(2016/MVD Visual DVD)/Giovanni:
Tribute To China
(2017/Top Music/Intermusic Blu-Spec CD)/The
Greatest Showman 4K
(2017/Fox 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray w/DVD)/Heartworn
(1977/all 3 MVD Visual DVDs)/Rock
N Roll Hall Of Fame In Concert
(2013 - 2017/Time Life Blu-ray Set)
Ultra HD Picture: A Picture: B/X/B+/B-/B-/C/B Sound: B/B/A &
B+/B-/B-/B-/B Extras: D/C-/C-/D/D/C+/D Main Programs:
Blu-Spec CD is now only available online from our friends at
Intermusic/Top Music and can be ordered at the link below.
more music releases to consider...
you're a fan of music documentaries, punk, reggae or a diehard fan of
Bad Brains, then Finding
(2016) is a film you should definitely see. Centering around the
life of Paul "HR" Hudson, the front man for the band Bad
Brains, the documentary illustrates the life of a musical explosion
and his strange absence. Following his passion for the reggae genre,
his drug experimentation, and how his career kicks off and how
promising he was as a musician.
documentary features archival footage and photos from the life of the
musician as well as interviews with friends and family members.
in anamorphically enhanced, standard definition with a 1.78:1
widescreen aspect ratio and a 5.1 stereo track, the film looks and
sounds up to standards on DVD. A sad, overdue look at a key talent,
you should see it.
very talented pianist Giovanni is back after delivering a solid
album with Giovanni:
Tribute To China
(2017) which has him covering standards and finishing with a title
song tribute capturing his reaction to the country. For those
unfamiliar, here's a link to our coverage of the album in the
ever-great Super Audio CD format...
page to order the album from the link below has all 'lucky' 13 tracks
in both english and Chinese, but in case it delivers anomalies in
this presentation format, we'll not repeat it here, but older
standards he has decided to include are Amazing
The included paper foldout has limited info on the album, but will
do. The other highlight is how this is a rarely-pressed CD using
Blu-ray standards, called a Blu-Spec CD, still presenting the sound
in PCM 16/44.1 2.0 Stereo and I always begs the question, is it any
it is, because the CD sound is warmer, more stable and consistent,
though you'll wish it played louder, wider and the like, it is a
better way to press a CD and is up there with the JVC XRCD and 24K
Gold CD series we've seen it the format since the 1980s. The
combination of content and performance make it worth your time if you
are interested in the content.
to be the next high profile Hollywood musical, The
(2017) instead is a disjointed mess that starts out promising and
ends up becoming a painfully bad film. Set in the past and focusing
on the true life events of P.T. Barnum (played fine by Hugh Jackman)
and the origins of his infamous Barnum and Bailey Circus, the film
could have been a whole lot more better had it not been a cartoonish
musical. The result is a stylistic and colorful film (using modern
music set to the old time theme, and a frustrating jump in time that
often skips over major plot points in favor of lining up the next
at musical theater geeks and fans of La
(the song writers here also penned that hit) and Baz Luhrmann films,
the film is so unbelievable in terms of physicality, common sense,
and wooden that the only thing holding it together is Jackman and
supporting actors Rebecca Ferguson, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, and
Zendaya to name a few to whom you can sense the boredom in many
scenes. But even these top rate talents can't stop the headache
inducing musical numbers, lifeless CG lions, and lack of heart that
the film strives so hard to have.
Barnum is a wonderful signer and a talented and determined man.
Coming from poor upbringing, he falls in love with a young rich girl
(Williams) at an early age. Once they both are old enough, they move
to city and Barnum comes up with the idea of a sideshow circus-type
attraction, in an effort to raise money for his growing family.
Seeking out all the bearded ladies, tall and short people, and those
with hidden talents that he can find, Barnum soon finds his business
a success and becomes quite wealthy.
the public doesn't share his passion for these 'freaks' and soon
becomes a little too engulfed in higher society. Once he meets a
beautiful singer (Ferguson) who has an incredible voice, he decides
to expand beyond the freak show business and soon finds himself on
the cusp on an affair. Falling back into his roots, and with the
help of Bailey (Efron), he realizes his love for his family and
creates the infamous circus that has spanned generations.
in 2160p HEVC/H.265, HDR (10; Ultra HD Premium)-enhanced Ultra High
Definition image with a widescreen aspect ratio of 2.40:1 and a
great-sounding 11.1 English Dolby Atmos lossless track, even though I
wasn't a huge fan of the film itself, it certainly looks fantastic in
4K. The film is quite brilliant and vibrant with a wide color
palette and plenty of production design to soak up. This also
slightly works against the film, as some elements look even more
digital and fake to a trained eye than they would on the (also
included) 1080p Blu-ray disc (which also have the same audio and
widescreen specs). If you're a fan of the film, then its definitely
worth shelling out the extra few bucks for the 4K. As for the mix,
the Atmos track and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 mix both sound fine, with nice
bass levels and the soundtrack in front and surrounding channels.
There's also UV copy.
hours of behind the scenes footage
edition and music machine "jukebox" feature
will appeal to some more than others, but didn't grab me personally.
