Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Beau Hunks Live at the Concertgebouw|
Actors: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James W. Horne, Charles Middleton, Broderick O'Farrell
Director: James W. Horne
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Music Video & Concerts
The first in what I hope to be a long series of DVDs!!!
AL | PA USA | 11/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As an avid Laurel & Hardy fan, and of film music, I couldn't pass the chance to pick up this DVD. Here, the Beau Hunks perform numbers that include compositions by Leroy Shield, Marvin Hatley (both of Laurel & Hardy fame), and other great "forgotten" composers of the period. The band's performance is totally spellbinding. I only wish I happened to be in Holland at the time of this concert. The real treat here though is the presentation of one of Laurel & Hardy's silent films, "Their Purple Moment," which the concert is named after. The film is shown in its entirety with the orchestra accompanying it playing stock music composed by Leroy Shield, often cutting away to show the musicians. Hearing the laughter of the audience really adds to the magic.
Let's talk technical specs, as no website has really described this DVD in specific detail. The disc is recorded in 16:9 anamorphic widescreen, perfect for today's digital widescreen TV sets. The sound however, is presented in a rather unusual arrangement... Dolby Digital 2/2.0 (2 front channels and 2 surround channels), which makes use of four discrete full-range channels, and no separate subwoofer channel. I assume they probably used 2 microphones on stage and 2 located near the audience, so the "quadraphonic" mix presented on this disc is probably a direct result of this arrangement, and thus appropriate. I would have appreciated a center channel though, but since there are no vocals or dialogue throughout the entire program I didn't mind too much. Nevertheless, the sound quality is top notch and will please even the most critical of audiophiles. Since there is no dedicated subwoofer channel your speaker size settings should be set to small or medium (or at an 80-Hz cutoff which is recommended for most home theater setups) so that the deepest bass gets redirected to the subwoofer. In my home theater setup, despite the disc's lack of a discrete subwoofer channel, the bass actually had a good punch in the lower end and I could sometimes feel the pounding of the bass drum. Overall the range is smooth and lifelike and the dynamics were superb, giving your speakers and amplifier a good workout.
Now on to the extra features. The most appreciable of these is the inclusion of a sampler of 9 of their CD albums, featuring one selected full song for each CD. There is a short photo gallery of the concert and a scrolling montage of several of the Beau Hunks' beautiful tour posters, all in the Art Deco style that was so common in the 1920's. There is also a composer biography section, which annoyingly advances the screens automatically and too fast to be read (and you can't pause it!).
All in all this is a great DVD with beautiful music, excellent performance and great sound. Any person who is a lover of big bands, movie music, or Laurel & Hardy should buy this DVD before it's out of print!!! While you're at it, be sure to pick up some other Beau Hunks CDs!!!"
Laurel and Hardy music
Ted Hering | Redding, CA USA | 11/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Beau Hunks orchestra began their series of recordings with music scores transcribed from the soundtracks of the wonderful Laurel and Hardy comedies. They moved on to other projects to honor "unsung" composers such as Raymond Scott, Marvin Hatley and LeRoy Shield (composer of the "Our Gang" music scores). This DVD captures a live concert with this group, playing the most popular arrangements in their repertoire. One of the highlights is the screening of "Their Purple Moment," a L & H silent comedy, with live accompaniment of the musicians. In addition to the concert, there are generous "bonus" tracks, including no less than nine complete audio tracks with samples from their studio CDs. Optional captions during the concert identifying song titles are also a nice touch.My only suggestion for this DVD would have been a bonus track of the complete "Purple Moment" film without the camera cutaways to the musicians."