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These reviews from news:rec.arts.movies.local.indian - Ramli

Thanks to all the reviewers -Manas , Anil , Mo and others . Please send your review on the picture and sound quality of the discs to .

Tere Mere Sapne

Tere Mere Sapne 145m Eros -DEI English subtitles Priya , Simran , Chandrachur Singh, Arshad Warsi

The highlight of this movie , which deals with a Christian boy who falls in love with a South Indian Brahmin girl , is of course the fun dance - Ladki ankh mare -the girl she winks at me -done at a taxi stand by Simran - she has one of the best figures in Bollywood cinema and the disc is worth having for that song alone.

Picture quality is good - flesh tones are still not quite as good as Superdigital but resolution in fine and sound is good - but there was some audio dropout. Often cleaning the disc with a bit of mild soap and water will get rid of fingerprints . Some DVDs have started coming out with color pictures on the labelled side - a great idea.

One useful feature on this disc is reviews of other DVDs - Bandhan (Salman Khan) and Kareeb -an excellent movie with the old time slower songs and also it has trailers of movies being shown now or coming to the screen - Kudrat and Doli Saja ke rakhna - the supporting actress in this I think is Mink -the same girl as in Saat rang ke sapne -another great find .

Dil Se and HAHK

I bought 'hum aapke hain kaun' last weekend and I am totally pissed! This is the biggest film of all times and EROS should have treated it as their flagship DVD. But, the way they have screwed up the sound is atrocious. The picture quality is not bad at all, but the sound is 4 channel digital. Their engineers do not seem to know the right way to use the surrounds. The sound from the surrounds is so loud, it drowns everything else. What a shame! Why couldn't they do a 5.1 remastering for this film? It is fairly recent and it would have been worth it. A waste of my $25. I will be sending e-mails to EROS about this:-)

I also bought 'dil se' and it is amazing what a fantastic job EROS has done with the sound here. I have only watched the songs so far and, believe me, this is 'reference' quality sound. 'jiya jale' gave my entire system a great workout. My apartment was shaking with the wonderful subwoofer output. AR Rahman uses a lot of low frequencies in his music and I am so glad EROS decided to use the 5.1 digital for this film. This is a good DVD to show off your music system.

I bought my copy of Dil Se a couple of weeks after watching a rented pirated copy. I must say that the movie is great!! The picture quality of EROS version (the one I bought) was slightly better than the pirated version. The pirated version had Widescreen (2.35:1) vs. 1.95:1 on EROS version.

This is not much of an issue, but the audio was much better on the pirated version. The EROS version not only has inferior audio quality w.r.t pirated copy, but quite a few audio drop outs also. I am going to be exchanging my copy of the DVD.

Heer Ranjha on DVD by WWE from starring Raj Kumar and Priya Rajvansh

For anybody who likes Indian movies this movie is a must see - in my opionion together with the uncut Border it is one of the top two movies of all time .

The dialogue by Kaifi Azmi is out of this world and its all in rhyme -the only Bollywood movie made in full poem . I know many people who have taped it all and listen to it in the radio.

Its a Romeo and Juliet story set in a Punjabi village and shows the rich cultural life there. The young women are also full figured and not like the anorexic waifs that are currently popular .

The print does have the odd glitch and there are no subtitles - a pity but its still very watcheable and the sound has been recorded at a very good volume . The songs of this movie are just immortal - one can never forget them.

The Indians did get lots of things right . One is to have a walled off courtyard in front of the house . Here is wherever everyone comes to sit and chat and most interaction takes place. A much superior one to the garden at the back in the West .

WEG have put a small yellow logo at the bottom - off white like Superdigital is preferable as its less distracting. It can only comes on when you have been watching the movie for a minute or two and so must be computer generated and not on the print. Wonder if there is any way of turning it off .

One would have liked Superdigital to have mastered this for the slightly higher resolution they have but its still very good and is a disc you will treasure and will watch many times..

