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  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer (RSDL 102:58)
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
  • None
  Extras

    Woodstock - 3 Days of Peace & Music : Directors Cut

    Warner Bros./Warner Bros. . R4 . COLOR . 216 mins . M15+ . PAL

      Feature
    Contract

    It is August 1969, and there is a huge buzz around the town of Woodstock as the events for possibly the greatest concert of all time get under way. It was the American summer of í69, and for three glorious days all of the greatest bands of that era united on stage to perform to a crowd that ranged from five hundred thousand up to a possible one and a half million people. This was one of the greatest musical feats of the all time, and this DVD shows us an Academy Award winning documentary of the build up to the event and what it took to get this mammoth concert under way. But thatís not all, this huge 216 minute documentary also gives you exclusive coverage of the event as the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Jefferson Airplane and Janis Joplin (only to name a few) take to the stage delivering some truly magnificent performances. I'll put the full list of bands down below, but suffice to say this was THE concert of the 60ís, and a line up of this quality almost remains unrivalled up to this very day.

    This film, which was the 1970 Oscar winner for ĎBest Documentary Featureí not only has the behind the scenes look into the concert, but it also has some of the best footage compiled of the actual concert itself. If you want to relive those old days of peace, love and copious amounts of drugs, then this is possibly your best step into that world.

      Video
    Contract

    This disc is presented in aspect ratios that generally range from 1.85:1 to 2.35:1. There appears to be a lot of different film used to capture this concert and the aspect ratio changes accordingly. There are also a few occasions were we see some split screens of footage, which only complicates things further. However the good news is that it is all widescreen enhanced.

    Film artefacts are a problem, as would be expected for its age. However they arenít a major distraction from the film and are quite minimal considering the source material. Grain is also a minor problem, but again this is a source material problem. The colours also look very 1960ís (funnily enough) and lack any real vibrancy, the focus sometimes lapses and shadow detail appears to be on the poor side of the scale.

    This can all be contributed to the source material, which really canít be helped. On the plus side however the detail is reasonably good and there are no major problems with aliasing, MPEG or film to video artefacts.

    The layer change appears at 102:58 and isnít the greatest spot for it to be placed at, but overall it isnít too much of a distraction. Overall the video transfer for this disc is quite good, considering the age of the source material. Grain and film artefacts are to be expected but are not so bad as too make it distracting.

      Audio
    Contract

    The only audio soundtrack on this disc is an English Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack at 384Kb/s. Considering the majority of the footage for this disc is of the concert itself you'd be hoping that the audio on this disc is superb, and when considering its age, that is exactly what you get. Although not the most thumping concert you might get on DVD you must take into account that this was filmed in 1969 on film that is not much better than a handi-cam. However Woodstock Director's Cut has copped a well deserved digital restoration and has been remixed into a high quality 5.1 channel soundtrack.

    The surround channels are put to good use and add a very immersive atmosphere to the presentation. The subwoofer also gets a good work out and with the volume raised makes this a very sweet sounding concert. Overall, considering the age and the source material this soundtrack has been remastered very well, the dialogue is always clear and the music sounds great.

      Extras
    Contract

    There are no extras on this disc, but the movie itself runs for almost four hours, so its really hard to complain about the amount of content on this disc.

    In alphabetical order as given in the credits this is the full list of bands that played during those three big days. Also note that most bands do have a couple songs each on this disc, and are split into a total of 50 tracks. Compressing three days of music onto one disc isn't easy, but Michael Wadleigh has done it, and fantastically at that.

    Joan Baez, Canned Heat, Joe Cocker & The Grease Band, Country Joe McDonald & Country Joe & The Fish, Crosby Stills & Nash, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Santana, John Sebastian, Sha-na-na, Sly & The Family Stone, Ten Years After, The Who.

      Overall  
    Contract

    Overall this is a great presentation of both the concert and the behind the scenes running of it. Woodstock Directorís Cut is the closest thing imaginable to actually being there for those three days back in 1969. If you could only smell the illegal narcotics then you would just about swear you were there.


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      And I quote...
    "Woodstock Directorís Cut is the closest thing to being there. If you could only smell the illegal narcotics then you would just about swear you were there."
    - Nathan Clark
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Pioneer DV-636
    • TV:
          LG 80cm
    • Speakers:
          Pioneer
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
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