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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Full Frame
  • Dual Layer (RSDL )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, English - Hearing Impaired
  Extras
  • Animated menus
  • 2 Music video
  • DVD-ROM features
  • Documentaries
  • Multiple angle - for 4 songs.

Metallica - S&M

Warner Vision/Warner Vision . R4 . COLOR . 150 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

Not being a Metallica fan per se, it's funny to see friends of mine react in different ways to their change of style over the years. Come to think of it, I don't think any of them remember where they placed their metallica collection once the attraction dwindled away. I myself only have their self titled album to claim fame for which I infact liked alot, but we're talking about an album that is a 540 degree turn away from their original recordings.

It came as a suprise to me when they teamed up with composer Michael Kamen and the San Fransisco Orchestra to produce "Symphonu and Metallica". my first impression was "Metallica? and an orchestra? Nah, couldn't be". I gave it a chance given that one of my favorite albums of my Uni years was EnzSO (Split Enz and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra) which is a great meld of rock and classical music.

Sadly, this presentation disappointed me immensly.

  Video
Contract

The most obvious problem with the transfer is the lack of resolution and subsequent aliasing. The aliasing doesn't seem to be caused from an over sharpness factor but rather the video looks to be an upconverted NTSC image where the lower resolution is stretch to fit into the higher PAL format. I'd say it is more scaling artifacts than aliasing to be truthful.

It seems the most obvious choice of color outside of white for concerts are blues and reds and this is the case here. Normally they come up fine on DVD with no bleeding afforded in the digital signal but there is a softness here inherent from the problem described above that takes away from what could be a fine transfer.

Blacks are somewhat lacking providing some pale dark scenes with no real shadow detail. The mpeg compression was as high as could be allowed thus providing an exellent presentation when the strobing of lights and editing came into play, not once causing the mpeg codec to faulter. I guess there is a plus in the DVD format, not the content.

  Audio
Contract

Straight up, it just didn't work for me on this one. It was obvious right from the start that the score Michael Kamen came up with didn't gel with Metallicas music and the orchestra itself was drowned out in key aspects of the music. I repeat, it just didn't work.

There are 4 soundtracks presented on this disc. The first being a full blown 5.1 mix, the second a 2 channel mix, the third a 2 channel mix of the band only and the final a 2 channel mix of the orchestra.

Here is where my above conclusion about the audio comes from. On my Sony I can easily change between the audio formats on the fly without any prohibition impeding me. I went from the 5.1 mix to the orchestral mix only and on key sections of a song, the orchestral mix just didn't seem to coincide whatsoever. It seemed to be for a completely different song altogether.

I've listened to the ENZSO CD many times and that music gels perfectly. This doesn't. I simply couldn't find a song on this disc that really presented me with the perfect blend of "Symphony and Metallica", it was more like "Symphony vs Metallica".

From a technical point, the 5.1 mix was digitally entertaining with simulated stage pans and directionality whilst the 2 channel mix provided a good CD styled version of the presentation. The only time I could really notice the symphony score was in their 2 channel only mix as it is recorded somewhat louder. Even then, it was well out of place.

  Extras
Contract

As with their other DVD release Metallica: Cunning Stunts, this disc has a nice assortment of extras the behold.

  • 4 songs are featured with Multi angle encoding allowing you to choose a view of the individual band members. This is getting gimicky now as it hasn't been put into effective use since the Ghostbusters disc.
  • A 40 minute Documentary looking at the behind the scenes preparation of this concert.
  • 2 live Music videos of "No leaf Clover" are presented, one on each disc.
  • Some trivial extras are found on the DVD-rom content that include web-links and a discography.
  • Some nicely Animated Menus are included that get annoying after the first viewing. Luckily my sony has the override feature enabled. :)

  Overall  
Contract

Sadly, I was disappointed and prefer the Cunning Stunts disc easily as it provides us with exactly what it intends to. I think the gelling of the music here needed alot more effort on the symphony part to be more involved rather than just a disruptive background presence.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=355
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      And I quote...
    ""
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DAV-S300
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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