S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r
H D - S E N S E I
A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze
Roy Orbison - Black & White Nights [Blu-ray]
(Tony Mitchell, 1988)
Review by Gary Tooze
Video: Image Entertainment
Feature Runtime: 1:04:45
Feature film disc size: 21.6 Gig
One single-layered disc
Case: Standard Blu-ray case
Release date: September 30th, 2008
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Video codec: VC-1
• Blue Angel (3:14)
1. Only The Lonely
Product Description: A special one-time event documenting one of rock and roll's greatest and most unique performances. Recorded live at the Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles Roy Orbison is joined by an eclectic ensemble of rock 'n' roll superstars. Highlighting this all-star line-up are Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, T-Bone Burnett, J.D. Souther, Jennifer Warnes, k.d. lang, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits. Orbison and fellow performers spend a scintillating hour performing many of his greatest hits...
Few early rockers were more gifted or less honored in their prime than the late Roy Orbison, whose vaulting tenor and vulnerable love songs conjured heartbreak and desire with operatic intensity. This 1987 concert special, originally broadcast on Showtime, came two decades after Orbison had retreated from pop's front lines, yet neither Orbison nor his music coasts on mere nostalgia: in every respect, A Black and White Night survives as a triumphant performance and a superb video production, as well as a first-rate retrospective of Orbison's hits.
Orbison himself sounds as powerful as ever, his soaring falsetto cresting as dramatically as it did on the studio versions of the hits that inevitably dominate. Those songs meanwhile confirm that his blue chip admiration society came as much for the caliber of his writing as for his ravishing voice: if he remains best known for the jaunty come-on of "Pretty Woman," Orbison was first and foremost a rock balladeer, capable of bringing lumps to our throats with such classics as "Crying" and "Only the Lonely," or conjuring romantic trances through such gentle charmers as "Dream Baby." On this night, he handled all of them with fervor and finesse.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.
I believe the SD-DVD release of this was full-frame but also came out in, the now dead, HD-DVD in 2007 in a 1.78 ratio. It's actually been around for a while and has also been on LaserDisc. In obtaining the screen captures from this Image Entertainment Blu-ray I noted an issue of every third frame being somewhat hazy (akin to 'ghosting') but playback on my system was pretty strong without this flaw showing up. Contrast was not totally pure looking - a slight bit of sepia at times - but my general impression is that it was still impressive and fine for enjoying the concert and greyscale had decent strength. There is a bit of noise, a lot of grain in certain close-ups and the scattered crowd (as an intentional artistic 'look' this works quite well), a few speckles but none of those imperfections deterred my enjoyment of the iconic performer's presentation. I've watched it three times now and counting. There is so much backlighting it's hard to confirm the presence of edge-enhancement. I don't have any hard comparative evidence but suggest that this single-layered Blu-ray - (the feature takes up 21.6 Gig) - is probably the best looking of all the digital incarnations this amazing concert has cycled through. It was shot with a modest budget 20 years ago so - taking that into account it looks fabulous for home theater enjoyment. Hopefully the captures below will give you an idea of how it will look on your system.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Audio & Music:
September 26th, 2008