by Rob Reiner 
USA 1984

Rob Reiner’s directorial debut has developed into a cult phenomenon. The film that invented the “rockumentary” has now outlasted most of the bands it mocked. Following the ill-fated American comeback tour of an aging heavy-metal group, this film has joined the ranks of the greatest comedies ever made.

Posters 

Release Date: March 2nd, 1984

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Comparison:

Criterion (double-sided disc) - Region 0 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region 4 - PAL vs. MGM (2-disc) - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Criterion (double-sided disc) - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT
2) MGM - Region 4 - PAL MIDDLE
3) MGM - Region 'A' -
Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine #12
Region 0 - NTSC

MGM  - Region 4  PAL

MGM  - Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray

Runtime 1:22:30  82:30 minutes 1:19:21 , 79:24 minutes
(not 83 minutes as stated on the packaging) (PAL 4% speedup)

1:22:50.966

Video 1.66:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen / 
Average Bitrate: 6.74 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.85:1.00 Letterboxed WideScreen 
Average Bitrate: 6.7 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,008,694,263 bytes

Feature: 24,071,086,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Bitrate: Criterion 

Bitrate: Columbia R2 

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448Kb/s) 
English Audio Commentary (Dolby Digital 2.0 , 192Kb/s

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3129 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz /
3129 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz /
224 kbps / Dolby Surround
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz /
224 kbps

Subtitles None French, Spanish, None English, French, Spanish, None
Features Aspect Ratio(s):
Widescreen letterbox - 1.66:1

Discographic Information:
DVD Encoding: Region 0 - NTSC
Layers: Single ( One Disc - 2 sides - 2nd side for Extras) 

Edition Details:
• Theatrical trailer(s)
There is a 20-minute short called "Spinal Tap: The Final Tour." This short was made by Reiner, Guest, McKean, and Shearer in order to get financing for the movie

There are not one but two commentary tracks, one by Reiner, one of the producers, and one of the editors, and one by McKean, Guest, and Shearer. someone occasionally cuts in and says, "Harry Shearer" or one of the other guys' names to identify the speaker.

The deleted scenes here are the cream of what was cut-- the cameos by Dana Carvey, Billy Crystal, Fran Drescher, Bruno Kirby, Paul Shaffer, and others are all much longer and funnier, Kirby's and Crystal's in particular.

DVD Release Date: July 14, 1998
Keep Case
Chapters: 32

Aspect Ratio(s):
Widescreen letterbox - 1.85:1

Discographic Information:
DVD Encoding: Region 4 encoding - PAL
Layers: Single (Disc One - DVD5 - 2nd Disc DVD9 - Dual Layer Disc) 

Edition Details:

Disc 1:

Main Menu Audio & Intro Animation 
Audio Commentary-Derek Smalls (Character), David St. Hubbins (Character) & Nigel Tufnel (Character)

Disc 2:

Main Menu Audio & Animation
Menu Audio
Featurette-Catching Up With Marty DiBergi (5:01)
Deleted Scenes ("Rare Outtakes") - 65:04
Featurette-Flower People Press Conference (1:49)
Featurette-Spinal Tap on "The Joe Franklin Show" (1:56)
Music Video-Gimme Some Money
Music Video-(Listen To The) Flower People
Music Video-Hell Hole
Music Video-Big Bottom
Theatrical Trailer
Soundtrack Promo-Heavy Metal Memories
Trailer-Cheese Rolling
TV Spots (3)
Commercials-Rock and Rolls (3)

DVD Release Date: 16 April, 2001
Case: Transparent Amaray with Insert
Chapters: 28

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 35,008,694,263 bytes

Feature: 24,071,086,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

Catching up with Marty DiBergi (5:01)
Commentary by Spinal Tap
14 Deleted Scenes and Outtakes (22:07 + 17:03 + 15:24 + 12:49 + 9:23 + 9:20 + 7:56 + 6:47 + 4:19 - totals 65;04 in SD)
Flower People Press Conference (4:31)
Spinal Tap appearance on “The Joe Franklin Show” (2:01)
Music Videos
o Gimme Some Money
o (Listed to the) Flower People
o Hell Hole
o Big Bottom

Heavy Metal Memories (1:36)

Cheese Rolling Commercials (1:42)
 

DVD Disc 2 (less than 1 Gig)

Stonehenge Performance at the 2007 Live Earth Concert (6:54)

National Geographic Stonehenge Interview (8:14)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 28th, 2009
Standard
Blu-ray Case
Chapters:
32

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

The 1998 Criterion DVD and the 2001 Australian DVD comparison was one of our very first on DVDBeaver. We had not yet established a consistent format and hence the screen captures we used were much smaller - at only 500 pixels wide and, as you can see, much less telling. I *think* this was Criterion's only double sided disc - and it was single layered on both sides. 

