Oasis-...There and Then (NTSC) (1996) (NTSC)

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music None
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1996
Running Time 85:16
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Mark Szaszy
Dick Carruthers
Studio
Distributor

Sony Music
Starring Liam Gallagher
Noel Gallagher
Paul Arthurs
Paul McGuigan
Alan White
Case Amaray-Opaque
RPI $34.95 Music Oasis


Video (NTSC) 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 480i (NTSC)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, closing titles over pans across the audience

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

Plot Synopsis

    Oasis ... There and Then is a collection of excerpts from two concerts (Earls Court, London November 1995 and Maine Road, Manchester April 1996), interspersed with interview snippets and off-concert footage (fans rushing into the concert venue, Oasis members playing soccer, and so forth). I had not listened to Oasis prior to reviewing this DVD, although I have vaguely heard of them before.

    Following on the heels of the Beatles and Rolling Stones, Oasis is a British rock band featuring a few young men (including brothers Noel and Liam Gallagher) with funny accents, catchy songs, and an appeal that goes beyond their country of origin. Their first album Definitely Maybe was released in 1994 and sold over 4 million copies in the UK but success across the Atlantic puddle had to wait until the second album (What's The Story) Morning Glory? which peaked at #4 on the Billboard charts and had two #1 singles. The band also had at least 15 minutes of fame through the off-stage antics of the brothers, which involved sibling rivalry, feuds with other bands and drug use. The band then went a bit quiet and there were rumours of a break-up, but they resurfaced in 1997 with a third album Be Here Now. The boys then calmed down a bit, got married and started families and got off the drugs and alcohol. Oasis is still around today (albeit with some changes in the band line-up), a few years and a few albums later - the latest being Standing On The Shoulder (sic) of Giants. Oasis has obviously retained a core group of loyal fans - as evidenced not only from their fairly comprehensive official web site but from fan sites as well.

    The boys in the band are joined by Mark Feltham playing the harmonica and a brass section (mainly trumpets and saxophone) during track 9 (Round Are Way). Tracks 12-14 include a string ensemble. Live Forever seems to be a tribute to various (dead) icons such as Martin Luther King and John Lennon, whose images are projected onto the back of the stage. I Am The Walrus is a cover of the Beatles song and seems to be a tribute to them, including additional musicians acting as "bootleg Beatles" wearing uniforms similar to that in St. Peppers. The band is also accompanied by a brass section and various other instruments including harmonica and violin in this song. Finally, there's a stuck note at the end of track 18 (Cum On Feel The Noize) that I found intensely irritating.

    To my surprise, I actually enjoyed some of the songs. They are a bit repetitive and monotonous, but curiously catchy. I particularly liked Noel's guitar solo in Champagne Supernova. Some of the songs are quite exhilarating, notably Champagne Supernova, I Am The Walrus and Cum On Feel The Noize. It's a pity the band members have no sex appeal whatsoever - the Gallagher brothers seem to have personalities like wet fish (well, that's a bit unfair - I have met some pretty interesting fish) and look really daggy in their grunge outfits.

    I'm not sure I like the juxtaposition of various interview snippets between the songs. The snippets are too short to be meaningful and seem rather pointless. I would have preferred them to be included as a separate featurette.

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Track Listing

1. Program Start
2. Swamp Song
3. Acquiesce
4. Supersonic
5. Hello
6. Some Might Say
7. Roll With It
8. Morning Glory
9. Round Are Way
10. Cigarettes & Alcohol
11. Champagne Supernova
12. Cast No Shadow
13. Wonderwall
14. The Masterplan
15. Don't Look Back In Anger
16. Live Forever
17. I Am The Walrus
18. Cum On Feel The Noize

Transfer Quality

Video

    This full frame NTSC transfer appears to be slightly soft with oversaturated colours as well as some colour smearing - in other words, it's about laserdisc quality. The concert excerpts appear to be thankfully free of film grain or video noise, but the in-between interviews and off-stage footage have a more variable quality, including snippets that are extremely grainy but perhaps deliberately so.

    There's quite a lot of aliasing present in the transfer, to the point of annoyance. This is particularly noticeable around the microphone, guitar strings and cables. There are also various instances of pixelization, mainly around the drums. I suspect the video transfer has been downconverted from PAL to NTSC (what a shame!).

    This is a pretty basic disc - single sided single layered with no subtitles.

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

Audio

    This disc features two audio tracks, English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s) and English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s). I switched between both tracks at regular intervals - sometimes in between songs and sometimes in the middle of a song. Funnily enough, I actually preferred the Dolby Digital track over the PCM track.

    I found the dialogue in between songs to be rather hard to understand (mainly because of the strong accents) and it was also difficult following the lyrics of the songs. A subtitle track would have been most helpful.

    The Dolby Digital track is mastered at a relatively loud level (about 3 dB higher than normal) and features rather aggressive use of the surround speakers. For instance, I can clearly hear audience noises in all speakers. I was initially quite impressed but then realized that this is not really a remix but a stereo track that has undergone some artificial surround processing, as some high frequency musical content (notably the cymbals) have also migrated to the surround speakers. The cymbals aren't very natural sounding, either. I Am The Walrus (track 17) in particular has most of the high frequency content of the brass instruments and violin migrating to the back surround speakers - very disconcerting.

    The PCM audio track in comparison is mastered at a much lower level (at least 6 dB lower than the Dolby Digital track) but sounded terrible when I increased the volume - it seemed to lack dynamics and has rolled off top and bottom ends. It sounded like it was transferred off a film optical track or a bad video tape rather than from a digital source. I would have expected the PCM audio track to be roughly CD quality and I was really disappointed.

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

Extras

    Extras? What extras?

Menu

    These are pretty ho-hum and static. Curiously, the "Play Feature" menu item is called "Resume."

R4 vs R1

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

    The disc is encoded to support all regions (1-6) - the locally released version is in fact identical to the version released in North America, down to NTSC formatting and FBI warnings.

Summary

    Oasis ... There and Then is a collection of excerpts from two Oasis concerts circa 1995-96. It is presented on a very basic DVD with mediocre video and audio transfers and no extras whatsoever.

    I wasn't looking forward to reviewing this disc, but I have learnt to appreciate Oasis. However, I still wouldn't call myself a fan - the music is not really my cup of tea. Then again, a cup of tea is not really my cup of tea either, but that's another story.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Christine Tham (read my biography)
Sunday, April 01, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-626D, using Component output
DisplaySony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationDenon AVR-3300
SpeakersFront left/right: B&W DM603; centre: B&W CC6S2, rear left/right: B&W DM601

Other Reviews NONE
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