reviews by Bill Hunt, editor of The Digital
The Video Show
1974-1999 (2005) - Atlantic (Rhino)
Program Rating: B
Disc Ratings (Video/Extras): B-/D-
Audio Ratings (DD/DTS): A/A
Matt and I have had this little debate going for a while now.
Matt insists that Genesis, as a band, was infinitely better with
original lead singer Peter Gabriel, way back in the early 70s,
than they were with Phil Collins later. I, on the other hand,
feel that both Genesis and Peter Gabriel came into their own
musically and creatively after they parted ways. I can certainly
appreciate Matt's argument: Genesis was far more experimental
with Gabriel at the mic, largely due to his influence. But
look... Genesis would never have garnered the more mainstream
success they eventually did had Gabriel remained with them. The
impulse to become a commercial hit machine was just in the
band's nature, and that wasn't going to happen backing Gabriel's
theatrical showmanship. What's more, had he limited himself to
simple front-man status, the world would certainly have been
deprived of Gabriel's richly original and influential body of
solo work - a prospect so dreadful that I shudder even to
consider it. Weighing the might-have-beens, I've come to the
clear and confident conclusion that I win the argument
can't say that Genesis has ever been one of my all-time favorite
bands - those slots were taken up by The Police, U2, the
aforementioned Gabriel, REM, The Ramones and The Talking Heads (in
case you're keeping score). On the other hand, when I look back at
my teen years in the early 80s, there was a defacto second-tier
billing of acts whose music was seldom far from my consciousness.
Those bands included Journey, Rush, Van Halen... and Genesis (I
won't get into my lengthy Metal flirtation for sake of brevity in
this review - my apologies to Angus Young, et all). Each of those
second-tier bands has one thing in common - they're as reliable as
Old Faithful. You expect a certain kind of sound from them, a
particular feeling in their music, and they nearly always deliver
what you're hoping for. In a dark, post-pubescent, fight-the-power
sort of mood? A Rush anthem in 33 and 1/3 was just the ticket.
Making out in the back seat? You slipped Journey in your dash deck.
Crusin' with the boys? It's Halen time, baby (with Roth, of course).
And Genesis... well, Genesis just sort of melted nicely into the
cracks of almost any mood. Sure, Phil, Mike and Tony got a little
too cute for their own good on occasion (ahem... Illegal
Alien, most of everything released after 1983, etc), but
there's a darker undertone to some of their music that really worked
for me. I'll listen to Keep It Dark,
Home by the Sea/Second Home by the Sea
and Domino any day. Indeed,
there's scarcely a Genesis tune that doesn't recall some angsty,
overly dramatic period of my teen years. The proof of this was all
too evident as I spun this DVD. It's packed with great tracks,
decent ones and some duds... but I knew the words to about 80% of
them and had no problem shamelessly singing 'em along with ol' Phil.
For better or worse, few musicians can crank out a catchy,
brain-sticky tune like Phil Collins.
Genesis: The Video Show (or
The Cinema Show - A Video Anthology
as the menu so importantly indicates) contains a whopping 32 videos
from the band. Everything from 1974's The
Lamb Lies Down on Broadway on is represented here, with
the majority of the disc obviously dedicated to the Collins,
Rutherford, Banks period. The Gabriel era is given a nod with a 1999
re-recording of the song The Carpet
Crawlers, and three tracks from the band's short-loved,
post-Collins and entirely forgettable Ray Wilson swan song are here
as well for completion's sake. In between, you get virtually all of
Genesis' major and minor commercial hits and semi-successes. Trust
me when I say that if you recall a Genesis vid from early MTV and
later VH-1, it's here.
Each video is presented in its original full frame aspect ratio, in
that wonderful slightly soft and with bleedy colors quality you all
remember from the analog days of musical television. All of the
videos have been remastered, so they certainly look better than
ever, but they're just only going to look SO good, you know? What
makes this disc a winner, however, is that the audio for all 32
videos is presented in three flavors: remastered Dolby Digital 2.0
stereo, as well as remixed and remastered 5.1 surround in both Dolby
Digital and DTS. All three tracks are excellent. The original stereo
sounds as good as you've ever heard it, and the new 5.1 mixes
thankfully strike the absolute perfect balance between natural,
enveloping performance audio and more gimmicky panning and
directional effects. The DTS mix, as usual, has the slight edge in
terms of smoothness and clarity, but it's very slight. Rest assured,
you'll enjoy great audio quality whichever track you choose.
