Paul McCartney: The Space Within US

Featured In Issue 137, December 2008

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
A&E Home Video
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Not Rated
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Mark Haefeli
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PCM 24/48 5.1
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In 2005, icon Paul McCartney and his band crossed America with the sold-out record-breaking tour: The Space Within Us. Get better than front row seats in this feature-length concert filmed with 25 high-definition cameras, and featuring 30 hits from Sir Paul's solo career, as well as the most beloved Beatle's tunes. (Stacey Pendry)

Special features include three featurettes: US Tour Pre Show Film (ten minutes), On The Road With US (four minutes), and More About US (ten minutes); three sound check songs (11 minutes); and the ability to create your own concert playlist with an interactive Jukebox.

The 1.78:1 VC-1-encoded Blu-ray Disc looks superb, with very sharp details and very well-defined colors. The stage lighting really pops from the screen, with good detail and definition. Contrast is balanced very well, and when combined with the deep black levels and superb shadow rendition, the image has a recognizable sense of dimensionality. Fleshtones seem natural, and source element artifacts are not noticeable. There are occasional crowd shots that are overly noisy with relatively high black levels, which are starkly recognizable compared to the much better-looking stage shots, but while these scenes can detract from the experience, it isn't a big distraction. (Danny Richelieu)

The uncompressed linear PCM 5.1-channel soundtrack is very good, with a broad front spread with decent phantom imaging between loudspeaker locations, and an adequate use of the surround channels for crowd reactions. There is a very artificial-sounding clapping in the surround channels that can be a big distraction, especially when its beat becomes different than that of the song. The LFE channel is used at relatively low levels, more as a reinforcement of the full-range channels. Bass is defined well, with good pace and tightness. Phantom imaging is generally imprecise, though, making it difficult to pick out individual sound locations in the mix. Vocals are always intelligible and are articulated well. Dynamic range is good, and while the mix is relatively loud, it does not become fatiguing. This is an enjoyable concert disc, and if you are a fan of Paul McCartney, you should give it an audition. (Danny Richelieu)