There is only so much you can do with the 16mm elements. I did find the Blu-ray much smoother (less artifacts) than any of the non-anamorphic DVD editions that I've seen. There is positively sharper in some scenes but this is one film that is rooted in its more organic, limited production, edge - meaning the rougher it looks, the more accurate the documentary 'feel'. Colors occasionally look richer but I was surprised that there wasn't more visible grain - otherwise the 1080P image looks as unremarkable as many might have anticipated but still the best by a wide margin.

The Australian DVD was cropped as compared to the 1:66:1 Criterion, and has scratches between 69:40 - 69:45 and the initial frames show a vertical jump. However, in some scenes the Criterion looks 'opened-up' against the Blu-ray which also shows some speckles here and there. As we stated in the previous paragraph though - I don't find any of this overly important due to the nature and intent of the production.

There is a more definitive jump is in the audio with the lossless DTS-HD Master 5.1 at 3129 kbps being that much more dynamic, obviously, than the Criterion 2.0 channel and even the Region four 5.1 track. The range of the rock concert footage seems expanded and sounds quite good considering the film's meagerly fulfilled roots but the separations were, expectantly, somewhat limited. A 1500 Kbps, 2.0 channel, track is also included on the Blu-ray. It offers optional subtitles and my Momitsu tells me this disc is actually region-locked to 'A'.

 

In regards to the extras - this Blu-ray was delayed with initial representation of 3 commentaries and a unique 'Create Your Own Band Game – Create and customize your very own rock star avatars'. These are not present. It instead has only one commentary (the 'Band' one with the actors staying in character), and the same 14 deleted/outtake footage from the Aussie disc (over an hour's worth). It also has the band's videos (4 of them that appear to be seamlessly branched). Also from that DVD disc it has the snippets of 4.5-minutes Flower People Press Conference, Spinal Tap appearance on “The Joe Franklin Show”, Heavy Metal Memories (1:36) and Cheese Rolling Commercial (1:42). These are all good - although nothing new. What bugs me is the inclusion of a single-layered DVD of less than 1 Gig which has two newer extras; 7 minutes of the Stonehenge Performance at the 2007 Live Earth Concert and 8-minutes of the National Geographic Stonehenge Interview (May 2009 VOB files). What I suspect is that MGM couldn't negotiate use of the Criterion's supplements, as they anticipated, which would have been a nice addition but regardless, there is no reason to have this second DVD included when the Blu-ray, at 35 Gig, could have easily have held those 2 segments of less than 15 minute in total. I mean - that's just crazy and smells of a piece-meal digital production.

This is still great to own but MGM continue to show themselves as disgustingly ineffectual on many fronts. I'd say prepare that the audio is of larger benefit than the 1080P video on Blu-ray but the film still has it's amazing appeal that I never seem to tire of. With all my gripes I'm happy to own this one.

Gary W. Tooze    


Screen captures

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) Criterion (double-sided disc) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) MGM - Region 4 - PAL MIDDLE
3) MGM - Region 'A' -
Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion (double-sided disc) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) MGM - Region 4 - PAL MIDDLE
3) MGM - Region 'A' -
Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion (double-sided disc) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) MGM - Region 4 - PAL MIDDLE
3) MGM - Region 'A' -
Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Criterion (double-sided disc) - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) MGM - Region 4 - PAL MIDDLE
3) MGM - Region 'A' -
Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Criterion

 

DVD Box Covers

Distribution Criterion Collection - Spine #12
Region 0 - NTSC

MGM  - Region 4  PAL

MGM  - Region 'A'-locked Blu-ray

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