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MGM: When The Lion Roars

review by Zach B.

 

 

Running Time: 366 minutes

Hosted by: Patrick Stewart

Written by: Frank Martin and Michael Henry Wilson, Keith R. Clarke

Directed by: Frank Martin

 

Studio: Warner

Retail Price: $19.99

Features: None

Specs: 1.33:1 Full Screen, English Stereo, English Subtitles, French Subtitles Scene Selections 

Released: January 13th, 2009

 

 

Even though this documentary is spread over two discs, "MGM: When The Lion Roars" looks rather horrid. The Patrick Stewart hosted segments and the new interviews conducted for the documentary look rather awful. Colors are washed out, and there is a lot of ghosting. There is a heap of noise too, shimmering and even some edge halos. Detail lacks clarity, and the image is always very soft. Even resolution seems lacking - it almost feels as if the transfer was used from an old VHS recording of the documentary. It's sad to say that the archival news footage, old clips and movie scenes often look better than the "new" segments. Poor, and very disappointing.

 

The English stereo track suffices, but isn't too much better than the shoddy transfer. Fidelity is okay, and Patrick Stewart's magnificent voice for the narration carries through. Dialogue from the film clips and interviews, as well as the musical cues, are audible. Still, where the sound loses is that I detected a few defects. The audio dropped at one point during one of Stewart's segments, and I detected some cackling and hissing in the background. Other than those instances, nothing is outright glaring - but nothing is outright spectacular. 

English subtitles, French subtitles and English closed captions are also included.

 

Nothing.

 

This is a comprehensive documentary about the rise and impact MGM had on the motion picture industry, and for its content, it is worth a view. However, as a DVD, it is pretty abysmal. Not that anyone should expect a reference quality presentation, but the stereo track is lacking, and the transfer looks as if it was recorded off television. When there are distractions with basic audio/visual presentations, heaps of them, that's when there are problems. Film buffs might want to purchase it, but otherwise, a rental should suffice for the more casual movie fan.