Joseph Geni | Evanston, Illinois United States | 11/22/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a killer set, well-performed, with an adoring audience, directed by Martians.
All of the Synchronicity material goes down brilliantly, from the breakneck pace of Synchronicity 1 to the jazzy, floating ambience of Tea in the Sahara. The old stuff goes down great also. They turn on the jets for Walking on the Moon, which Sting plays on an upright bass and which sounds brilliant. So Lonely sounds terrific even after all the times they'd played it before. O My God becomes De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da without missing a beat.
However, whichever village idiot directed this thing needs a new career, far, far away from an editing board. Should you choose to buy this DVD, your eyes will be treated to:
- Terrible video special effects that were clearly put in just because the technology making them possible had just been invented and the directors were extremely excited about this, and not for any reason of artistic merit whatseover apart from lending fuel to those who disparage the 80s - Random switches in the color scheme from color to black and white, and then to blue to red to yellow tinting (because, didn't you know? blue red and yellow is the color scheme of the Synchronicity album. You didn't know? Well, we'll do it five more times and then you will know. We'll also splice in footage of fans wearing Synchronicity shirts, too, right in the middle of the songs. Because, didn't you know? It's the SYNCHRONICITY TOUR.) - More excessive arbitrary use of slow motion than in Peter Jackson's King Kong - Pointless swirl effects during Tea in the Sahara - Random and extensive shots of devoted fans with bad 80s hair singing boisterously along. - Endless closeups of the three highly unnecessary backup singers, who appear to have borrowed their costumes and dance steps from an SEC marching band. - A Sting worshipper shrieking and then swooning during One World Not Three. And you thought that only happened at Beatles concerts. - Virtually no footage of Andy Summers or Stewart Copeland at all during the whole concert. Now granted, given Stewart's penchant for wearing shorts so miniscule that they would make John Stockton blush, I can see where the filmmakers were coming from aesthetically (maybe the only time this is true), but the bottom line is, he's only one of the best drummers of all time. Let's see the man in action. Fortunately, four of the songs are put in as bonus tracks where you can choose from any of four camera angles, so if you want to focus on the band members playing their instruments for a change and not on hi-jinks or Sting's chin, you can do it for at least those songs.
I got this and I'm glad I did. The music's excellence, in my opinion, off-sets the horrendously dated campiness of this video. It's just a shame, because it didn't have to be this way. After all, the same year as this came out, Jonathan Demme was directing the brilliant rock video Stop Making Sense for the Talking Heads. Maybe Demme can get access to the raw, unedited and unspoiled footage of this show someday and do it properly."
Marred by too many shots of audience
moviemusicbuff | Walnut, CA United States | 07/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am an avid fan of the Police and I was eagerly awaiting this DVD of the Synchronicity Concert. When I watched it, I found myself being very annoyed by the frequent zooming back and forth of the camera of the audience (with people dancing, screaming, or mugging the camera) and then to the band members playing in concert.
When the camera was focussed on the band members, it focussed too much on Sting, and not enough on Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. I wanted the camera to zoom in more on Andy Summers when he was playing solos or nice rhythm work on the guitar, but to my annoyance, the camera was either fixed on Sting or zoomed in on the audience.
The sound quality was quite good and the set list was quite generous, featuring 18 songs that span their career and which cover their greatest hits. About 1/4 of the songs are from the Synchronicity album. The special features offer multi-angle shots of 4 songs (Synchronicity II, Roxanne, Invisible Sun, and Don't Stand So Close to Me). There is a very interesting interview of the band captured in 1984, after their tour was over and just before their break-up.
This DVD could have been much better if more attention was focussed on the band members performing rather than the audience."
Can't Stop Watching The Police's Finest Hour on DVD
Run Like Hell | 10/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Synchronicity Concert was originally released on video, in both VHS and (gasp!) Betamax. It now arrives on DVD with all the enhancements you'd expect: chapter search, improved sound quality, extras. The disc is NTSC format and is encoded for Regions 2,3,4,5 and 6. It has eighteen chapter stops.
Shot on (presumably NTSC) video before the widescreen era, the transfer is in a ratio of 4:3. The picture quality does show some signs of the material's age, though: while close-ups are generally sharp, wider shots do show some softness, particularly noticeable when the cameras are moving through the audience. Skin tones tend towards the orange, though that may well be an effect of the stage lighting.
There are three soundtrack options, Dolby Digital 2.0 (analogue Dolby Surround) track that presumably replicates the one on the video and 5.1 remixes in Dolby Digital and DTS. Given that the concert was professionally recorded on multitrack equipment, the 5.1 tracks are the ones of choice. I would give the DTS the nod as to me the Dolby Digital 5.1 track has the bass mixed too high.
The extras begin with four extra tracks: "Synchronicity II" (4:50), "Roxanne" (5:59), "Invisible Sun" (4:42) and "Don't Stand So Close to Me" (3:40), with a "play all" option. Each track has a choice of four angles. One is tight on Sting, another on Summers, then there's a wide and long shot of the entire stage, while the fourth is a different angle on the front stage.
The next extra is an interview (6:36) with the band at the final concert of their Synchronicity Tour, in Melbourne in February 1984, announced at the time as the last concert for at least two years. An offscreen interviewer speaks to Copeland, Summers and Sting in turn. Copeland is cagey about some forthcoming solo projects - which presumably included the soundtrack to Rumble Fish. Summers talks of getting away from the monster they'd created and the need for some time off, while Sting mentions a "great movie" he's doing - Dune, by any chance? Finally, there's the trailer for the original video release (3:20).
Sting has continued to record and act, with mixed results. Some of it works, some of it simply demonstrates that the road from Young Turk to Boring Old Fart is a short and well-travelled one. The other two-thirds of the band have faded from the public eye. But like other fine bands before and after them, it's probably fair to say that they were greater than the sum of their parts, and it is this part of their career by which they will finally be judged. Even if they couldn't stand each other any more, at least they called it a day before they went into decline. Despite some obtrusive and rather dated gimmickry, The Synchronicity Concert captures them at their best. "
T. Gutierrez | Los Angeles, Ca | 12/12/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this recently with the thought that I would see a wonderful Police concert. I mean, the Police have some great music and great musicians but this is not a great DVD. They spend way too much time showing audience members & some silly drunk guy playing "Air Guitar" , meanwhile there IS a Guitar player on stage that gets less screen than "Air Guitar Guy". Also, instead of showing Sting playing bass, they key in to his face most of the concert. Ok, I suppose that is interesting since Sting is a sexy dude, but what's more sexier than seeing a musician play? There are cheesy strobbing effects and "trippy" highlighting on audience members. The only good thing about this Dvd are the 4 extra tracks with mulit camera option. Why wasn't the concert like these tracks? I'm not a crazy Police fan, I enjoy their music, but if I were a crazy Police fan, I would be very disapointed. I recommend not buying this Dvd...Rent it from netflix first."
Cesar | San Josť, Costa Rica | 10/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is an must-have document for every Police/Sting fan, showcasing the highest point of the band, and the tour for their last record. It's been a long time waiting for this to be released on DVD. BUT...
The image is not as sharp as one might expect. Frankly, it's closer to a VHS transfer. The sound is not bad, but is nothing to be surprised about, and that is something normal (one would think), taking into account that it was recorded more than 20 years ago, meaning, without today's digital standards.
But then there's a funny thing: The Multi-Angle tracks (Synchronicity II, Roxanne, Invisible sun & Don't stand so close to me) have FAR superior sound and image quality. Those songs are included as extras, not as part of the concert. By watching them, the lack of quality in picture and sound in the main concert is more evident.
What might have happened? I don't really know. My theory is that they decided to work with the original concert as it was edited for comercial release since 1984. Maybe they don't have the raw material at hand to edit it again, only a secondary version that was the basis for the VHS. And that's what they have to work with. Meanwhile, the material that is included as extra comes from somewhere else (in fact I can't say if it's from the same concert) in a raw form, and that allowed to make a sharper picture and more enhanced sound. It's just a thought...
I'd like to think that, because otherwise that would mean that they have been very LAZY in polishing this release for DVD.
So it's good that this concert has been finally released on DVD, but I am left with the feeling that it could have been better."