WSR Detailed LaserDisc Review

Back Beat

Reviewed In Issue 12 Of Widescreen Review® Stars:
Sheryl Lee, Stephen Dorff, Ian Hart.

WSR Review Scores
Picture Rating: 5
Sound Rating: 3
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Reference Systems
Critics' Composite Score:
Internet Links


DVD General Information
(Studio/Distributor): PolyGram Video
(Catalog Number): 800-631 777-1
(MPAA Rating): R
(Retail Price): $$34.95
(Running Time In Minutes): 100
(Color Type): Color
(Chaptered/Scene Access): Yes
(Closed Captioned): Yes
(Theatrical Release): 1993
(LD Release Date): 10/1/94
(THX® Digitally Mastered): No

Credits Information
(Director): Ian Softley
(Screenplay/Written By): Iain Softley, Michael Thomas & Stephen Ward
(Story): NA
(Music): Don Was
(Director Of Photography):
(Production Designer): Joseph Bennett
(Visual Effects):
(Costume Designer):
(Editor): Martin Walsh
(Supervising Sound Editors):
(Re-Recording Mixers):
(Executive Producers): Nik Powell
(Co-Producers): NA
(Producers): Stephen Woolley & Finola Dwyer

DVD Picture Information
(Principal Photography): Academy Standard Flat
(Theatrical Aspect Ratio): 1.85:1
(Measured LaserDisc Aspect Ratio): 1.66:1

DVD Sound Information
(DVD Soundtrack): Dolby Surround
(Theatrical Sound): Dolby Stereo SR
(Theatrical Re-Issue Soundtrack):
(Remastered Dolby Digital):
(Remastered DTS Digital Surround):
(Additional Languages):

WSR Narrative Review
Story Synopsis:
Backbeat is the story of the Beatlesí pre-fame days when John, Paul, George, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best played in Hamburgís wild and seedy red-light district. The film takes a rare and interesting look into the early days of the bandís formation. It focuses particularly on the freindship between Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff), the one-time fifth beetle, and John Lennon (Ian Hart). Sutcliffe was an art school classmate and best friend of Lennonís who joined the band as a bass player. When the band traveled to Hamburg in 1960, Sutcliffe didnít keep up; he was more interested in painting and his Bohemian romance with a beautiful German photographer named Astrid Kirchher. Eventually, Sutcliffe quit the band, and a couple of years later he died; his emotionally charged story changes history and shapes a different future for the Beatles.

LaserDisc Picture:
The 1.66:1 picture is sharp and detailed with excellent color fidelity and natural fleshtones. Dark scenes are solid with no glaring grain or noise, and no artifacts.

LaserDisc Soundtrack:
The soundtrack has great early Beatles music but the sound is harsh.
(Surround Bass Below 50Hz):
(Aggressive System Surround):
(Intense 25Hz Bass):
(Deep Bass Challenging):
(Aggressive 0.1 LFE):
(Holosonic Soundfield):
(Aggressive Split Surround):
(Center Back Surround Imaging):
(Directionalized Dialogue):
Superb Sound Effects Recording Quality:
Superb Music Score Recording Quality:
Superb Special Visual Effects Quality:
Superb Color Fidelity:
Superb Cinematography:
Reference LaserDisc:
Collector Edition: