Les Miserables 10th Anniv. Concert DVD/LD

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brendon, May 9, 2002.

  1. Brendon

    Brendon Second Unit

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    Guys,

    I have the PAL laserdisc of the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary concert. Despite the packaging saying it is 16:9 (approx 1.78:1) aspect ratio, it isn't. It's 4:3.

    Aside from this, I do not have the finest LD player in existence and as the stage is frequently bathed in blue with black background, the picture quality is rather poor.

    On the plus side, the PCM audio is a treat!

    Now then, I've been looking at the DVD releases of this title. The picture is in the aspect ration the concert was shot in (all well and groovy), but I'm having difficulty finding out any information as to the picture quality.

    Coupled with this, I am concerned that the audio is in DD 2.0. Whilst not a bad way of presenting stereo sound, I am concerned that if I replaced my LD with the DVD will I be merely trading in sound quality for a properly framed, higher quality picture ?

    The only other alternative is the NTSC LD, which I believe is in the intended aspect ratio together with a PCM stereo soundtrack.

    Thanks for any opinions you may wish to share!

    Brendon

    PS Does anyone know of any intention to bring the Hey! Mr. Producer concert to DVD in the future ?
     
  2. Malcolm Cleugh

    Malcolm Cleugh Second Unit

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    Brendon,

    There have been two releases of this on DVD in the UK, both from VCI.

    Original was cropped to 4.3 with DD 2.0 and was a flipper the two acts on either side.

    As you say was then rereleased as a DVD9 in w/s anamorphic 1.78 which is the correct aspect ratio (has also been shown by BBC in this form) but I am sure the sound was unchanged staying at DD 2.0

    The picture of this reissue is okay and the sound fine but nothing to shout about. Given it is a concert format I am unsure if you would add anything by remixing as 5.1

    Also given already 2 versions I think its unlikely you will see any better in the UK.

    I have not seen anything on the Hey Mr Producer the Cameron MacKintosh tribute coming to DVD. This is also a VCI release so may come at some stage. Have the old VHS of this.

    The Lloyd Webber tribute and his filmed stage musicals are all on DVD however.
     
  3. Brendon

    Brendon Second Unit

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    Malcolm,

    Thanks for the info!

    I only have the one version of LM on any home format and that's the PAL laserdisc. The PCM stereo soundtrack is particularly fine on this, and I'd love to see this transfered to DVD.

    Like yourself, I don't believe this should be remixed into a 5.1 track. I was merely concerned that if I bought into one of the correctly framed DVD's that the DD 2.0 soundtrack would not be as "rich" (if that is the right word) as the Laserdisc's PCM stereo track.

    I've found one or two reviews of the DVD (both UK versions and the R1 & R4 issues) - whilst none of them provide a ringing endorsement for the sound quality, none of them compare the DVD sound to the laserdisc.

    I do believe, both from your assesement and those of other reviewers that the DVD picture is markedly better than that on the LD.

    As far as the Cameron Mackintosh concert goes, I am *this* far from buying it on VHS. I saw it on TV a couple of years back, but that was before I'd gone to see Miss Saigon three times on the trot in Manchester. Purchasing the various CD's released of MS & LM is also putting a sizable hole in my pocket!

    At the risk of making a pain of myself, is the Lloyd Webber tribute DVD worth my time ? Aside from Evita I'm overly familiar with much of his work (to be corrected next time I'm down in London!).

    Cheers,

    Bren
     
  4. Malcolm Cleugh

    Malcolm Cleugh Second Unit

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    Both of the tribute concerts are similar format in that they are just medleys of the most famous songs from all their musicals. Also have a gushing speech from each of them !

    My recollection is the CM is longer and has more songs some of which are more obscure. Both use the celebs who have performed in the various musicals.

    The LW also had some of his orchestral work played by his brother Julian but was mostly his most famous songs from his well known musicals did not really add to the CDs.

    Off topic to DVD but do you have the Les Mis music boxset of the full production I think its around 4 CDs of the whole show with complete libretto absolutely superb.
     
  5. Brendon

    Brendon Second Unit

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    Malcolm,

    If I am right in assuming you mean the Les Miserables Complete Symphonic recording box set, then I have it on order.

    I've not seent the show (yet!), but judging by the quality of the Miss Saigon Complete Symphonic recording, I have high hopes!

    I do however fear that I may have got a little too used to Colm Wilkinson as Valjean to properly appreciate anyone else in the role! Saying that, I have got used to Kevin Gray's voice after being so familiar with Jonathan Pryce as the Engineer so there is hope for me yet!

    How would you rate the relative sound/recording quality of each set (assuming you have them to compare) ie London cast, Broadway cast, 10th anniv., Complete ?

    I'll give the Lloyd Webber DVD a try: I can forgive any amount of "luvvie gushing" in return for fine performances of good numbers.

    Cheers,

    Bren
     
  6. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    They all have good sound quality. All fine.

    London -- A bit of a different show. This was the first English version of it, so some of the dialogue and songs are different. Listened once, never again.

    Original Broadway -- Closer to the version we are used to, but still not as good as Symphonic.

    10th Anniversary -- Hell of a cast, but the show is really cut up for time.

    Symphonic -- The COMPLETE recording. Good cast, but Gary Morris as Valjean is really not as good as Colm Wilkinson. However, this is still the version I listen to all the time.
     
  7. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    The complete Symphonic is perhaps the best "Broadway" recording I have. I listen to it frequently. Particularly, I love Eponine... I'm not sure who is singing off the top of my head though.

    I wish they'd commit this one to DVD as a play. I saw it in NYC a year or so ago, and the quality of the production had degraded. The touring company was better. People were forgetting their lines, and Javert was smiling throughout the performance as if he was thrilled to be on Broadway and forgot that Javert is not a jovial individual.
     
  8. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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