fatboy Slim wading through the crowd to the stage.

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

Plot Synopsis

     Okay, it's time to grab your whistles, your glowsticks, your psychotropic drug of choice, and your ... bathers? Yes, that's right. The biggest beach party of 2002, the outdoor gig that rocked Brighton Beach in the UK -- with a huge 250,000 (that's not a typo) people crunching along the pebbles and paddling in the waves, all cheering to the sound of a frenzied mix-up by the man with the bad taste in shirts and the awesome taste in beats, Fatboy Slim (a.k.a. Norman Cook). From the man who brought you those classic albums You've Come A Long Way, Baby and Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars, and tracks like "Right Here, Right Now" (which will still drive a crowd wild in any club across the nation), "Praise You", "Sunrise (Bird Of Prey)" and "Star 69" (which has appears on half the Ministry of Sound CDs for the last year), this, his second live performance on Brighton Beach, is a must for fans. Those of you who were there: You lucky b******s! Those of you who own the CD: Give it away, or trade it in. This DVD release is the ultimate way to experience the Big Beach Boutique II through your audio-visual equipment.

     Watch as the crowd grooves, screams, strips, jumps, paddles, and sweats in the heat, and, in short, goes berserk. Watch as the cops and the security guys look on, scared out of their minds, just waiting for the first OD or serious injury, desperately trying to get the show called off or stopped early. Watch as boats cruise by to catch the gig, yuppies up on deck sucking back martinis and marguerites. Watch the man himself mix it up on the decks, with the giant smiley-face and cross-bones across the front of the table, and a huge bottle of vodka and OJ beside him. And feel the beats like you never have before, remastered in a mind-shattering, ear-bleeding 5.1 DTS.

     This gig starts out heavy and just goes sick. Opening up with Tim Deluxe's "It Just Won't Do", Slim takes the crowd through a 20-track club anthem odyssey, working them up with X-Press 2's "Lazy", going hard with Basement Jaxx's "Get Me Off (Super Get Me Off Remix)", angling into the intro off the Underworld classic "Born Slippy" (cut up with riffs off Slim's own "Right Here, Right Now"), peaks with the almost obsessive "Star 69" from his last album Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars, and finally eases us out with Space Cowboy's "I Would Die For You", before finishing the show with an awesome mix-up of "Pure Shores" from -- of all groups -- All Saints, as fireworks explode in the night sky.

     In short, this gig goes off like a frog in a sock -- if you missed it live, you don't want to miss the DVD. Trust me.

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

Track Listing

1. Intro
2. It Just Won't Do
3. 77 Strings
4. Lazy
5. Sexiest Man In Jamaica
6. At Night
7. Delicious
8. Get Me Off
9. Love Story
10. Hi Jackers
11. Long Time
12. Lord Of The Land
13. Born Slippy / Right Here, Right Now
14. Let Me Show You
15. Farfisa
16. He Dolar
17. Star 69
18. Hypnotista / I Would Die For You
19. It Just Won't Do (dub mix)
20. Pure Shores

Transfer Quality

Video

     Although sound is far more important in this instance than the picture, I guess I should still give an appraisal.

     The picture is presented in 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. This is, as far as I can tell, the original aspect ratio.

     Filmed on digital video, the picture is very clear, with only minimal background noise. The only artefact that seemed to crop up from time to time was some aliasing on the hard edges of the stage or the lighting and sound equipment set up along the beach. As the sun goes down, the picture gets a little grainier, but that is all.

     As a cursory note here, it was actually very hard to determine what image detractors were in fact artefacts when the picture was intentionally being distorted by a whole host of visual effects, and swum around the crowd at an intense pace to try and highlight the ambience of the party. Sober, this was hard. Put a couple of vodkas down, and you've got Buckley's chance. I just went with it. On a DVD like this, sound is all. The rest was just bonus.

     I did not spot the dual-layer pause the first watch through. The dual-layer pause in fact lies at 56:59, just as the beat changes into Farfisa's Fusion Orchestra. The pause is so subtle that I missed it the first few times I watched this DVD.

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

Audio

     There are three soundtracks on this DVD: a 5.1 DTS soundtrack; a 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround soundtrack; and a 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track.

     I am very pleased to announce that, unlike the majority of music DVDs I have come across to this point, Big Beach Boutique II is, in fact, mastered with a full 5.1 surround sound field! But exactly how good is this field? Let's just say that I am considering suing for my 10% hearing loss.

     First up, the cream of the crop -- the 5.1 DTS track. Put bluntly: Hardcore.

     Admittedly, much of the music is still directed across the front of the field (as it should be) with a lot of the rear and surround catching ambient noise and music, and bringing in the crowd noise to get the feeling of the party enveloping you.

     The bass and treble range on this track is amazing. Some credit goes to my sound system, but there is a lot of information on this track for it to redirect; an abundance of little subtleties that make just that much difference when you actually sit there and really listen.

