|Year Released||1999||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||43:53 minutes||Other Extras||Biography - Cast
Menu Audio and Animation
Music Video - So Fresh (4:54)
Scene Selection Audio and Animation
|RPI||$34.95||Music||Is that what it is?|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Linear PCM 48/16 2.0, 1536Kb/s)
English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||Full Frame||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Apart from being arguably the world's first ever DVD EP, what we have on offer here is a testament to the musical talents (said term being used in the very loosest possible sense) of Will Smith. Now, for those that did not know (and really and truly, how many really care?), prior to becoming something of a television star and later a movie star, Will Smith was apparently something of a (c)rap music star too. The biography on the DVD would indicate that he sold bundles of albums (in a duo I should point out) and garnered plenty of awards for this (c)rap music career. Beats me why, as on the evidence of this pathetically short effort, his (c)rap music career amounted to pretty much nothing worthwhile worrying about. Aside from the fact that (c)rap music is the biggest blight to ever be inflicted upon popular music, to the extent that it is quite possibly the major reason for the appalling decline in the popular music market around the world over the last ten years, (c)rap music was single-handedly responsible for the virtual elimination of originality in popular music. It brought into the musical marketplace whole rafts of untalented individuals whose sole contribution to music was to mercilessly hasten its demise by way of wholeheartedly stealing huge chunks from really good music and regurgitating it as absolute crap. (C)rap music reached such a nadir that even bad karaoke nights had more entertainment value. This short encapsulation of a supposedly stellar career indicates precisely why.
This exceedingly blandish collection of sameness features the following pathetic collection of what are loosely termed as songs:
Yes, you may have gathered that I have little time for this "musical" effort and that is indeed correct. In fact, this is so far down the tunnel of rubbish as far as I am concerned that it makes the truly appalling West Side Story look terrific. The fact that what has supposedly been a stellar career thus far can only amount to 44 minutes of well-fleshed-out video would indicate that perhaps my judgement is not exactly that far awry either. Personally, I would tell you to avoid this like the proverbial plague as far as performance is concerned, which of course means that in accordance with Dean M's theorem the DVD has been given a stellar transfer.
The transfer is generally presented in a Full Frame format and is not 16x9 enhanced. You should note however that a couple of videos (Just The Two Of Us and Wild Wild West) are presented in what would appear to be an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 - albeit also not 16x9 enhanced.
Bear in mind that these are music videos, which usually suffer somewhat in the clarity and definition stakes. What is on offer here is generally pretty sharp, although lacking just a little in detail. This is reasonably clear throughout and did not seem to suffer from any grain problems. There did not appear to be any problem with low level noise in the transfer.
As is to be expected with such music videos from a number of different sources and years, there is something of a wide range in the palette of colours on offer here. At its best it is a nicely vibrant offering. At its worst, it is a pretty ordinary offering. Overall, I guess it would be categorized as good, but perhaps could have been a little better.
There did not appear to be any MPEG artefact problems in the transfer. There did not appear to be any film-to-video artefact problems in the transfer. There did not appear to be any film artefact problems in the transfer.
There are two audio tracks on the DVD, an English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 soundtrack and an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. I listened to the Dolby Digital 5.1 effort, and briefly sampled the Linear PCM effort.
The vocals were as easy to understand as is possible in this genre.
There appeared to be horrendous problems with audio sync during the transfer - at least until I realized that it was not an audio sync problem but rather a demonstration of how pathetically bad the performers were at lip synching. Well at least I think they were pathetically bad at lip synching...
Apart from a slightly recessed vocal track in the overall mix, this is as good a Dolby Digital 5.1 effort as I have heard from this source. Mind you, it is so good that it takes a little getting used to. The sound has a gorgeous sweet spot about two metres in front of the viewing stage on my system that positively rocks big time. The surround channel use and the bass channel use is very good indeed, not especially detailed but with plenty of presence, and the overall transfer is far better than this "music" deserves.
A good video transfer.
A very good audio transfer.
An uninspiring extras package.
© Ian Morris (have a
laugh, check out the bio)
15th July 2000
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|