Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Star Wars - A Musical Journey DVD discussion

Old 04-25-05, 06:32 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Kal-El's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Fortress of Solitude
Posts: 7,966
Star Wars - A Musical Journey DVD discussion

From DVD File:

Years ago - I can't remember quite how long - Lucasfilm issued a laserdisc intended for home theater dealers to use as demonstration material in the showroom. On it were a number of instructional segments and an outstanding demonstration sequence that was wonderfully entertaining: THX WOW. It was a montage of clips from the original Star Wars films (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi), the three Indiana Jones films, and Willow. Artfully edited together, set to John William's terrific orchestral scoring, and liberally punctuated with dialog and sound effects, it was structured to represent the essential components of the action-adventure and science fiction genres: define the villains, define the heroes, define and dramatize the conflict, and offer resolution.

Many copies found their way into the hands of lucky laserdisc collectors. I skipped the laserdisc format (I found the interruptions required to flip or change discs to be more annoying than the awful resolution of prerecorded VHS). But after DVD's rollout and success, laying my hands on that laserdisc became the search for the Holy Grail; I intended to transfer that one short montage to DVD. Even without the anamorphic squeeze and with the laserdisc's chroma noise, I would have that fabulous little demo piece to enjoy. And then The THX Ultimate Demo Disc came along. It holds the original THX WOW demo in anamorphic video and DTS 5.1 that decoded perfectly with EX enabled. The Holy Grail finally had been found. The video is a little messy by today's standards, but the presentation is leaps and bounds ahead than the laserdisc.

The THX Ultimate Demo Disc distribution is even more restrictive than the original THX WOW laserdisc, but that issue now has been rendered moot. Imagine sixteen such amazing demonstration pieces strung together on a DVD that you might obtain essentially for free. George Lucas has prepared a gift for his loyal fans. Tucked away within the deceptively thin jewel case that houses the Sony Classical CD of John William's very strong score for Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a bonus DVD entitled Star Wars: A Musical Journey .

The DVD's sixteen chapters are partially chronological. The overriding structure defines the Star Wars saga from Anakin's childhood to his redemption. But each individual chapter has its own theme that might include sequences from some or all of the six Star Wars films. As with the THX WOW demo piece, the editing is remarkably tight. Some specific onscreen events are timed precisely to crescendos in Williams' orchestral score. Each chapter is backed by one - sometimes two - of his musical sequences. And each chapter may stand alone as a terrific home theater demo.

They may be played either sequentially with the “play all” option or individually. They may be played either with or without an dramatic introduction by Ian McDiarmid (Senator Palpatine). My advice? Play them sequentially (runtime 1:01:43) without the verbal introductions. Then go back and repeat the process with the intros enabled, but use your next chapter button to skip the musical segments; you'll then be able to hear what Ian McDiarmid has to say as a sequential set of readings. His introductions have an aggregate runtime of 8:45.

Lucasfilm very considerately avoided revealing any Episode III spoilers in the Musical Journey , but the new film's included footage looks absolutely amazing. No trailer for the new film is necessary; this is quite enough to increase the anticipation of any fan.

This may be a site dedicated to DVD, but I would be remiss if I didn't offer a few comments about John William's score for Revenge of the Sith. This is a very strong orchestral score, blending many new themes into motifs found in the saga's three original chapters. Luke's theme, Vader's theme, the Imperial March, and the fanfare heard at the close of A New Hope are all woven into the musical structure. I scrupulously avoided reading the titles of the fifteen bands of music found on the score CD fearing that they might reveal a spoiler. Regardless, one musical sequence featuring a solo violin was so poignant that I suspect things will not end well for our favorite senator and ex-Queen. Williams conducts The London Symphony Orchestra and a substantial chorus, elevating the drama of familiar themes. And I was struck by a musical cue that hints of an opening that deviates considerably from all the previously released films. If Williams' work is any indication of what we might expect from Episode III, it may very well rank among the best films in the series.
The Video: How Does The Disc Look?

The main presentations are in the films' theatrical aspect ratios of 2.35:1, appropriately in anamorphic video. Ian McDiarmid's introductions are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic video. Now, I'm going to make the assumption that you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't enough of a fan of these films to have bought them on DVD. So you're very likely intimately familiar with the quality of the video on those discs. The video quality of Phantom Menace was very disappointing; soft and badly contaminated by edge halos, it was the biggest DVD letdown of 2001. (And apparently wasn't corrected when recently taken off moratorium. I would have bought a better transfer, wouldn't you?)

Ah, but Lucasfilm and THX responded to our cries in 2001 and Attack of the Clones was, in my humble opinion, the best-looking DVD of 2002. Two years later, we were again dazzled by terrific presentations of Episodes IV, V, and VI. So allow me to make this simple comparison: Star Wars: A Musical Journey is far better than Phantom Menace but not up to the quality of the other four Star Wars releases. Color rendition, shadow detail, and grayscale are all first-rate. But the images are slightly softer than the four better theatrical film DVDs and some edge halos are present, again unlike the better four. Very good but not state of the art. I would have gladly given up the PCM track's bit budget in exchange for better video.

