Monday, September 27, 2004

DVD Reviews

The release of the "STAR WARS" trilogy on DVD, led me to Best Buy to pick up that and a few other DVD's.

I've always been annoyed by George Lucas's reluctance to release the original films on DVD. I'm not sure what his issues were. He's always been very particular that his films are presented exactly how he wants, and DVD is the perfect medium for this. Lucas released the trilogy on VHS years ago, but as we know now, VHS is no comparison to DVD.

The STAR WARS trilogy did not disappoint. All three movies have been enhanced and the audio especially is impressive. It's important to note that the movies are not the original movies, rather the "Special Edition" movies that were released to theaters a few years ago.

The movies definitely have survived the test of time, as the films are all as enjoyable, if not more, than when I saw them some 25 years ago. My son, who just turned 11, finds them mesmerizing, which speaks volumes for their appeal.

The other DVD I picked up was "RUSH In Rio." I've always been a Rush fan, but no necessarily fanatic. Throughout my high school and college years, a buddy and I would make a point to catch Rush in concert whenever they passed through Kansas City. The DVD was an impulse purchase after seeing it playing one of my favorite songs, "YYZ" on a TV in the store.

The DVD includes 2 discs, a concert disc of the band's final concert of the recent tour in Rio. The second disc, which I haven't seen yet, includes a documentary and enhanced versions of a couple of the songs.

I was excited to pop this one into the DVD player in my home theater to hear it in its 5.1 glory. Boy, was I disappointed.

The audio on the concert DVD is awful. Imagine taking a poor quality recording of a noisey concert, then adding excessive doses of reverberation to it. After 2 or 3 songs, I found myself being annoyed by the sound - so much so, it was quite a relief to turn it off. Typically, a concert recording is made up of direct feeds from the microphones and sounds systems, and crowd noise is added in for ambiance. This DVD sounds like it was made with Radio Shack microphones sitting in the middle of the crowd. The crowd noise is way too loud, and the music is terribly muddy and difficult to hear.

I find it hard to believe that musicians like Rush (and they are the most talented musicians I've ever seen) would allow this travesty to be released.

No comments: