Abba - The Movie DVD Review
PictureThe main feature is presented in a rather strange non-anamorphic letterboxed 2.25:1 aspect ratio widescreen transfer which certainly shows its age. The detail is reasonable at best, with frequent softness and lack of definition, along with a fair amount of grain (prominent in some scenes more than others). I didn't notice any edge enhancement or other digital artifacting and there was almost no print damage - something unusual for a production that is thirty years' old. The colour scheme is also quite broad and only occasionally feels slightly faded, with relatively solid blacks that are only marginally distorted by the grain. Overall, it is kind of what you would expect from a production this old, with plus points and minus points but nothing that is likely to distract you from the all-important thing - the music.
SoundIn this department we really have been given the royal treatment, with not one but three solid tracks - the leading ones being the six-speaker surround sound efforts, of course. Both the Dolby 5.1 and the DTS track sound superb, probably presenting Abba in the best way many fans would have ever come across. Admittedly, for the majority of the time, the rears are restricted to just offering a cut-down version of what we get from the frontal array, but who expects directionality in a production like this? That would be too much to ask. As is, the songs sound brilliant on whichever track you choose (the DTS having the edge in terms of power and the Dolby 2.0 track at the other end of the scale).
ExtrasThere are no extras whatsoever on this disc, although there is a 2-disc edition available.
VerdictAbba will probably live forever in the hearts and minds of the many fans that they have accumulated over the several decades since their inception. This DVD release compiles some of their greatest hits together, mostly in rare concert footage form, interspliced with a marginally redundant purported film storyline. The video presentation is pretty good (probably as good as it has ever looked) and the sound offerings are simply superb. It is worth the price alone just to get Abba in six-speaker surround sound. Fans will not be disappointed.
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £14.99
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