The menus have a sort of 3-D animated look, that utilizes the
band's album cover artwork. You can play the disc as a whole, select
individual tracks from stacks of CDs representing the various songs,
and choose your audio preference. There aren't really any extras on
the disc to speak of (I would have liked maybe some band interviews
or lyrics), but there IS one nice feature: When you start playing
each song, there's a little symbol that appears in the corner over
the title graphic. If you press ENTER when you see it, you'll be
taken to a page of credits for the song that includes all of the
relevant recording details and the single's original release
artwork. Press ENTER or PLAY again and you'll kick right into the
song - a nice touch.
The lack of bonus material aside however, Genesis:
The Video Show certainly delivers a cramming good lot of
the band's music on a single disc, and in nicely updated,
state-of-the-art audio quality to boot. If you're a Collins-Genesis
diehard, there's plenty here to make your ears (and eyes) happy.
Even if you're more a Gabriel-Genesis man, like Matt, it's hard not
to reflect at least a little kindly upon the body of work
represented here. As for me... well, the DTS Keep
It Dark sounds awfully good in MY media space, I can tell
Boston Red Sox: 2004 World Series
- 2004 (2005) - MLB/FOX TV/New Video (A&E)
Program Rating: A+ (for Red Sox fans)
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/B/B
Let's just say it right now and get it out of the way: You Red
Sox fans out there waited a long damn time to win a world
championship. But when it finally came, I daresay that the wait
was more than worth what Fate at long last delivered to you. If
you were filling in the box scores for these games like a
storybook in advance, you could scarcely have contrived a
sweeter post-season revenge scenario to erase those 86 years of
hardship than the reality of being down to the New York Yankees
three games to none in the ALCS... and then coming back from the
brink of disaster to whoop their ass in seven AT Yankee Stadium.
The actual World Series last year was almost an anti-climax
after one of the most unlikely and dramatic come-from-behind
wins in sports history... but I doubt any Red Sox fan would
trade the four games that followed the Yankee-spanky for
anything. Hell, I'm a Twins fan and I cherished every darned
minute of it.
the wake of such stunning and joyous retribution, there's really no
greater gift that Red Sox fans could receive than this... a hefty,
3-pound box set, slapped with the seemingly innocuous moniker The
Boston Red Sox: 2004 World Series - Collector's Edition.
For the first time ever, born upon 12 DVD discs, Major League
Baseball (via A&E and New Video) has released an ENTIRE World
Series complete on home video. You get every single second of every
single game. Better still, you also get the complete American League
Championship Series, from the very first rockin' bars of the MLB
on FOX theme song, to the final Boston-baked back slaps
on the field.
The quality on these discs is rock-solid, just as you'll recall
from those fateful October nights under the lights. Mastered
directly from the FOX broadcast digital tapes, there's nothing to
complain about video OR audio-wise. You get nothing but excellent
picture and play-by-play game sound, as-seen-on-TV only slightly
Interestingly, each disc is slim-packed for your protection, with
cover art that features the complete box score and stats of the game
contained within. Every hit, every error - they're all here, along
with player quotes and such interesting bits of trivia as the number
of fans in attendance, the game time temperature, the number of foul
balls, the number of first-pitch strikes, etc. Not enough baseball
ephemera for you? Well, there's also a bonus disc that contains
player interviews, the locker room celebration, the Sox's visit to
the White House, the Ring & Banner ceremony, the official MLB
2004 World Series Film,
celebrity fan reaction, the "best of" player wireless
audio... you name it. It's three hours of material in all. About the
only thing that's missing is a tiny souvenir ecto-containment trap
with a wisp of the Bambino's own curse-reversed spirit... and that'd
be just creepy.
As satisfying as this box set must surely be to Red Sox fans of
course, it goes without saying that its very existence must come as
a swift and stinging kick in the nuts to Yankees fans. Rest assured,
A&E and the MLB have felt your pain... and they mean to salve
your blue and white pin-striped soul with their next hefty DVD box
set: The New York Yankees: Fall Classic
1996-2001 - Collector's Edition (just released), which
contains five complete and hallowed Yankees games on disc, plus two
more DVDs of extras. Not too shabby.
Frankly, I hope these new MLB DVD box sets are selling like
hotcakes, because I'd like to see a LOT more of them in the future.
I'm certainly saving precious shelf space in my DVD collection for a
future The Minnesota Twins: World
Champions 1987 & 1991 - Collector's Edition box.
Yeah, I know. "Dream on, Bill... dream on."
Okay, I will. Hey... isn't that what being a sports fan is all
about? I mean, heck... if the Red Sox can finally win a World
Series, ANYTHING is possible.