Boyz II Men (Music in High Places) (2001)

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Released 18-Oct-2001

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Featurette-Location Footage
Interviews-Cast-Shawn & Wayna
Featurette-Promo Spots
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Featurette-Getting There: The Soul Of Korea
Music Highlights-Just The Music
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 2001
Running Time 51:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By None Given
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Nathan Morris
Wanya Morris
Shawn Stockmen
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $39.95 Music Boyz II Men


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
German
Italian
Spanish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    The Music in High Places series are musical documentaries filmed in, well, high places. Or in this case cold and unusual places. They are produced by DirecTV for cable viewing in the US. Boyz II Men - Music in High Places is filmed in Seoul, Korea, at the conclusion of an Asian tour.

    The Boyz visit a US army base at the North/South Korean border (or Joint Security Area) and perform a couple of acoustic sets for the soldiers. The footage of and background to the Joint Security Area is quite interesting. The Boyz then move on to other centres of Korean culture, sampling some of the martial arts and other cultural traits, with acoustic sets thrown in left, right, and centre.

    I have never been a huge fan of Boyz II Men and, unfortunately, this DVD has not changed my stance. This is a fairly short feature, lasting only 51 minutes, and would be best suited to fans.

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Track Listing

1. Do You Remember
2. So Hard To Say Goodby To Yesterday
3. Water Runs Dry
4. End Of The Road
5. Girl In The Life Magazine
6. Step On Up
7. On Bended Knee
8. Never Go Away
9. Yesterday
10. Pass You By

Transfer Quality

Video

    There is not a lot wrong with this video transfer but after the last few review titles there is something lacking, probably 16x9 enhancement.

    The video on this disc is presented in 1.78:1 non 16x9 enhanced at an average bitrate of 8Mbps. The lack of 16x9 enhancement is very noticeable as every single frame of this DVD was recorded using DTV equipment and is thus in the 1.78:1 ratio. There would appear to be no reason why the entire DVD should not have been enhanced.

    Sharpness seems a little lacking throughout. This is most likely due to the lack of enhancement. Shadow detail is generally good throughout with darker scenes being well represented.

    Colour is well saturated throughout and particularly vivid at 23:50.

    There are no noticeable MPEG artefacts but aliasing features quite regularly. Some examples of aliasing can be found at 12:14 (fence), 24:55 (wall), and 27:30 (roof).

    Although there are about five different subtitles listed on the DVD, I could not get any of the choices to work.

    This is a Dual Layered DVD without any layer change. It would appear the extra features are spread over the second layer of the DVD.

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

Audio

    The audio on this DVD is acceptable but definitely not a great example of the art. The 5.1 mix is fairly poor with the acoustic recordings sounding quite hollow with percussion thrown into the rear channels very inelegantly.

    There are two audio tracks on this DVD - an English Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track at 448Kbps and an English Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track at 224Kbps. I listened primarily to the Dolby Digital 5.1 track and sampled the Dolby Digital 2.0 frequently. Although not great, the 5.1 track is an improvement over the 2.0 track.

    Dialogue quality was fine throughout, although there would sound to be some post-processing applied to the singing that gives it a hollow feel - maybe too much reverb. Not nice.

    Audio sync was fine throughout.

    As mentioned above, a number of the acoustic tracks have a poor 5.1 mix, often throwing percussion into the rear channels giving a very disembodied feel to the music. Although this is not always the case, the mix still leaves a lot to be desired.

    The subwoofer is fairly quiet throughout as the acoustic tracks make little demand for bass. Occasionally, the additional program score calls for more bass and the sub responds.

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

Extras

    The extras, although numerous, are not great on content. For the fans, the interview with Shawn and Wanya would be of most interest. All the extras have identical video quality to the main feature with Dolby Digital 2.0 sound, except for the "Just the Music" feature having Dolby Digital 5.1 sound only.

Menu

    The menus are static and not overly exciting.

Location Footage (8:46)

    This footage is repeated exactly from the main feature.

Interview with Shawn and Wayna (29:53)

    The views of Shawn and Wayna on the tour they had just completed as well as the Music in High Places series. They touch upon the culture of Korea as well as the impact the Joint Security Area had on them individually. Sections of this interview are used to flesh out the main feature, although there is a lot of extra content. Towards the end of the feature there is a lot of dialogue distortion, particularly for Shawn, which becomes quite irritating. Great for the fans and relatively interesting for the rest.

Promo Spots (1:14)

    One minute of "Hi, we are one half of Boys II Men...." in various different incarnations.

Featurette - Behind The Scenes (6:48)

    More footage taken from the main feature with a bit more of an insight into the personality of the members of Boyz II Men.

Featurette - Getting There (3:55)

    Basically a montage of the crew complaining about the cold..

Just The Music

    The acoustic songs from the main feature. These are all in 5.1 but the mix appears better than the main feature - not as hollow and decidedly clearer.

R4 vs R1

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

    As far as I can tell the R1 version is identical to the R4 release, excepting the PAL formatting.

Summary

    Boyz II Men - Music in High Places is a disappointing feature on a DVD that should have been better. Best suited to the fans.

    The video quality is acceptable.

    The audio quality is average.

    The extras are extensive but not overly satisfying.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Nick Jardine (My bio, it's short - read it anyway)
Tuesday, November 13, 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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