Christina Aguilera-My Reflection (2000)

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Released 21-May-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Booklet
Tattoo
Menu Animation & Audio
Music Video-Genio Atrapado (Genie In A Bottle)
Music Video-Por Siempre Tu (I Turn To You)
Music Video-Ven Conmigo (Come On Over)
Music Video-The Christmas Song
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2000
Running Time 65:26 (Case: 64)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (47:57) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Larry Jordan
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Christina Aguilera
Lil Bow Wow
Dr. John
Brian McKnight
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $39.95 Music Christina Aguilera


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
English dts 5.1
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
German
Italian
Swedish
Norwegian
Spanish
Portuguese
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
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 must admit that coming into this review I wasn't exactly the world's largest Christina Aguilera fan. In fact I was looking forward to this review more for the visual aspect than for the music. While I haven't exactly come away as her number one fan, I can safely say that she has risen in my estimation. And it certainly didn't hurt to watch her for an hour.

    The tracks on this disc are:
 

1. Genie In A Bottle
2. Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You)
3. What A Girl Wants
4. So Emotional
5. I Turn To You
6. At Last
7. Contigo En La Distancia
8. Climb Every Mountain
9. Falsas Esperanzas
10. Alright Now
11. Merry Christmas, Baby
12. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
13. Christmas Time

    This "concert" was a Christmas TV special, presumably made for American cable TV. I say "concert", as it is spliced together presumably from a number of performances, leading to costume switching that sometimes is a little jarring. As with most TV specials, the line-up is heavily biased towards songs that received heavy radio air-play, and well-known covers. In this regard, I expect that some real fans may be a little disappointed that they only get the songs that everyone else knows as well. This disc strikes me as perfect for the casual fan, as most of the songs are recognizable, and those that aren't are strong enough to keep the interest.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    For the majority of the time, this is a near perfect transfer. The clarity and sharpness of the image is just about the best I have seen, whilst it doesn't suffer from the often consequential aliasing problems. It is only let down by some "home video" segments that are clearly shot, unsurprisingly, on video - leading to marked increases in graininess during these times. Fortunately, these segments make up a very small portion of the entire package.

    This disc is presented in Full Frame, and is obviously not 16x9 enhanced. I was unable to ascertain if it was shot like this or not, but the chances are good that it was, considering that it is a TV special.

    For the in-concert footage, the transfer is extremely clear and as sharp as I have seen. As mentioned previously, there are some "home video" segments that are taken from a video source that lead to a marked decrease in clarity and a corresponding increase in graininess - but there is not much that could have been done for these sections short of axing them, given their source. There is a large amount of shadow detail in this transfer, and no low-level noise whatsoever - which is especially helpful here as there are often large areas of the image that are not lit directly (such as "unimportant" areas of the stage - the band for example - and the audience).

    The colours are spot on. This is something that is not often done well for concert videos, as they usually possess an abundance of bright colours from both costumes and stage lighting. Even when large portions of the image are occupied with stage lighting shining directly into the camera, the remaining areas remain properly coloured.

    The only MPEG artefact of note is some minor pixelization that occurs at 15:35 when the camera pans through the beams of three stage lights at the same time. There are only minor film-to-video artefacts in the transfer consisting of aliasing that occurs on the occasional guitar string and drumstick, or the scaffolding of the set. It is all very minor and does not distract from the viewing experience at all. The vast majority of time aliasing is non-existent, with the usual culprits (steel gratings and such) being rendered perfectly.

    There are no film artefacts apparent at all, although reflections from stage lighting occasionally cause errant flashes, such as on the drum at 22:23 - these are obviously not the fault of the transfer, but can be as distracting as any actual film artefact.

    The arrangement of subtitles on this disc seems a strange one. For starters, there are no English subtitles. The second irregularity with these subtitles is that they are only active for dialogue, and not for the songs at all. This seems a strange decision on the part of the DVD authors, as casual fans will not be able to sing along with Christina.

    This disc is an RSDL-formatted disc with the layer change occurring between tracks 15 and 16 at 47:57. It is not single layer as stated by the packaging. While it may seem strange that such a short concert requires a dual layer disc, it became apparent that it is the reason why the video transfer is of such high quality. The bitrate on the video almost never drops below 9MBps, and rarely below 9.5MBps, where 10MBps is the maximum possible bitrate for the DVD standard. There is also the DTS soundtrack to consume space on this disc.

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

Audio

    The audio tracks on this DVD are loud - very loud. They are of the order of 10 decibels (or more) louder than your average soundtrack.

