My little review of "Roger Waters - The Wall - Live in Berlin"

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Steve K.H., Jun 28, 2003.

  1. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    On Tuesday, June 24, this DVD was released in Region 1.

    For those who are unaware, The Wall – Live in Berlin was a benefit concert involving a host of artists. This was performed in Berlin one year after the liberation of East Berlin. The concert took place at/on Potsdamer Platz, the infamous ground that for 28+ years took the lives of many persons attempting to escape East Berlin (they were shot).

    The concert was a little idea that went mega-performance in the grandest way. It was the largest concert in German history. They lost track of the audience numbers but it certainly exceeded 350,000 people. There are a host of performers (actors, vocalists, bands, orchestras) that contributed to this epic masterpiece.

    This performance was huge (the staged wall for the performance was 3 football fields long). Adding to the pressure was the fact this was being concurrently broadcast live on televisions to fifty countries around the world. The performance was faced with pulling this off in spite of having only one full dress rehearsal the night before the real thing.

    Roger Waters had met his mid-life crisis some year’s previous and parted ways with Mr. Gilmour and the boys of Pink Floyd. When they parted, I was concerned that Roger would turn his back on his past. It’s refreshing to see he maintains his passion for his works that he developed while with Pink Floyd.

    In “The Wall - Live in Berlin”, Roger Waters participates in revisiting the original film "The Wall" in differing degrees throughout the performance. On some songs he provides the audience with the lead performance, on others he provides backup vocals a/o guitar, and in some he stays completely out of the single cut. In all instances, Roger doesn't interfere with the other performers' artistic talents that each uniquely provide.

    When performing the role of “Pink”, Roger really demonstrates his passion. He has further caused me to increase my appreciation for the performance that Sir Bob Geldof provided in the original film "The Wall". Bob clearly had a profound ability to capture the mind of Roger Waters, based on the comparison of interpretations between he (in the original film “The Wall”), and Roger (in this concert.)

    The newness of the performers adds to the flavor. From the get go, the Scorpion’s sends a shot across the bow to clearly convey the message that this is going to be a magical night. The performance of the balance of the individual artists lends to the success of the overall concert. “The Wall – Live at Berlin” is truly an amazing spectacle.

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    That’s nice to hear but if I wanted a Movie Review, I would have clicked in the Movie Forum. Threads here should have notes on the DVD itself!!!

    Yep, I know and here it is… [​IMG]

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    System:

    AVR 520, Paradigm Monitor 11’s with matching CC, Paradigm Reference Surrounds, SVS 20-39 Sub, Sony 51” RP W/S, Marantz 4300 DVD.

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    The Goods:

    I picked this puppy up on sale at a BB affiliate here in Canada. Pricing approximately $18.00 Canadian, or $12.50 U.S. Universal gives you a sturdy, clear plastic case, a double-sided DVD cover, and a little 12 page booklet.

    Universal also throws in a single dual density DVD.

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    VIDEO:

    This film is in full screen mode only. Before you groan (ok, too late but hold off on the second groan), some reality is in order. This was not produced for film. It was made for TV. In 1990 not too many people were thinking about Digital Video, 16 x 9, or anamorphic display devices.

    That said, I have seen comments from others stating the color is a bit out, the video is too soft, it’s missing a bit etc. I’m going to be as professional as possible here and say that’s all a bunch of crap.

    We have are a bunch of guys with television cameras. They are at a rock concert. All of these camera operators have to continually deal with changes in lighting conditions. This translates into over-exposed, under-exposed, and excellent shots.

    The transfer is a non-issue. We have what I believe to be the very best transfer that is available from the source media. I also noticed that the video was surpisingly excellent on some shots. When this was broadcast, I was watching this on my old 25” “state of the art” RCA monitor. I know that the live broadcast didn’t give me any analog projections that remotely approached the quality of what we can now see on this DVD.