I must mention that for dramatic effect and to better synchronize the images with the music, there are several sequences in which the editors found it necessary to repeat frames to create the illusion of slow motion. There are a couple of such sequences that look quite - for want of a better word - jerky. They are brief and do not spoil the show.
The Audio: How Does The Disc Sound?

The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is quite nice. I found as I listened to the first chapter that the strings and brass didn't have quite the top end I expected. I paused the DVD and switched off the THX re-equalization that rolls the frequency response down at 3 dB/octave above 2 KHz to remove film's X-Curve pre-emphasis. Much better. If you have a THX-certified audio decoder, disable re-equalization for an airier top end. The bass is quite strong, with a pleasant extension into the bottom most octave. The surrounds aren't as active as they are in the WOW sequence of The THX Ultimate Demo Disc , but despite the occasional dialog and sound effect, this is supposed to highlight Williams' music in the context of the films. The surrounds are used predominantly to provide spaciousness to the soundstage; this becomes quite obvious when switching to the alternate sound track.

There is an alternate PCM audio track that should provide a higher level of fidelity due to its inherently higher sampling rate and the avoidance of all the pitfalls of lossy compression. I found comparing difficult. The PCM track is between 3 and 5 dB lower than the Dolby Digital track (implying greater dynamic range?). And my B&K decoder takes its time locking onto the PCM bit stream; the delay must be about four seconds. After much switching and gain manipulation I find that the PCM track's bottom end isn't quite as robust. And I have to admit that whatever subtle improvements may exist in PCM's timbre (and if they are there, I simply couldn't perceive it, unlike the subtle difference I frequently hear between Dolby and DTS), I decided that I prefer the Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

There are no alternate languages, no subtitles, and no Closed Captions.
Supplements: What Goodies Are There?

How about a second disc - a CD - that contains John Williams' terrific score for the film? Okay, I jest. This is a score release with a bonus DVD, but, we aren't called CDfile, are we?

There is one supplement on the DVD, a preview for a new Star Wars video game.
Exclusive DVD-ROM Features: What happens when you pop the disc into your PC?

There are no DVD-ROM features on this DVD.

Final Thoughts

Readily available for fewer than fourteen dollars, this two-disc set is one of the best values I've ever seen. A wonderful orchestral score CD and a collection of demo pieces on DVD presented in very respectable anamorphic video and very fine Dolby Digital 5.1 audio, this is a must buy for any fan of the films or of John Williams scores. Very highly recommended.
Can't wait!!!!
Kal-El is offline  
Old 04-25-05, 09:32 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Rogue588's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: WAS looking for My Own Private Stuckeyville, but stuck in Liberty City (while missing Vice City)
Posts: 15,094
Rogue588 is offline  
Old 04-25-05, 11:41 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 996
Definitely snagging this. Hoping for some place to have it for a nice price, like $12.99 or lower. Looks like BestBuy.com shows $14.99 right now. We'll see.
hondo21 is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 12:52 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 1,086
I hope Costco is going to have this. When is it coming out?
karnblack is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 12:54 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Rogue588's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: WAS looking for My Own Private Stuckeyville, but stuck in Liberty City (while missing Vice City)
Posts: 15,094
May 3rd
Rogue588 is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 01:07 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 12,306
its on my list
Cameron is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 01:11 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 9,444
Originally Posted by hondo21
Definitely snagging this. Hoping for some place to have it for a nice price, like $12.99 or lower. Looks like BestBuy.com shows $14.99 right now. We'll see.
Now $11.99!

Artman is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 11:05 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 996
Originally Posted by Artman
Now $11.99!

Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. They must have just changed it this morning. Excellent.

How low can you go? Do I hear $9.99? Maybe this will be used as a big loss-leader somewhere like Wal-Mart. I'll get it regardless.
hondo21 is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 11:19 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Rogue588's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: WAS looking for My Own Private Stuckeyville, but stuck in Liberty City (while missing Vice City)
Posts: 15,094
Originally Posted by hondo21
How low can you go? Do I hear $9.99? Maybe this will be used as a big loss-leader somewhere like Wal-Mart.
And with a "Wal*Mart" exclusive DVD too.
Rogue588 is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 11:25 AM
  #10  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 15,957
Originally Posted by Rogue588
And with a "Wal*Mart" exclusive DVD too.

