PictureThis 2 disc set from Eureka video is set at the 1.33.1 TV aspect ratio of the time the series was made. Obviously filmed on analogue video first time round, the digital transfer hasn't gone to well I'm afraid.
Video noise is there from the start and the colour palette seems to be very limited. Colours are not very bright and skin tones, at times, seem to be have a slight green tinge to them.
At the same time, particularly in darkly lit scenes, colours appear to blend in with each other and there's really no sharpness about the picture at all. I put this down to the source material and not Eureka's encoding.
However, I found myself thinking that at times, it looked more like VHS than DVD. Disappointing, but still not bad enough to detract from a fine series.
SoundPresented in it's original mono soundtrack but given a spring clean with the Dolby Digital treatment, the sound on this disc is pretty much adequate for the task.
Every sound comes from the centre channel including dialogue, effects and the score. So you can imagine, at times, things get a little confusing to say the least!
The track lacks any kind of energy and most of the time, the music sounds tinny. Again, I found myself thinking VHS like - but more so than the picture.
Made in the days before NICAM stereo hit the Australian TV service, again the dodgy sound can be put down to the source material.
ExtrasExtra's are limited to commentary's on all 3 episodes by director's Mark Joffe and Marcus Cole and actor Andy Anderson, who plays Tony Loft in the series.
I did have a listen to the commentary's but if I'm honest, I found myself so bored, I soon turned them off! They seem to be a series of long gaps than commentaries and really don't add to much to the proceedings.
VerdictThe Great Bookie Robbery is a little known mini series on these shores and if I hadn't had reviewed it, I probably wouldn't have given it a second glance - and what a corker of a series I would have missed!!
Packed with brilliant performances, outstanding direction, some cheeky input from one of the guys who actually took part in the robbery, the series itself comes highly recommended from this reviewer.
As a package, it's perhaps slightly flawed by a very dodgy picture and below par sound. I will lay the blame for that solely on the source print.
The extra's bring very little to the table and maybe would have been better left off.
If, like me, you had never heard of this before, put this on your rental list now as I can think of no better way of filling a wet Sunday afternoon. The mark I have given it as a package reflects solely on the quality of the main feature.
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