The candy coating and modern music may appeal to younger audiences
and I'm even someone who doesn't hate musicals, but mix of old and
new just doesn't work. Had this been a animated film then it could
have worked better.
up is a set of connected releases. Heartworn
(the first film is set in 1975 and 1976, the James Szalapski
documentary film centers around the founders of the Outlaw Country
movement in Texas and Tennessee. The doc features music by Guy Clark,
Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, David Allan Coe, Rodney Crowell,
Gamble Rogers, Steve Young, and The Charlie Daniels Band.
many candid and behind the scenes moments, the film puts you right
aside the musicians to give you a unique and personal perspective of
includes John McCauley, Langhorne Slim, Shovels and Rope, Nikki lane,
Jonny Fritz, Josh Hedley, Robert Ellis, Shelly Colvin, Andrew Combs,
Justins Towns Earle, with original outlaws Guy Clark, Steve Young,
and David Allan Coe.
is a love letter to the original film only set in modern times that
is interesting and not without a few good tunes. Centered around
modern musicians in Nashville, Tennessee, the film proves if nothing
less that folk music is still alive and well.
films are presented on DVD in standard definition with a 1.66:1 full
frame (original Highways) and an anamorphically enhanced 1.78:1
widescreen aspect ratio (revisited) and with lossy Dolby Digital 2.0
Stereo audio tracks. The presentation is fine for the format and
given that the material documentary passes by fine.
Heartbreakers return to the music scene with this new live concert
that's been eloquently captured on DVD. Released in Autumn of 1977,
(Live at the Bowery Electric)
was a controversial performance by the hit band The Heartbreakers
with this new disc being presented by Jungle Records.
you to feel like a fly on the wall at home, this DVD takes plays
forty years after the renowned Bowery Electric performance as the
band gets back together again and plays in front of a live audience.
Featuring the original Heartbreaker, Walter Lure, the semi-private
performance is now out there for everyone to take a look at and
to Lose, Baby Talk, All By Myself, I Wanna Be Loved, It's Not Enough,
Chinese Rocks, Get Off The Phone, Pirate Love, One Track Mind, I Love
You, Goin' Steady, Let Go, Can't Keep My Eyes On You
You Love Me?
in standard definition with an anamorphically enhanced widescreen
aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track, the show
has been captured so-so on DVD. Cutting between a few different
angles of the performance, one of the cameras is a bit soft in focus
with red and blue colors on the stage clashing a bit (as is normal
with standard definition transfer). The other angles are
considerably better and more in focus but that wide master (and a few
other angles here are there) unfortunately weigh down points on the
overall presentation. The editing of the show isn't bad or the audio
too ghastly either considering the performance is live.
Features include retrospective interviews with Clem Burke, Jesse
Malin, Tommy Stinson, Walter Lure, and Wayne Kramer.
is a great little show and fun to watch. If you're a fan of The
Heartbreakers then it's worth tracking down on disc, even if the
presentation is a bit lacking.
we have a powerful new Blu-ray set of The
Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame In Concert,
covering the last four induction ceremonies from 2013 to 2017. The
tired, shallow mantra about Rock music (and even singing!?!) being
dead as these annual events take on a higher more important relevance
and reminds us of the amazing, rich legacy or innovation, truth,
talent and hard work the genre, related genres and the music industry
represent. It is also about greatest and artistic achievement.
inductees are as follows...
Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt (included by a very
effective and affected Glenn Frey, as she was not well even then, all
not knowing he would leave us soon), The E Street Band, Nirvana
(including a bold, uncompromised induction speech by Michael Stipe of
Joan Jetty & The Blackhearts, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band,
Bill Withers (dealing with John Legend, getting a little carried away
in performance), Green Day, Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble,
Lou Reed (Patti Smith does an amazing induction, while Laurie
Anderson stuns with her own stories), Ringo Starr
Deep Purple, Bert Berns, N.W.A., Chicago (Rob Thomas' induction is
interesting), Cheap Trick
E.L.O. (Dhani Harrison gives an amazing induction speech), Joan Baez
(after Jackson Browne inducts, Baez tells it like it is in all kinds
of ways and the audience goes wild), Yes (Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson
of Rush give a great induction, then the band lets loose), Tupac
Shakur, Journey, Pearl Jam (David Letterman steps in for Neil Young,
who got stuck on the way, but gives a great induction of the band he
always supported, then they too are on it!)
course, there is much, much more and I don't want to give it all
away, but it is easily one of the best live music releases in the
last few years and fans will be especially impressed. Those not as
much into this music (who is that?) will still be impressed by the
top rate nature of what has become one of the most important music
events of any kind annually.
add to that is that the 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image
is all four shows are well edited, recorded and captured with no
camera foolishness (shaky camerawork, et al) and it is being recorded
to everyone can re-experience it. The same goes for the very well
recorded music and speeches, presented here in fine DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mixes that sound great, especially if
you have a seriously good home theater system.
only extra is a high quality, nicely illustrated booklet on the four
programs with tech info and more on who performed what songs. This
is a great set and I highly recommend it!
can order the Giovanni
Blu-Spec CD from Intermusic at
Nicholas Sheffo (Giovanni,