Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cats - The Musical (Ultimate Edition) (1998) Review

This is more or less a pure entertainment musical; minimal storyline tying together mostly good musical and dance numbers. I wouldn't really try to read anything more into it than that.

I had earlier gotten the 2 video version and was somewhat disappointed by the sound; you can barely hear the cast during 'The Naming of Cats' and in several spots the music overpowers the voices. Turning up the volume on your TV gives you quite a bit of static and popping instead of clarity.

This seems to be from either a bad master VHS or simply how they did this version; they recorded a 90 piece orchestra (as Webber mentions most theatres use about 16 pieces), then the singers, then shot the choreography but didn't use that vocal recording. So really you're hearing 2 recordings dubbed onto the dancing and in spots it really shows.

On the DVD however the sound is much better. Most of the songs are very clear ('Naming of Cats' is still very low)and only in a few spots do you notice sound effects that got forgotten from video to DVD. The picture is slightly better as well but the improved sound is the real reason to get DVD over VHS.

The major addition to the bonus features is about 7 ten minute or so interveiws with the original production staff; it makes a nice contrast to how the show is now and what it went through to even be shown as a musical.

My only major complaint about the DVD is the very flimsy case; basically it is a tri-folded plastic sheet with 2 thin DVD/CD rounds and a small booklet.

As a final thought all you married men out there probably shouldn't pay too close attention to the dancing during the 'Macavity' number.


At September 22, 2009 at 5:37 PM, Blogger Elizabeth Harris said...

I really love to see their presentation. I wonder if these Musicals were given much attention.

DVD Movies


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