The Best of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (review)

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Mike Miskulin, Jul 11, 2005.

  1. Mike Miskulin

    Mike Miskulin Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 31, 1998
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just picked up this 2 disc set and wanted to pass along my impressions. First off, it was awesome to see a He-Man DVD on the shelves! It's been a long time coming. For a while I was collecting the UK released single disc sets, but at $20 a pop (roughly) it was becoming too expensive. So I was overjoyed to find out the US was getting the episodes soon.

    For more info on what's exactly included on the set, visit He-Man.org for the complete breakdown as well as some fan-posed questions answered by the DVD's creators.

    On with the good
    • He-Man on DVD!!!
    • Very interesting behind the scenes interviews, though some of those interviewed seemed a little less than enthusiastic.
    • Packaging, packaging, packaging! Truly a set for fans and by fans. A double disc digipak with great artwork from the show. Two inserted art cards and a folded insert are also included. It truly conveys the spirit of the original show.
    • The video and sound are crystal clear.

    Now onto the biggest gripe myself, or any other fan will have: Apparently the masters BCI/Entertainment Rights have are ones Hallmark did for a European release. As such, even though the video and sound are pristine on the re-mastered prints, they were sped up to PAL standards. For the US release, these PAL masters were then encoded to match NTSC standards. However, the artificially sped up video and sound remain. This effectively shortens the episodes by about a minute and a half. For most casual viewers this may not be an issue, but longtime fans might be put off by the video/audio seeming too fast. This oversight is especially noticeable in camera pans. They just seem...off. I compared episodes from disc one with the same episodes from the UK releases and they were identical in video, sound, and length.

    If the powers that be only have access to the PAL masters and not the original NTSC tapes, the speed/sound discrepancies should be fixed. To my understanding, this huge mistake could easily be rectified with any professional video editing software. Simply load the re-mastered video in and slow it down by roughly 4%, encode, and voila! He-Man almost the same as when originally aired, and certainly not on helium.

    With that said, I hope the DVD producers receive feedback about this issue and correct it by the time the season sets start to hit on October 18. Typically I'm not a huge fan of 'best of' sets, but BCI did right by warning fans ahead of time that season sets are on the way. Plus if the speed issue is brought to their attention, then the season sets could be presented in the best way possible, and that would not have been possible without releaseing this set first to bring potential problems to the front.

    All in all, I am happy to see He-Man on DVD and for its release to be handled by those who seem to care about the show and its history. Hopefully this major problem will be addressed and fixed in the season releases, then I will be a really happy customer!

    mike.
     
  2. Dane Marvin

    Dane Marvin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2003
    Messages:
    1,490
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mike, can you tell us the running time of each of the documentary parts?

    Thanks for the info, by the way. WhHile BCI did make people aware that there were some PAL speed-up issues, they also made it sound like it would not be as noticeable as PAL speed-up normally is. But a minute and a half shaved off each episode sounds like it's going a little fast. I'm buying the 'Best of' release, so I guess I'll see if it's bothersome to me.
     
  3. Mike Miskulin

    Mike Miskulin Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 31, 1998
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0
    The box states a 70 minute runtime for the two docs combined. That's about right, though the second doc is slightly longer than the first, and I believe they both clock in a couple minutes under the 70 minutes combined statement.

    My estimate on runtime is a little exaggerated as well, it's more like a little over a minute shorter than the original. It's still very noticeable, however.

    The menus are very nice, though!
     
  4. Mike Miskulin

    Mike Miskulin Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 31, 1998
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just checked for ya:

    Documentary 1: 29:46
    Documentary 2: 35:26

    Listening to the voices again, they don't really sound too bad, not overly high-pitched or anything, but the music is just going far too fast from what I'm used to.

    mike.
     
  5. Joe:C

    Joe:C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    494
    Likes Received:
    0



    I pulled those from he-man.org. I don't have the set yet. The PAL speedup was the only thing I was worried about. I hope it's not very noticeable. BCI did mention in the Q&A that they used PAL masters, so I don't know if anything will be changed for the season sets.

    EDIT: Looks like Mike is a faster typer than me. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page