    If this were filmed yesterday, I would give the video a C+ at best. Knowing that this all took place 13 years ago when the personal PC was just starting to be accepted, I give the video a B at worst. The transfer is a non-issue.

    Video B to B+

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    AUDIO:

    (why does "Audio" end in “io” and "Video" end in “eo”?) [​IMG]

    Anyway, you get a couple of choices here...

    ...Dolby Surround and DD 5.1

    I toyed with the Dolby Pro Logic on two channel for a while and compared that to the Dolby 5 channel, and also to the Dolby 5 channel dumbed down to a 2.1 broadcast.

    If you don’t have a 5.1 setup, you will still get an excellent audio track. I preferred the dumbed down sound of DD in 2.1 much more than the DPL version.

    DD 5.1 (and DTS) and musical performances are items that usually scare me. I’m always worried that some clown of an engineer is going to bastardize the music by putting sounds where they simply shouldn’t be.

    That didn’t happen in this case. The remix into 5.1 was done this spring, and it is excellent if not unpretentious. I really love this mix as it allows the listener to experience the ‘feel” of the concert.

    One small nitpick was the underutilization of the LFE into the blend of the music. A live concert will normally reverberate some bass to add to the experience. It seems that was overlooked somewhat (in all audio modes). Dialing up the subwoofer feed on the H/K started to wash the sound mix. (An LFE dial up might have worked though.) Dialing up the SVS just a touch did help somewhat.

    I am a huge DTS proponent but it isn’t a big miss here. Overall, this is an EXCELLENT remix. I really fell into the concert.

    I’ll give the audio an A-.


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    EXTRAS

    (…are all DPL and Full Screen.)

    Subtitles

    -Subtitles are absent on the film. Too bad if you want to sing along, cuz you’ll need your flashlight and original Wall DVD with lyric booklet.

    Documentary

    -This is a new documentary (filmed in 2003) with discussion on the conceptualization (that’s a big word ain’t it?) of “The Wall – Live in Berlin”. If you haven’t ever seen this concert, then skip this for now and come back to it after you’ve experienced the performance.

    -If you have viewed “The Wall – Live in Berlin” even one time, I highly recommend that you watch this documentary prior to watching the concert on DVD. To me anyway, this was an excellent lead in to the performance. I won’t give anything away here. Take my word for it that this is a must see enhancement.

    -There’s one puzzling anomaly here. The documentary is subtitled in English, Spanish and Portugese. I kind of thought that either French or German might come before Portugese, but then again, maybe it’s just me(?)

    Stills

    -There are some sketches and conceptualizations that are actually very interesting. Well worth viewing.

    Animations

    -All images that were projected onto the screen are brought back to us in full color. After seeing the performance, I recommend that all Pink Floyd fans review this section.

    Unseen Footage

    -The Unseen Footage amounts to approximately 14 minutes of video that was later punted for the use of live actors. It is mildly interesting.

    Easter Eggs

    -None known at this time

    Booklet (insert)

    -This is a fantastic little addition. It identifies all the performers in each song. We are then treated to 6 pages of Tony Hollingsworth’s take on how this concert came off. After reviewing the performance, the documentary, and then reading the booklet, you’ll probably wonder how this concert ever came together.

    Missing Items:

    -I wish to heck that there were a way to watch the film with pop up facts. It would have been great to specifically identify each performer as they appear. It also would help when I watch this with my teen-aged kids to explain who the performer is rather than try to talk while the concert is ongoing.

    -Overall they did some good things with the extras but could have done a whole lot better. The documentary is excellent.

    Extras rated at a B-


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    VALUE

    Are you kidding me? A two-hour live rock concert with a veritable who’s who of artists, excellent sound, and additional “backstage pass” items all for less than $20 bucks???

    A+

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    OVERALL RATING

    A-
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

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    CLOSING THOUGHTS.

    If you are a fan of Pink Floyd, make no mistake… this is a MUST own.

    If you liked The Wall, or like rock music/concerts, this is one of the better ones out there. I recommend you add this to your collection.

