Ricky Martin-The Ricky Martin Video Collection (1999)

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Released 28-Jan-2000

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Biographies-Cast
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1999
Running Time 39:29
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Various
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Ricky Martin
Case Brackley-Opaque-No Lip
RPI $24.95 Music Ricky Martin


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    I must admit that I wasn't exactly looking forward to reviewing this disc. I have not heard a lot of Ricky Martin's songs, but what I heard sounded somewhat monotonous and repetitive. I knew this was merely a collection of music videos, so there's really not a lot to look forward to.

    However, after watching the music videos, I have learnt to appreciate Ricky just a little bit more. Well, for one thing, he is devastatingly spunky and handsome, even to my jaded eyes. Secondly, the selection of songs here does exhibit some emotional/melodic range. And thirdly, I think he sings a lot better in Spanish than he does in English. We are treated to both English and Spanish versions of two songs (Livin' La Vida Loca and She's All I Ever Had), and in both cases I found the Spanish versions to be far superior to the English ones.

    Born in Puerto Rico, Ricky Martin shot into world-wide fame when his song La Copa de la Vida (The Cup of Life) was selected as the official song of the World Cup France '98. His performance of the same song at the 41st annual Grammy Awards was so electrifying that it quickly captured fans from around the world. In that same night, his song Vuelve won the Grammy for Best Latin Pop Performance.

    Released in 1999, Ricky Martin, Ricky's English language debut album, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 album chart and subsequently became the #1 album in ten international markets including the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Spain, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, and the pan-European Music Media chart. This collection of music videos feature selected songs from that album, including Livin' La Vida Loca which became the #1 single in five international markets including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland.

    I quite enjoyed watching the music videos. They are quite stylish and somewhat reminiscent of various films I like, including What Dreams May Come and Wings of Desire.

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Track Listing

1. Livin' La Vida Loca (English)
2. She's All I Ever Had (English)
3. La Bomba (Spanish)
4. Perdido Sin Tí (Spanish)
5. Livin' La Vida Loca (Spanish)
6. Vuelve (Spanish)
7. María (Spanglish)
8. Bella (She's All I Ever Had) (Span)
9. The Cup Of Life (Live Grammy Perf)

Transfer Quality

Video

    As this disc contains a collection of concatenated music videos, I'll provide separate comments for each video. Some videos are in Full Frame, others are presented in an aspect ratio of 1.66:1. Obviously, there is no 16x9 enhancement on any of the videos.
 
Title Aspect Ratio Comments
Livin' La Vida Loca (English) 1.33:1 This is quite sharp and colourful. No artefacts detected, but the source shows minor amounts of grain.
She's All I Ever Had 1.66:1 I quite like the video transfer for this, even though the colours are a bit unnatural. The effect is somewhat like a pastel version of the film "What Dreams May Come." There is some shimmering in the window blinds.
La Bomba (Spanish) 1.33:1 This transfer features rather vibrant colours, but the source shows a moderate amount of grain.
Perdido Sin Tí 1.33:1 This is in black and white, and occasionally exhibits minor chroma smearing. There is also minor posterization of the skin tones around faces.
Livin' La Vida Loca (Spanish) 1.33:1 The transfer is substantially the same as the English version.
Vuelve (Spanish) 1.33:1 The transfer for this appears a little soft, but it could also be due to the use of a soft lens. There is some shimmering evident at 23:42-23:47 and some evidence of haloing.
María (Spanglish) 1.66:1 This appears to be shot in a mixture of B&W and colour, but the black and white scenes show some vestiges of colour, notably blue and green. The colour scenes have slightly below average colour saturation. I'm not sure whether these "colour artefacts" and saturation are intentional. Again, the transfer is somewhat soft, with grain noticeable in some scenes.
Bella (She's All I Ever Had) (Spanish) 1.66:1 The transfer is substantially the same as the English version.
The Cup Of Life (Live Grammy Performance)
(The Official Song of The World Cup, France '98
1.33:1 This has desaturated colours, and also minor ringing and shimmering. It looks like it was probably upconverted from NTSC to PAL. The black levels in this transfer are also rather poor.


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

Audio

    Contrary to the menu and the packaging, this disc contains a stereo Linear PCM audio track (48 kHz/16 bits) instead of a Dolby Stereo track, in addition to a Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 448 Kb/s. The default track is the PCM track. I listened to both tracks.

    The PCM track seems to be mastered at an extremely low level. I had to turn the volume control all the way to -3 dB - the highest I have ever turned it to ever for any audio source. It doesn't seem too bad once the volume is turned up, but seems somewhat lacking in extreme high frequency content.

    In contrast, the Dolby Digital track is extremely loud (Dialog Normalization has been set to an offset of +4 dB). It appears as if the original stereo material has been put through some sort of surround processor, creating the usual over-blown and unrealistic surround ambience. Whether as a result of the surround processing or the encoding into Dolby Digital, this audio track seems to have a lot of sibilance in the high frequencies that becomes somewhat annoying to listen to after a while.

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

Extras

    This disc contains fairly minimalist extras.

Menu

    The menus are pretty basic and static.

Biography

    This consists of a set of 10 stills contain text of various font sizes and colours accompanied by photo cut-outs of Ricky. The text reads like it may have been lifted from the liner notes accompanying the "Ricky Martin" album, since it references songs that are not on this disc.

Featurette-Behind The Scenes (15:55)

    This is a short documentary featuring Ricky Martin talking about his background, and his self-titled English album, interspersed with various excerpts from his music videos. I was surprised by how conversant he was in English as I had the impression he was a poor English speaker.

R4 vs R1

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

    The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;     Other than the missing subtitle tracks in R4, the two versions appear to be the same (both versions are coded for all regions).

Summary

    The Ricky Martin Video Collection is surprisingly better than I thought it was going to be, and no doubt will please his fans. It is presented on a DVD with an above average audio and video transfer, and comes with pretty minimalist extras (biographical stills and featurette).

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Sunday, March 11, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront left/right: B&W DM603; centre: B&W CC6S2, rear left/right: B&W DM601

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