     As for subwoofer use -- what subwoofer? You wouldn't expect a dance party to use the subwoofer would you? Not with all that bass? Surely not! Seriously, you turn this baby up and it's like being punched in the guts and then kicked while you're down. With enough volume (apologies must go to my neighbours, sorry guys) you can feel your ribcage rattle. Arrhythmia, here I come!

     Secondly, the 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround track. This is good. In fact, it's very good.

     Like its DTS counterpart, the music is still directed across the front of the field, with crowd noise picked up by the rears. It has a broad range, and an ear-bleeding quality to it when turned up loud. But, by comparison, the Dolby Digital track seems somewhat muted. It doesn't have the panache of the DTS track, or the hard hit. However, it's nothing to be sneered at, and is good for those of you who aren't up to speed with DTS equipment.

     The subwoofer was used energetically to intensify the bass, of which there is plenty.

     Lastly, the 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo track. Nice, pleasant, very much like the CD. But I don't think I'll ever be listening to it again. I've been spoilt by the DTS, and now there's no coming back.

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

Extras

Menu

     The main menu is a static shot of Brighton Beach at about twenty minutes into the gig when the sun had just passed beyond the horizon and a grey dusk has settled in. The menu options are along the back of a set of binoculars; the kind that you slot money in to take a look around from an observatory. It is 16x9 enhanced with "At Night" by Shakedown playing across the top in 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo.

Audio Commentary - Norman Cook, Gary Blackburn, Timothy Day, Jim Murray, Simon Thornton

     This commentary starts off slow, and mostly it's just a couple of gags and interjections. It does improve a little over time as they get used to the idea, and fills out a few assumptions about things going wrong backstage and on the stage. It's all very laid back, though.

Featurette - Interview with Norman Cook (9:33)

     Looking at Cook around all his mixing gear, talking about the life of a DJ, it's all kind of amusing. Like big kids that never grow up. But he has an ear for bass and an ear for beats, even if he doesn't have the talent to perform -- and he admits as much. Gets a good joke in at the expense of Michael Jackson, and a few more at the expense of himself.

Featurette - The Official DJ Of The World Cup (23:55)

     To access this featurette, you have to go to the Extras Menu, hit the right arrow which will take you to another menu. Hit up and you will be taken to a menu of the police helicopter buzzing the show, plus a list of numbers down the bottom. Enter the code: 303. You will be taken automatically to the featurette.

     The featurette itself is in 1.33:1, and is not 16x9 enhanced. It follows Cook on his "Kick & Spin Tour" across Asia during the 2002 World Cup. It's quite funny, with Cook poking a lot of fun at himself, and his tour managers doing likewise. The tour starts out in Singapore, heads to Japan, then over to Korea and finishes up in Thailand.

Game: Dolphin Race

     Choose a dolphin for a one-in-four chance of winning a trip on the helter skelter, and a look at a featurette which basically summarises the setting up of the show, the show itself, and its aftermath on Brighton Beach (3:42). The featurette is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.

Game: Weapon of Choice

     Shoot Cook six times for a trip on the rollercoaster and a look at the slide show (4:28). This is a b**** to do with your remote, so if you've got a DVD-ROM, use your mouse. The slide show is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.

DJ Request

     Select up to 12 tracks from the gig, and play them in the order of your choice. While this sounds neat, it's not that good because the gig is meant to play in a linear fashion. Part of Cook's job as a DJ is to mix the tracks up, i.e.. to work them together so they seem seamless, like one big long track. Playing them out of order wrecks that momentum and just seems wrong.

Alternate Angles

     There are alternate angles which appear during tracks 10 ("Hi Jackers" by Glen Masters) and 15 ("Farfisa" by Fusion Orchestra). These, too, are in 1.78:1 and are 16x9 enhanced. They are cuts from the huge display behind Cook during the gig.

Booklet

     The booklet is a cute little piece of promo more than anything else. It does summarise the special features a little better than the jacket does, though. There are some nice pictures to look at, too.

R4 vs R1

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

    Information on the R1 release is extremely sketchy online, but as far as I can tell, the R1 release misses out on:

    The R4 release misses out on:

    This is probably because Fatboy Slim isn't as big in the US as he is in the UK, Australia and Asia. Given the lower cost, the better picture quality and the absolutely essential remastered audio tracks, the R4 release is easily the winner.

Summary

     Fatboy Slim - Big Beach Boutique II is an awesome gig on a fantastic DVD.

     The picture quality is good.

     The audio quality is exceptional -- Warner Vision have outdone themselves with this one. My ears will be ringing for weeks.

     The extras are a lot of fun and good value, although the two featurettes are the best of the bunch.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Edward McKenzie (I am Jack's raging bio...)
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD-RV31A-S, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko 28" (16x9). This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver.
AmplificationMarantz SR7000
SpeakersEnergy - Front, Rear, Centre & Subwoofer

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