"I saw this concert in Las Vegas in September, 2007 and enjoyed watching this DVD just as much as, if not more than, watching the live concert itself. This DVD comes very close to replicating both the visual and audio impact of the actual concert.
Celine Dion gives a super performance, but the concert is much more than just the vocals - - the songs are woven into an elaborate Las Vegas style stage production. The concert venue, the Coliseum at Caesar's Palace, was built specifically for this show, which opened in 2003 and closed in December, 2007. The arena has 4,000 seats placed in a semi circle around an immense stage. The seats are positioned so that no seat is more than 120 feet from the stage.
The stage production was arranged by Franco Dragone, a Belgian film and theater director. Before "A New Day," he directed the Las Vegas Cirque De Soleil productions of "Mystere" and "O." It is therefore not surprising that dancers perform during virtually every song. The troupe has about 60 dancers, but they rarely all appear on stage at the same time. The dancing is accompanied by magnificent stage effects, which feature, among other things, a tree sprouting from the stage; dancers gently dropping from the rafters on swings and other props; a man riding a bicycle into the sky (much as ET did in the movie); dancers floating above the stage in large picture frames; floating dancers pushing floating street lights; and, last but not least, a grand piano complete with a piano player floating above the stage floor. This DVD does an excellent job of capturing both the dancing and elaborate staging, while not compromising the video of Celine Dion performing.
Celine sings a total of 18 songs. The set begins with seven of her biggest hits: A New Day Has Come, The Power of Love, It's All Coming Back to Me Now, Because You Loved Me, To Love You More, I'm Alive and I Drove All Night. She then sings the less familiar "Seduces Me" and "If I Could." This is followed by her biggest French language hit "Pour Que Tu M'Aimes Encore," "I Surrender," and an Italian language song "Ammore Annascunnuto." Following this, she sings two Frank Sinatra songs: "All The Way" and "I've Got the World on a String" (during which she is accompanied in part by old video of Sinatra singing.) Next is "I Wish," "Love Can Move Mountains," and "River Deep, Mountain High." The finale is the theme song from Titanic "My Heart Can Go On." Celine's voice is clear and powerful throughout the show and she delivers each song with perfection.
There are several bonus features of interest on the second disk in this DVD set: the first is a behind the scenes rundown of the entire show, starting at the point where Celine leaves her Las Vegas home and is driven in a limo to Caesar's Palace. The feature follows pre show preparations and, while the concert is in progress, shows some of the back stage activity including costume changes, performers running to get in the correct position for the next song and a depiction of how dancers and stage props float across the stage and down from the rafters, etc. The second "extra" tells the history of the production, starting with Celine meeting Franco Dragone and the development of the idea of Celine performing a long run engagement in Las Vegas. It then details a series of significant events, such as designing and building the theater, recruiting and auditioning cast members, and opening night in 2003. The information is furnished mostly through interviews with Celine, her managers, Dragone, and cast members.
The bottom line is that this is a great concert DVD. If you enjoy Celine Dion's music, you will not make a mistake buying this one - the performance is mesmerizing. "
Michael T. Rognlien | Chicago, IL USA | 01/05/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"That Celine Dion is one of the most generous and sincere artists in music today is pretty well-known. While she has taken a beating from the media and from detractors for being over-the-top in some of her vocals, a bit too dorky in her performances and in interviews, she has remained (sans the chest-beating) true to herself and to the music and fans that made her famous.
This DVD set is not only for those who saw the show and want a copy of it to remember, or for those who didn't get to see it and wanted to, but it really feels first and foremost like a gift to her die-hard fans. Most others wouldn't care for the extended amount of footage (over 3 hours worth) dedicated to the trivia about the show, its creation, execution and evolution over the past four years.
I did see the show twice in 2003, and feel that the DVD does a wonderful job of recreating the experience, but if you didn't get to Vegas and sit in the theater that was specifically built for this show, it's not the same.
A couple of other differences for those who saw the show: Nature Boy was omitted as the opening and swapped out for the more appropriate "A New Day Has Come" .. I always thought it was odd that the title song from the show was not sung back in 2003. Also removed is the tacky and ill-fitting cover of "Fever", but added in are "Love Can Move Mountains" (one of my favorites of hers of all time) and "River Deep, Mountain High" in full Tina Turner Tribute mode.
I do regret the omission of two of my personal favorite songs from the shows I saw in 2003 - Je'taime Encore (I Love You Still), one of her most haunting French-language songs she's ever recorded, and the show-ending "What a Wonderful World" that, as she sang it, had black and white photos of people from the audience on the giant LCD screen behind her. It was a touching and intimate way to end a very theatrical production. You CAN, however, get both of the audio recordings of these two songs on the live CD of the show that was released a few years back.
The fan tribute on here, while often cheesy, is also an endearing look at some of her biggest fans. That Celine was gracious and kind as she met personally with them all, moved to tears by some of their personal 'thank you's to her, underscores the grace and humility that accompanies the great gift of song she received."
The show is great, but the DVD has some flaws.
P.J. of Azrafel | Nevada | 02/03/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Well, this is a great live show, but I'm not sure how happy I am with the dvd. The big problem I have is the oboard action of the filming. The show itself is a huge spectacle, which would benefit from lots of long, slow-moving shots that allow the viewer to take in what is happening on stage. Instead, the footage is chopped and slightly erratic. There come points where, between the action on stage and the rapid flurries of changing camera shots, the whole thing becomes a dizzying blur.
I was actually on the film crew for the making of this dvd, and having seen the show live 4 times during that process, I can attest to the fact that this dvd fails to capture the true artistry onstage.
The problem is that the whole thing is edited as though it were a standard concert, with nothing but immobile musicians to view, where active angle changes are needed to keep things interesting to watch. This is not an ordinary concert setting, though. The importance of capturing the huge stage show seems to be lost in the shuffle, with the film being creative right over top of the show's creativity, forming a muddled mess which, while still eye grabbing (and great sounding) really fails to capture the impact of the show in the way it could have."
Blu-ray Quality Incredible!
Blowfish | CA United States | 02/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought the normal DVD version back in December when it was released and I just purchased this Blu-ray version. The blu-ray version is far superior to the regular DVD version. The clarity is incredible and the colors pop unlike in the regular DVD version. The sound is incredible on my stereo system as well. This blu-ray is at the top of my collection!"
A. Case | La Grande, OR USA | 03/11/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was just like being at her show again in Vegas! I loved the extra footage to of the behind the scenes. I also bought one for my friend that is a huge fan. We are seeing Celine again on her World Tour!"