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Chris in OC (Southern California, USA)

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Fantasia (Special 60th Anniversary Edition, Uncut, Full Screen)
Fantasia (Special 60th Anniversary Edition, Uncut, Full Screen)
Offered by 5A/30 Entertainment
Price: CDN$ 81.92
11 used & new from CDN$ 24.09

3.0 out of 5 stars Less than I expected this time around, Jan. 2 2001
Don't get me wrong -- this film is fantastic, and by itself it rates 5 stars. But this DVD edition is not all its cracked up to be.
First, there's the editing in the Pastoral Symphony, as noted by other reviewers. This is nothing new -- that editing was originally done back in the 60s -- but it makes for some very grainy frames in an otherwise beautiful print.
Then there's the re-dubbing of Deems Taylor's parts. As I understand it, this was necessary because the original soundtrack was missing for parts of the extended interstitials. However, I can't believe that they couldn't find a better voice match for Taylor, given the wealth of voice talent in Hollywood these days. If you're used to the original, the difference is kind of jarring.
My biggest gripe, though, is the apparent re-mixing of the music. The original soundtrack was full-on surround sound (what Disney called Fantasound) that had the music literally surrounding the viewer, often sweeping about the room to follow movement on the screen. The 1990 theatrical and video releases contained this Fantasound mix, but the DVD seems re-mixed as a static symphony recording, with the rear channels carrying only reverb. The sound is a bit cleaner than the last go-round, but it's far less dramatic. And the differences are noticable even in plain stereo.
All of these things add up to considerably less than a faithful rendering of this film. The editing is understandable since racial stereotypes are unacceptable these days, but the rest is a shame, and hard to understand in view of Disney's usual attention to detail.
As I noted, the film itself is well worth seeing, and aside of the editing, it has never looked better. But the original laserdisc/VHS release is far more interesting.

Rocky Road To Dublin
Rocky Road To Dublin
Price: CDN$ 10.27
12 used & new from CDN$ 0.87

5.0 out of 5 stars Best Irish record you've never heard, March 12 2000
This review is from: Rocky Road To Dublin (Audio CD)
I found this CD some years ago when I was searching for Irish tunes to add to my repertoire. Given the LaserLine label and low price, I didn't expect much, but even now, it's one of the best Irish records in my collection. Besides excellent musicianship, the Kings Galliard offer top-flight arrangements that are well crafted and executed, but never stiff or overdone. I agree with another reviewer that The Maid From Amsterdam is a misstep of sorts -- it's not bad, but it's an odd choice. My only real quarrel is the track titles, which list only the first tune of each set. Standout tracks include O'Carolan's Dream (followed by The Rakes of Kildare and The Ten Penny Bit) and the title track (followed by Cooley's Reel).

Wkrp in Cincinnati: Collection [Import]
Wkrp in Cincinnati: Collection [Import]
4 used & new from CDN$ 49.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nearly perfect, Feb. 11 2000
This set of WKRP episodes could be better chosen, but as someone else said, I'll take what I can get of this wonderful series.
The only caution I raise is that the real songs played during the original run of the series (and kept in during the original syndication run) have now been replaced throughout these tapes by dull, generic rock music whenever a record is playing. This pulls this video collection down just a notch and left me slightly disappointed.
Still, the writing, acting and direction are top-notch and well worth attention, even after all these years. Now, if they'd just put "Turkeys Away" and "The Consultant" on tape....

Walking Stones - a Celtic Sojo
Walking Stones - a Celtic Sojo
Price: CDN$ 20.61
29 used & new from CDN$ 7.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Walking Stones is a pure delight, Dec 8 1999
Ken Kolodner is one of the modern masters of the hammered dulcimer, but this CD is much more than a great dulcimer recording -- it's a great *folk* recording. Along with the expressive fiddling of Laura Risk and the guitar and cittern wizardry of Robin Bullock, Kolodner presents old standards and modern compositions in arrangements that are inventive and expressive, going far beyond standard jam session fare, and giving the impression of a larger ensemble without benefit of overdubbing. It's hard to pick standout cuts, but my favorites are "Dances De Foins/Reel Beatrice/Pierre N'As Pas De Culotte," a firey set of Canadian reels, and "Ian Robertson," one of the loveliest slow airs to come around in a long time. This is one of those albums that bears up to repeated listening, and would be a fine addition to any folk music collection.

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