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Our Favorite Things

Sony Music // Unrated // October 23, 2001
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Aaron Beierle | posted October 26, 2001 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:

"Our Favorite Things" unites performers Tony Bennett, Vanessa Williams, Placido Domingo and Charlotte Church in Vienna for a concert performance of many favorite holiday tunes, including: Somewhere in My Memory, Winter Wonderland, Hijo de Dios, Through the Eyes of a Child, I'll Be Home for Christmas, O Holy Night, Silent Night, Because It's Christmas, Jesús de Nazareth, The Christmas Song, My Favorite Things, Joy to the World, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, The First Noel, Do You Hear What I Hear?, Hacia Belén va un Burro, It's Christmas All Over the World, White Christmas, I Saw Three Ships, Angels We Have Heard on High, Silent Night, One More Year. Recorded live at the Konzerthaus, Vienna, Austria, on December 21, 2000.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Our Favorite Things" is presented in 1.33:1 full-frame. Although DVD releases from Sony Music have gotten better and better in terms of image quality, this one remains somewhat inconsistent. Although I can cope with the fact that the image looks soft was likely a choice from the filmmakers who covered the concert, there were a few other minor problems that arose at times.

The picture often seemed smooth and at least fairly crisp, if not sharp. Unfortunately, a few moments took on a very slightly "digital" appearance, with minor pixelation. While colors often seemed rich, they could also come across as a bit too heavy at times, appearing slightly smeary.

SOUND: "Our Favorite Things" is offered in both PCM 2.0 and Dolby Digital 5.0 (although the box states 5.1). Personally, I'd stick to the 2.0 audio. While this seems strange, I've really come to prefer the 2.0 audio for some of the concert releases that are offered lately. While some concert DVDs offer terrific 5.1 tracks, there are some that sound as if they're basic remixes of the stereo track - and this release falls into that catagory. What surround use there is comes off as somewhat artificial and ineffective. Audio quality for both presentations was a bit less than I'd expected. Both the music and vocals came across as slightly flat sounding, rather than warm, rich and vibrant.

MENUS:: Static menus with film-themed images as backgrounds.

EXTRAS:: "Vienna Is Different" is a featurette that simply shows various places around Vienna, but doesn't tell us anything about them. It's an odd supplement and often resembles a lengthy travel ad. Also included is a photo gallery.

Final Thoughts: I certainly enjoyed the performances of the talented participants who offered their vocals for "Our Favorite Things", but I was indifferent to the DVD, which presented average audio/video quality and not much in the way of supplements.

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