    If you have a passing interest in some of the performers (Scorpions, The Band, Bryan Adams, Cyndi Lauper, Van Morrison, Paul Carrack, Thomas Dolby, Joni Mitchell, Jerry Hall, and others, then at the very least you should rent this.

    If you don’t like Rock Music, Rock and Artistry working together, and Epic Performances, then I have no idea why you bothered to read this, and more importantly, I pity you.

    (Damn, what a long review… this was going to be just a couple of comments and I got carried away…)

    Hope this helps…

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jeff D Han

    Jeff D Han Supporting Actor

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    Thank you for the review Steve. I'll probably pick
    it up because I'm a huge Pink Floyd fan and I have
    seen this concert before. It's great that Waters
    added some extras with the show. I just wish that
    Cyndi Lauper could have been edited from the video-
    I can't stand her![​IMG]

    Now us Pink Floyd fans need Live At Pompeii to
    finally come out.
     
  3. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    Hmmm... less than a 100 views... I thought there were more Floyd fans here... [​IMG]

    Know what you mean Jeff...

    Cyndi Lauper is a little off the wall (damn that worked well!) but she's early and not a real significant detraction.

    The short time frame for putting this together meant a whole bunch of people couldn't fit this in. Joe Cocker had to beg out... as did others.

    Makes me wonder just how far down the list Cyndi was?[​IMG]
     
  4. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    I'm a huge Waters-Pink Floyd fan (I traveled from California to London more than 20 years ago to see The Wall concert live at Earl's Court), but I have no interest whatsoever in ever seeing this concert. I had it on CD for years and listened to it once. I can't stand the Scorpions and Cyndi Lauper and whoever else singing Pink Floyd songs. It was a bad idea to stage this show in such a huge arena, although the intentions behind it were good.
    Peace.
     
  5. JimChan

    JimChan Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Awesome disc! I thoroughly enjoyed this even on VHS. It's much better (duh!) on DVD.

    FYI... My copy of The Wall has serious troubles on 2 different models of Sony players with chapter 12. Skips, freezes, etc. The disc is as clean as a whistle so it's got to be a manufacturer defect. I'm exchanging it today.
     
  7. Bryce Miner

    Bryce Miner Stunt Coordinator

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    I also picked up the SACD. I synched up the SACD with the DVD video yielding a great experience.

    I like the SACD better not just for sonics, but the mix is better to me.
     
  8. Michael St. Clair

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    It is great to see it has not been cropped to fake widescreen like the Peter Gabriel concert disc.

    I like the original stereo mix on the laserdisc so I might skip this DVD.
     
  9. Brent Bridgeman

    Brent Bridgeman Second Unit

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    Being a huge Floyd and Waters fan, I remember being disappointed when I first viewed this concert. Hearing all these other musicians perform Roger's (and a little of Dave's) music just didn't seem fresh at all, for some reason. Hell, I was a huge Scorpions fan too, and even they didn't thrill me. I bought the CD when it came out, but ended up trading it in pretty quickly since whenever I thought about listening to "The Wall", I could just listen to the original, or a live Floyd recording. The spectacle is cool to see, but the performances just can't keep up. I'd much rather watch Roger Waters "In the Flesh" DVD that recently came out. Or, better yet, listen to his commentary on "The Wall" (movie) DVD. Fantastic to hear that Roger isn't the gloomy person his music might lead you to believe. He actually has a great sense of humor, even about himself and Pink Floyd.

    Oooh, a DTS version of "The Pros & Cons of Hitchhiking" could be fun, with all those directional effects. "How ya doin' bro? Where ya been? Where ya goin'?"
     
  10. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Update

    My 1st DVD was bad. The new one plays fine.

    I can't disagree with anyone that this isn't Floyd. Still, it's great listening and sometimes watching.

    I looked for the SACD locally and can't find it yet. Boo!!!

    I'm still psyched for Pulse that's supposed to be in the pipeline. Does anyone know when it's coming out?
     

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