Surfin' Shorts (1964)

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Released 22-Nov-2001

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Surfing Featurette-The Wet Set
Featurette-America's Newest Sport
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1964
Running Time 30:55 (Case: 56)
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Bruce Brown
Studio
Distributor

Warner Vision
Starring Bud Palmer
Del Cannon
Peter Johnson
Corky Carroll
Phil Edwards
Case Soft Brackley-Transp
RPI $39.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles French
German
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

    Surfin' Shorts is a collection of three short films made by Bruce Brown during the early 1960s focusing on surfing and skateboarding.

    The main feature included on this disc is an episode of an unknown television show entitled The Many Styles of Surfing hosted by Bud Palmer. This show features interviews with Bruce Brown, Corky Carroll and Phil Edwards. The most interesting segment included in this feature is a segment from 1963 showing a surfing trip to Japan, made by Del Cannon and Peter Johnson. This was the first time people had surfed in Japan and the reactions of the locals were quite interesting. This segment was initially intended to be included in The Endless Summer but was left out as it did not fit in with the rest of the footage. Also included in this show is a number of clips from other Bruce Brown films of the time that are used to show different surfing styles.

    Despite its short running time, this is a very interesting show and the two featurettes, which have a combined running time almost equal to the feature, are also quite interesting and clearly demonstrate how both surfing and skateboarding have changed over time.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    This full frame transfer is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    All the footage for Bruce Brown's movies was shot on 16mm film and the television interview segments also appear to be have been shot on 16mm film. As a result of the source material, the transfer is always rather soft but this is not distracting to the viewer. No low level noise was detected during the transfer.

    The colours displayed during this transfer are slightly muted as you would expect from a film of this type and age.

    No MPEG artefacts were detected at any stage during this transfer.

    Aliasing poses no problem for the transfer with no occurrences detected during the feature.

    Numerous minor film artefacts are present throughout the transfer. Some of the more extreme examples of these artefacts may be seen at 1:45, 3:25 and 9:29. These artefacts are able to be ignored by the viewer after a short period of time and prove to be only moderately distracting to the viewer. Obvious grain is visible throughout the transfer as you would expect from a film of this age utilising 16mm source footage.

    A number of tape splicing artefacts may be seen during the transfer with obvious examples visible at 5:58, 6:16 and 8:20. These artefacts are only slightly distracting.

    Obvious NTSC to PAL conversion artefact may also be seen at 2:35, 13:10, 13:55, 20:26 and 28:40 but these are only minimally distracting.

    A set of white French, German and Spanish subtitles are provided on this disc but I cannot comment on the accuracy of these titles.

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

Audio

    A single English Dolby Digital 192 kbps 1.0 soundtrack is provided on this disc.

    The dialogue is always clear and easy to understand.

    No dropouts were detected during the transfer. The majority of the transfer is presented as a voice-over so there is little opportunity for audio sync problems and none were detected.

    The score is a combination of both jazz and guitar numbers that work well with the onscreen action while never drawing attention to itself.

    The surround and subwoofer channels were not utilised by this soundtrack.

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

Extras

Menu

    The non-animated menu is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

Featurette: The Wet Set (14:25)

    This short film was made by Bruce Brown as a promotional item for Hobie-MacGregor Sportswear and the launch of their new surf clothing. The featurette is a little unusual in that it explains the very basics of surfing while the obvious target audience is surfers. The featurette is presented as a full frame transfer at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 1.0 soundtrack and a set of white French, German and Spanish subtitles.

Featurette: America's Newest Sport (11:19)

    This featurette examines the emerging sport of skateboarding and the latest technological advances such as clay wheels and flexible trucks. A number of skating exhibitions are given by The Hobie Super Surfer Skateboard Team showing basic maneuvers and a number of basic tricks. This film was sponsored by the Vita-Pakt Citrus Products Company Inc. but there is no obvious connection to the company made at any time. The featurette is presented as a full frame transfer at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 with a Dolby Digital 1.0 soundtrack and a set of white French, German and Spanish subtitles.

R4 vs R1

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

    Both versions of this film appear to be identical and I therefore would have no preference for either version.

Summary

    Surfin' Shorts is an interesting collection of short films that should entertain viewers as they look back to the early days of surfing and skateboarding.

    The full frame transfer is never stunning but is quite acceptable while showing a number of film artefacts as expected.

    The mono soundtrack is adequate for the material presented.

    The two featurettes are very interesting but they could have been enhanced with some background information containing details such as when they were made and where they originally aired.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Anthony Kable (read my bio)
Thursday, November 29, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba 1200, using S-Video output
DisplaySony KP-E41SN11. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationFront left/right: ME75b; Center: DA50ES; rear left/right: DA50ES; subwoofer: NAD 2600 (Bridged)
SpeakersFront left/right: VAF DC-X; Center: VAF DC-6; rear left/right: VAF DC-7; subwoofer: Custom NHT-1259

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