Your dreams can take you beyond the mind's eye. So says the chunky, computer-animated head that introduces this collection of state-of-the- art computer artistry, before it breaks up and scatters. Original electronic music... more » by Jan Hammer supplements the visuals, which are rich with mind-warping detail. If you've seen The Lawnmower Man (and can set aside for the moment how lacking in narrative elements it is), then you know what territory you're in here. You're likely to think of these animations, using computer wizardry as they do along with the trappings of virtual reality, making surreal connections from one image to another, and traveling through landscapes and construct architectures, as the kind of thing that would be championed by magazines like Mondo 2000 or Wired. And you'd be right. Fans of computer art and movie magic alike should feel very much at home in these construct worlds, and others might be fascinated to see what can be imagined in the surreal confines of cyberspace.« less
"Let me begin by saying that Beyond the Mind's Eye is one of the best Computer graphic VIDEO TAPES around. The DVD version has made good scene changes from the video tape. And the soundtrack album is excellent.However, with the DVD conversion, the quality is noticeable lower. The "screen noise" caused by magnetic medium on video tape has been converted all too faithfully on the DVD version. Especially looking at the black areas of the animation, the result is horrible. It's like looking a little bit at the "snow" on a TV. The picture is not sharp and crisp as it could have been with some digital remastering. Also, the "Bonus" video is a shoddy music video that isn't much to look at. The chapter selection is poorly done with not alot of ability to pick just exactly which scene you wanted (The video had about nine chapters, the DVD version only allows you to pick five).This DVD is not worth your money. Along with showing off it's BAD picture quality, the lack of effort expended on the conversion was appaling. A little bit of digital remastering would have been greatly appreciated to eliminate a lot of the "snow" in the animation. END"
Paul Steffen | Monterey, Ca | 12/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of the original in the Mind's Eye series and it is _STILL_ the overall best. While the animations might look slightly dated, the quality of the work is all top-notch, mostly taken from commercial CG outfits like PDI, Symbolics, Alias, Robert Abel & Associates, BUF, Mental Images, etc. The animations are brilliantly arranged to flow into each other cohesively and form something resembling a storyline or concept. You do not get the impression that you are watching a bunch of disjointed pretty pictures as in the videos that followed. Jan Hammer's music score is really the best part of this DVD. The score follows the imagery and scene changes perfectly, and Hammer is truely a master of evoking mood through exotic scales and nuance. He is most known for his catchy music for Miami Vice, but anyone familiar with his Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck days knows he is also one of the most influential jazz fusion keyboardists of all time. This is a must whether or not you are a computer animation fan.Bad Points: Low quality video transfer to DVD. Corny bonus video."
D. Roberts | Battle Creek, Michigan United States | 05/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just like its predecessor, "Odyssey Into The Mind's Eye," this DVD has astounding computer animated graphics that will leave the viewer's eyes delighted in a feast of colors and light. What sets this DVD apart from the first one is the soundtrack. While "Odyssey" had a ho-hum soundtrack, this one features a soundtrack written by Jan Hammer. In fact, the music is from one of his albums by the same name. The graphic overtures in this DVD were modeled around Hammer's music, and not the other way around. That, I think, is the big difference. In the first DVD the music seemed to be more or less an afterthought where as in this one it is integrated much more artistically into the sequences (not to mention the music itself is of a much higher calibre than the first DVD).I would highly recommend this DVD to anyone interested in computer generated graphics. It's a fun and exciting excursion into virtual reality; one which will make full use of both the impressive picture and CD quality sound offered by DVD."
Wonderful to watch, best of the series so far
shade13 | 06/25/1998
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Beyond" is the second and best of the Mind's Eye series so far, including the latest, "Odyssey," which I didn't like well enough to purchase although I have the others. If you're not familiar with this series, they are computer-generated animation sequences covering many different subjects, and some are quite fanciful. Several sequences look like outtakes from some corporate presentation or commercial, but are nonetheless fascinating eye candy. In fact, the concept is kind of like Disney's Fantasia except that the visual sequences were created first, then the music was composed to go with them. You may have seen this or another of the series used to show off DVD or Laserdisk units at Sears, Radio Shack, Circuit City, etc. because they look so good. The graphics are substantially better than in the first one, but not at all inferior to the later ones. In fact, although I bought the VHS, I'm now buying the DVD because I like it so much. The soundtrack by Jan Hammer is good enough to own separately, I for one had to buy it. Be sure to listen for the short Miles Davis solo. Highly recommended for fans of computer animation, or anyone who enjoys flights of fancy. END"
A good DVD despite previously-mentioned flaws
D. J. Brown | Seattle, WA USA | 08/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although one of the top reviewers notes that the DVD edition had poor visual quality, I believe this is simply because original mastering media was not available for the older (or cheaper) animations, thus magentic media conversion (probably from VHS) was required.(For those not familiar with the term "Digital Remastering", it simply means converting from the earliest copy of a work available, in order to reduce defects caused by copying and re-copying done in a previous analog production. Because many animations were submitted for inclusion via VHS tape, original media was probably not available.)Some tracks of the DVD are much better than others despite the broad claim of bad quality. The first track, as a bad example, jitters vertically just above your ability to notice it. On the other hand, Track 2 (for instance) appears mostly re-mastered, thus it and other tracks look very stunning.I couldn't find the "snow in black" effect; perhaps this is an error with the reviewer's copy of the DVD, or his equipment.On a greater plus side, I've found that this and other Odyssey DVDs make for great random-track play on advanced DVD players. Like a music CD, the DVD has independent tracks that are self-coherent, and random play allows you to enjoy it again, and again, with continual intererest like you would a music CD.I recommend this DVD as a great video/audio enjoyment."