Wait...you're not serious right? :P
digitalfreaknyc is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 11:28 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 23,226
Whoa. DVD File updated their site?!
PixyJunket is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 11:35 AM
  #12  
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,220
Bring It On!!! :d
QuiGonJosh is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 12:09 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Lyon Estates
Posts: 10,795
anyone have a link to it at BB or amazon or somewhere? I can't seem to find it. Thanks
dick_grayson is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 12:14 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 996
Originally Posted by dick_grayson
anyone have a link to it at BB or amazon or somewhere? I can't seem to find it. Thanks
Here ya go:
** never mind - my link was wrong -- see next post **
hondo21 is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 12:15 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Rogue588's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: WAS looking for My Own Private Stuckeyville, but stuck in Liberty City (while missing Vice City)
Posts: 15,094
Best Buy

Amazon
Rogue588 is offline  
Old 04-26-05, 01:03 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Kal-El's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Fortress of Solitude
Posts: 7,966
Can I buy online from BB and pick-up from a local store?
Kal-El is offline  
Old 04-27-05, 02:44 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Kal-El's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Fortress of Solitude
Posts: 7,966
We have insert-art and disc art!!!



There's also a dialogue/sfx version of Battle of the Heroes circling the net right now. Mostly from the trailers but there's a few new lines here and there.

Last edited by Kal-El; 04-27-05 at 02:54 AM.
Kal-El is offline  
Old 04-28-05, 07:51 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Kal-El's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Fortress of Solitude
Posts: 7,966
A Hero Falls:

http://s2.youshareit.com/files/15b20...e97d3fcb1.html

Enjoy!
Kal-El is offline  
Old 04-30-05, 09:28 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 996
Walmart.com shows a price of $11.88:

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=3864179

Have to see what local Wal-Mart pricing will be. Hopefully at least that low.

also comes "with an exclusive download" - apparently a bonus track of some sort - details on an insert in the CD package.
hondo21 is offline  
Old 05-01-05, 10:48 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Legend
 
milo bloom's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 12,788
Originally Posted by PixyJunket
Whoa. DVD File updated their site?!

For a few weeks now. Kinda under new management.

Anyone know if this will be spoileriffic? My wife has remained blessedly spoiler free, she's only seen the trailers, I don't think she's even read the ROTJ novelization from back in the day, so she might not know about the lava. I'd love to get this, but don't want to spoil her.
milo bloom is offline  
Old 05-01-05, 04:36 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 24,122
Originally Posted by milo bloom
Anyone know if this will be spoileriffic?

from the review above:

Lucasfilm very considerately avoided revealing any Episode III spoilers in the Musical Journey , but the new film's included footage looks absolutely amazing.
GuessWho is offline  
Old 05-02-05, 09:07 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Arlington, Tx
Posts: 1,838
anyone know if this will come in DVD-style packaging as well, or just the CD-style jewel case?
djbrown is offline  
Old 05-02-05, 12:54 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 9,334
Here is a track listing of the DVD from Amazon:

. Long Time Ago: Star Wars Main Title {from Star Wars} [DVD]

2. Dark Forces Conspire: Duel of the Fates {from Episode I: The Phantom Me

3. Hero Rises: Anakin's Theme {from Episode I: The Phantom Menace} [DVD]

4. Fateful Love: Across the Stars {from Episode II: Attack of the Clones}

5. Hero Falls {from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith} [DVD]

6. Empire Is Forged: The Imperial March {from Episode V: The Empire Strike

7. Planet That Is Farthest From: The Dune Sea of Tatooine/Jawa Sandcrawler

8. Unlikely Alliance: Binary Sunset/Cantina Band {from Episode IV: A New H

9. Defender Emerges: Princess Leia's Theme {from Episode IV: A New Hope} [

10. Daring Rescue: Ben's Death/Tie Fighter Attack {from Episode IV: A New H

11. Jedi Is Trained: Yoda's Theme {from Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back}

12. Narrow Escape: The Asteroid Field {from Episode V: The Empire Strikes B

13. Bond Unbroken: Luke and Leia {from Episode VI: Return of the Jedi} [DVD

14. Sanctuary Moon: The Forest Battle {from Episode VI: Return of the Jedi}

15. Life Redeemed: Light of the Force {from Episode VI: Return of the Jedi}

16. New Day Dawns: Throne Room/Finale {from Episode IV: A New Hope} [DVD]
chanster is offline  
Old 05-02-05, 01:14 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
Thread Starter
 
Kal-El's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Fortress of Solitude
Posts: 7,966
Courtesy of http://www.ecranlarge.com/news-dvd-381.php and jwfan.net:



Fold out poster:


Menu screenshots:








One more day!!!

Edit to add:

I guess in the spirit of all other Star Wars DVDs, this one has interchangeable menu screens too. From monstersandcritics.com:




Last edited by Kal-El; 05-02-05 at 01:24 PM.
Kal-El is offline  
Old 05-02-05, 02:01 PM
  #25  
Banned
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 15,957
Ugh. I'm dying to get this. I went to a bunch of stores today to see if any broke street date. None did
digitalfreaknyc is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.