Sony Music Video/Sony BMG .
R4 . COLOR . 127 mins .
PG . PAL
Currently airing on the Ten Network here in Australia is the hugely popular Rove Live variety show, which has been steadily increasing in popularity, attracting some of the biggest names in show business on a weekly basis. Host Rove McManus is joined by Peter Helliar and Corinne Grant to put out a one hour live show. The show’s current home is the Melbourne studios of Network Ten, but it actually began its life on the Nine Network back in 1999. Known then simply as Rove, it only aired for one season of ten episodes and although reasonably successful, it was axed. Network Ten picked up the show and it has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Rove ‘99 is a two disc compilation of the highlights of that first ever season of the show. Along with current contributors Rove McManus, Peter Helliar and Corinne Grant is the hairy Irish Australian Dave Callan. The team work well together, something that has been proven by the longevity of the show, and they deliver various skits and chats that contain many laughs. All coming from a stand-up comedian background, the humour is largely unscripted and it is obvious from the way they bounce off each other that these guys are good friends away from the cameras.
"Say "hi" to your mum for me!"
This collection of clips is not really in any sort of order, it is simply the best from the ten episodes aired back in 1999. There is little in the way of continuity, but the same could be said for the actual show in its aired entirety. The contents of this collection, however, are highly amusing. It is interesting to watch the gang try out new segments and to watch them succeed or die. Many segments will be familiar to fans and it is also nice to see early segments that either failed or didn’t make it to the second series. Bits such as Dave Callan’s delivery of certain words are a highlight. This was a hugely popular segment that left the show when the man himself did.
Other highlights of the series are regular segments such as “Cliché Test”, which investigated such clichés as “can you really kill two birds with one stone’ and “what really happens when the sh*t hits the fan”. Another featured segment is “Other People’s Lives” which looks at people such as John Romley the radio competition expert - very funny stuff. Also, not to forget Kenny and Daz the practical jokers that tackle their joke attempts with military precision and the etc etc phenomena, both classic regular items from the series.
Awwwww puppy breathe.
Disc One of this two disc set contains highlights of the series along with a bonus commentary track. Disc Two is loaded with what is classed as extras and these are made up of various items such as recent interviews with the cast, behind the scenes footage and featured characters - but more about that in the extras section.
It would have been nice to have a few more interviewed guests on this collection, but considering this is a two disc set as it is the producers may have simply run out of room. The other better option would have been to have the entire series in full as a box set, but this would have no doubt limited the target market. Even without the producers taking these other options, this is still a great look at the early days of this popular variety show. Fans that have only recently discovered these leaders in Australian light entertainment will enjoy seeing this collection for the first time. Those who have watched since day one will also enjoy reliving the early years.
The transfer for this release is of television quality. It comes in full frame and is therefore not 16:9 enhanced. The quality is of a high order with very few problems apart from the standard nasties associated with television programs. There are some slight problems with externally shot scenes, but overall there is little to find fault with here and viewers can expect vision of equal quality to that seen on a regular broadcast.
Audio is supplied in English Dolby Digital stereo and like its video counterpart is equal to what you would expect from the normally aired show. Dialogue is always clear and nicely balanced. Supporting music is also well delivered and there are no problems with synch. There are no problems of note throughout so viewers will not be disappointed.
Along with both an audio and video commentary on Disc One, Disc Two contains over three and a half hours of extra features.
Recorded recently, specifically for this release, the original cast members make comment on the series as an audio commentary. This is also available as a video commentary which means you can watch the cast actually recording the commentary. This is quite amusing and offers some light entertainment.
Road to Rove – Fact
Running for just under 23 minutes, this featurette features interviews with the cast covering subjects such as where they started and how the show was created.
Road to Rove – Fiction
Running for 15 minutes, this featurette is the complete opposite of the first. It shows the cast again being interviewed, but this time around they have outlandish stories for their past and how they came together.
Behind the Scenes
This feature is a collection of footage that takes the viewer behind the scenes, running for approximately ten minutes.
A blooper reel that runs for over 13 minutes and shows lots of giggling.
Containing 41 pictures in total, this collection of photos ranges from posed shots with crew to candid shots.
This feature is a collection of text pages of facts and jokes about the relevant episodes.
Running for only three minutes, this featurette takes a look at the many celebrity references used throughout the series.
etc etc Phenomena
This featurette runs for seven minutes and looks at the phenomenon that was the etc etc dance. After it was first used on the show it could be seen being performed all over the country.
From the Vault
Running for 24 minutes, this feature contains a collection of sketches from the vault. Included here are Rollerblitz, Making Babies Cry, Swear Like Buggery, Lie Your Way Out of This One, Australia’s Funniest Funerals. Old People Eat the Darndest Things, The Sunshine Gang and Skating Nuns.
Other People’s Lives
This feature runs for 21 minutes and covers the popular segment Other People’s Lives. It contains some great segments including John Romley – radio competition expert, Colin Banks – footy tipping and Daryl Holden – funniest home videos director.
This feature contains other sketches just for fun and runs for approximately ten minutes. Contained are some great segments such as Canteen Mums, The Tonia Todman Sightings, Murder She Told Them and Dan McCann, The Angry Man.
A Good Place to Pick Up Chicks
This little featureete runs for five minutes and looks at the obnoxious guys and tips on meeting women. This segment is split into the two sections The Booze Bus and The Emergency Room.
Kenny and Daz
This terrific regular segment was a huge success on the show and this little package runs for 14 minutes, showing the two teenagers “Pranking Australia”. The segments contained are Knick-Knocking, Egging, Taxi Runner and Water Bombs.
This 16 minute feature highlights a regular segment of the show where Dave Callan looks at some unusual video releases including Study Techniques For Students, Let’s Bootscoot 2 and Letterboxes – The Inside Story.
This hugely popular segment is featured here with a running time of approximately 27 minutes. Topics covered include Drink Like a Fish, What Goes Up Must Come Down, When the Sh*t Hits the Fan, Old Dog New Tricks and the controversial Can You Kill Two Birds With One Stone.
Kindy Theatre Kindy Theatre was a segment that featured children acting out familiar scenes from popular films. This two minute feature covers re-enactments of Crocodile Dundee, A Few Good Men and Thelma and Louise.
Welcome to Ten
This two minute feature shows the sketch used for the pilot episode of the series on Network Ten.
If you are a fan of this show then this will be a great addition to your collection. It contains a fabulous selection of highlights from the first series and a ton of extras. There are some classic moments here and the only disappointment is the lack of clips featuring guest interviews. Apart from that one negative, this two disc set is full of positives so if you are a fan give this a look.