HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Full Frame
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras
  • Animated menus
  • Digitally remastered
Till The Clouds Roll By
Eureka Video/Force Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 135 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

No matter how disappointing this DVD is, it still offers some really nice music, and being a sucker for musicals, really does start to grow on you. The all-star cast is simply superb and add a great buzz to the film. Its just a pity that the transfer can’t be as good as the acting.

This film picks up the story of Jerome Kern (Robert Walker) at the opening night of his musical Show Boat and then goes back to the beginning of Kern’s song writing career when he was almost penniless. After moving to the UK where it was said all good songwriters are, Kern is able to build on a friendship with James I. Hessler and also met one of his earliest successes, who also turns out to be the future Mrs. Kern (Dorothy Patrick). After a rough time in the US, Kern collaborates with Oscar Hammerstein II and together they create an adaptation of the classic, Show Boat

  Video
  Audio
  Extras
Contract

The video is simply appalling. Where to start? Well, for starters it is presented in the aspect of 4:3, or 1.33:1, when it was actually filmed in 1.37:1. This means that the text at the beginning of the film is clipped on the left and right and makes some words hard to read.

The quality and clarity of the video transfer is simply horrible to watch. The reds are heavily over-saturated and does show some minor bleeding in some scenes. The colours, especially in the opening scene, are very solid with little definition or sharpness. Mind you, this is a 1940’s film when Technicolor was a new creation, but so much more could have been done to make this a better transfer.

There are a lot of film artefacts, but nothing too annoying apart from one special effects scene where the artefacts go berserk. There is minor film grain throughout the feature, but given the age of the film it can be accepted and ignored. It isn’t overly distracting but is just very apparent in some scenes.

There is no layer change, as it is a single layered, single sided disc, which probably is a cause of the poor quality. The longest film that this reviewer has seen on a single layered disc was Where The Money Is being 88 minutes, but this being 135 on a single sided disc just seems like a crazy idea. The compression of the video and audio must be so great, which could be a cause of the solid colours on screen.

The audio transfer is much much worse than the video transfer. Presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono, the audio transfer suffers heavily from distortion. This is probably a feature of the actual master print of the film, but still could have been improved for such an advanced digital technology. And what's this about being Digitally Remastered. I would really like to know what has been remastered.

The dialogue is just crazy though. In some scenes, the dialogue is audible and understandable, while during some other scenes, the words just come out a blur of noise. This is incredibly annoying as it means some lines need to be re-heard in order to hear them correctly, in some cases, re-heard several times. With no subtitles on the disc, it makes it even harder to understand.

The extra features are present, but not very special and not very extra either. There is a synopsis of the film for those of you who hadn’t read the back of the case, and also a song list. The synopsis reads as if no body has proof read it. The song list is helpful thought at identifying the songs and their sources. The menus are simply appalling though. It is a game of ‘guess to see what I have highlighted’ if you want to navigate anywhere. The flashing texts of the buttons makes it hard to know what is highlighted. But the extras do redeem themselves one mark for the song list.

A poorly mastered video, and irritating audio transfer, with barely any special features and a most horrible menu system.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=776
  • Send to a friend.
  • Do YOU want to be a DVDnet reviewer? If so, click here

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   And I quote...
    "They can’t be serious - Is this as good as it gets? A really disappointing transfer from Eureka."
    - Martin Friedel
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Nowa DS-8318
    • TV:
          TEAC 68cm CTV
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
    by Martin Friedel

    One Perfect Day
    "One Perfect Day leaps off the screen with vibrancy, life and emotion, all wrapped up with a slick soundtrack and effervescent editing..."

    Gadjo Dilo
    "...even at 97 minutes, Gadjo Dilo or The Crazy Stranger led to “The Slightly Bored Reviewer”..."

    The Craic
    "This Craic is as unfunny as a plumber’s butt crack, with a transfer that’s just as pretty too..."

    How to Deal
    "...How To Deal is still a little bit shallow in places, but ultimately leaves you with more of a “huh?” sensation..."

    Drumline
    "Dit doo wah!"

      Related Links
      None listed

     

    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright © DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5   
    rss