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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Biography > Music > Artist > Punk > Reggae > Piano > Instrumental > Standards > Musical > Countr > Finding Joseph I (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 Highways (1981)/Revisit

Finding Joseph I (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 Highways (1981)/Revisited (2017)/L.A.M.F. (1977/all 3 MVD Visual DVDs)/Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame In Concert (2013 - 2017/Time Life Blu-ray Set)



4K 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: B/B/C+/B-/B-/B/B+



PLEASE NOTE: The Giovanni Blu-Spec CD is now only available online from our friends at Intermusic/Top Music and can be ordered at the link below.


Here's more music releases to consider...



If you're a fan of music documentaries, punk, reggae or a diehard fan of Bad Brains, then Finding Joseph I (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.


The documentary features archival footage and photos from the life of the musician as well as interviews with friends and family members.


Presented 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.



The very talented pianist Giovanni is back after delivering a solid Romantic Piano 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...


http://www.fulvuedrive-in.com/review/13120/Romantic+Piano+Of+Giovanni+(2014/New+Castle


The 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 Grace and Ave Maria. 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 better?


Yes 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.



Aiming to be the next high profile Hollywood musical, The Greatest Showman (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 musical number.


Aimed at musical theater geeks and fans of La La Land (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.


P.T. 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.


However, 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.


Presented in 2160p HECV/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.


Special Features...


Two hours of behind the scenes footage


Sing-alone edition and music machine "jukebox" feature


The Greatest Showman 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.



Next up is a set of connected releases. Heartworn Highways (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.


Featuring many candid and behind the scenes moments, the film puts you right aside the musicians to give you a unique and personal perspective of the music.


Heartworn Highways Revisited 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.


Revisited 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.


Both 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.


No extras.



The Heartbreakers return to the music scene with this new live concert that's been eloquently captured on DVD. Released in Autumn of 1977, L.A.M.F. (Live at the Bowery Electric) was a controversial performance by the hit band The Heartbreakers with this new disc being presented by Jungle Records.


Allowing 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 enjoy.


Songs include Born 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 and Do You Love Me?


Presented 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.


Special Features include retrospective interviews with Clem Burke, Jesse Malin, Tommy Stinson, Walter Lure, and Wayne Kramer.


This 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.



Finally, 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.


The inductees are as follows...


2014: 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 REM).


2015: 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


2016: Deep Purple, Bert Berns, N.W.A., Chicago (Rob Thomas' induction is interesting), Cheap Trick


2017: 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!)


Of 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.


To 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.


The 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!



You can order the Giovanni Blu-Spec CD from Intermusic at this link:


http://www.topmusic.com/tm-bscd7029.5.htm



- Nicholas Sheffo (Giovanni, Rock) and James Lockhart

https://www.facebook.com/jamesharlandlockhartv/


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