    All three soundtracks (DD 5.1, DD 2.0 and DTS 5.1) are mastered at an incredibly high level, with the DTS soundtrack having the lowest overall level. The volume of the soundtrack seemed to increase throughout the length of the transfer as I found myself frequently lowering the volume over the length of the feature. I listened to both the DTS and DD 5.1 tracks completely while sampling the DD 2.0 track at intervals. I would have to say that the inclusion of the DTS track was quite pointless as it was "wimpy" in comparison to the DD 5.1 track as well as being less immersive.

    Dialogue and Christina Aguilera's singing were clear throughout the transfer. The vocals were mastered at a very high level, often drowning out the rest of the music. This is one reason the soundtrack was so loud - the vocals were really pumped up in the mix. There was slight distortion in the vocals at around 9:31 due to the very high mastering level. To be honest, I was very surprised that the high mastering level caused only one instance of vocal distortion throughout the feature.

    Audio sync was fine throughout the feature. I could not pick any faults with it. The extra Music Videos had perfect audio sync, even in Spanish. It would seem these videos were actually recorded in Spanish at the same time as their English counterparts - more on that in the Extras section.

    Musical clarity was always excellent with very good definition throughout the feature. The DD 5.1 soundtrack was superior to the DTS soundtrack in clarity, a win for DD for a change. Clarity was occasionally lost during Christina Aguilera's vocals because the vocals were mastered at a much higher level than the music. There is also a "home video" showing a live performance where the music sounds terrible, although this is no fault of the transfer.

    Surround channel use was kept to a minimum with no aggressive utilization. The DTS track utilized the surrounds much less than the DD 5.1 soundtrack did. The surrounds were used to carry crowd noises, the occasional musical instrument (5:52) and backup vocals.

    The subwoofer was disappointing. It had great opportunities to shine but never quite pulled it off. Bass definition was fantastic - very clear and precise. Unfortunately, the LFE channel was mastered too low! Way too low. If the LFE level could have been raised even a few decibels the results would have been far more enjoyable. One of the best examples of subwoofer use can be found in Track 7.

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

Extras

    Extras consist of four additional Music Videos, a fake tattoo, and a booklet. The Music Videos were mastered at a respectable audio level and I was able to watch each at my usual reference volume. Subwoofer presence was improved considerably from the main feature.

Menu

    The menu is well themed with excellent sound and video quality. It is not 16x9 enhanced due to the formatting of the main feature. The Music Video extras are a little hard to navigate until you figure out the selection indicator.

Music Video - The Christmas Song 3:49

    A nice song with an interesting video recording. The video clip has been shot somewhat "artistically" so the video quality is generally lacking along with unstable camera work, particularly at the beginning of the clip.

Music Video - Genio Atrapado (Genie In A Bottle) 3:40

    Spanish version of the well-known Christina Aguilera song. This was actually recorded in Spanish (not dubbed) which leads me to believe that this Spanish version was recorded at the same time as the English version. Both are identical. The video quality is not up to the same standard as the main feature, but still very good with only minor aliasing marring the presentation. Audio from the DD 2.0 soundtrack is excellent with very effective redirected subwoofer output. The audio is only stereo.

Music Video - Por Siempre Tu (I Turn To You) 4:06

    Another Spanish recording (not dubbed) of a well-known song. Video quality is very good only lacking the sharpness of the main feature. Audio is DD 2.0 stereo with great clarity.

Music Video - Ven Conmigo (Come On Over) 3:13

    Yet another Spanish recording (not dubbed). Another DD 2.0 stereo soundtrack with impressive subwoofer activity. If only the main feature could have had the same recording levels as the extras!

Tattoo

    Do you love Christina? With this tattoo you could make it official (for a time anyway).

Booklet

    Nothing juicy here, just eight pages of captures from the concert with a track listing thrown in for good measure.

R4 vs R1

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

    This title is available in R1 with identical specs to the R4 version. Based on the inherent badness of NTSC, the R4 version would be the version of choice. I could not verify if the R1 version came with a tattoo, but just in case you should really buy the R4...

Summary

    Christina Aguilera - My Reflection is a good concert experience presented on an excellent disc. It certainly increased my respect for her talent.

    The video quality is superb, with only the home video sourced segments letting it down.

    The audio quality is good, but the volume is way too high and the subwoofer/surround usage too low.

    The extras are quite disappointing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Sunday, June 10, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayRCA 80cm. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-DS787, THX Select
SpeakersAll matching Vifa Drivers: centre 2x6.5" + 1" tweeter (d'appolito); fronts and rears 6.5" + 1" tweeter; centre rear 5" + 1" tweeter; sub 10" (150WRMS)

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