Mrityudand -Eros-DEI Madhuri , Ayub Khan , Shabana English subtitles Picture quality -great , Sound - great.

Story of lecherous Hindu priests , jealous husbands gangsters , corrupt politicians in a village setting . The best song is the first one where the village belle does an erotic dance (with her clothes on) on a raised platform in the middle of the village. Must have disc.

Mrityudata-Sai Digital Amitabh , Daler Mehndi , Dimple No subtitle Picture -Good , sound -could be a lot better.

Famous for Daler Mehndi's 'Na re na re ' song but even better in my view is the one where all the different nationalities of India ( including the yetis- not kidding !) dress in their outfits and do the dance 'We dont like anybody who says bad things about India -and will beat him up'.

Placido Domingo Opera 1996 90min Single side dual layer 5 audio and 5 subtitle option

The picture quality is very good even as it has filmed all indoors under artificial lights. I am not sure of the need for 5 languages as the singing is done all in French ( or is it Italian ?) .

The subtitles are great . For the first time one can make sense of what they are singing about !. This is why it is insane to have Bollywood DVDs with the songs not subtitled as the songs and dances are the best bits of the movies and is the one thing that will make them popular . At least the pirates have realised that !

It is digital stereo and the sound is good. What was the need for dual layers and just 45 min on each layer ? Is it the bit rate ? It says 24 bit on the cover and that may be the reason. It costs no more than ordinary DVDs about $25 , so dual layering is NOT expensive and Bollywood movies should start coming out on it . I believe it adds only about $3 to prodcution costs and most of us would be very happy to pay a premium like that for perfect picture and 5.1 recording.

Who will be the first one to bring out DVDs of all the songs , right from the very first movie ? I have just ordered Aan and will put a review on it . With each dual layer at least 6 full movie songs could be put on each DVD. It would be a dream come true..

Mere Sapno ki Rani -Queen of my dreams -WWE 97 - English subtitles - Urmilla , Madhoo , Sanjay

A move which didnt do too well at the box office because it didnt have any villains , fights , gut wrentching emotional scenes . Story of a man who refuses to marry until he meats his dream girl. Picture quality is very good and sound great , good stereo separation . Wish they would label the beauty spots -that temple with the columns made of horses rising on their hoofs -is it a real temple or a mock up ?. Must see if its real . 10 songs - maybe a bit too many but with the good sound they are nice to hear. The subtitles are in yellow and very easy to read , but in fast talking scenes they tend to lag behind so you see them when the camera has moved on -a great way to learn new Hindi words for those who already know a few.

This DVD has lots of extra features - a slide show and a behind the scenes meeting with all the main actors and actresses -lasting well over half an hour and also scenes of the shooting . The only complaint is against Urmilla -surely woman acting in a Hindi movie you can speak at least one complete sentence and not go on in English all the time !

I dont think its dual layer so how have they managed to squeeze four hours of such good quality audio and video on to one layer ? The guys who did the compression in Santa Cruz may have the answer , Curiously the disc is marked 'not for sale in India'.

Tridev 1989 Eros , DEI -Dolby mono 160mins English subtitltes starring Madhuri, Jackie Shroff , Sonam, Sangeeta ,Sunny

Sound-very good , Picture resolution -very good , color rendition does not match Superdigtial standards but is still very good. The disc has trailers for Doli Saja ke Rakhna ( excellent new film ) and Kudrat on the screen and forthcoming DVD -Kareeb -another great movie. The tribal dance with I think the very pretty girl Sonam is very good and really these songs and dances are a sort of fashion parade . I counted 11 costume changes in 3 minutes for Sonam -a very smooth mover in the belly dancing outfits.

There is also a naughty dance by Sangeeta , India's cricket captain's new wife - one I am sure she would rather forget !

One good feature of DVDs is the chapter search . Hitting the forward search a few times will still only take you to the next one but hitting the back chapter search twice will take you to the beginning of the previous but one eg if you are watching 1-7 hitting the back search twice will take you to the start of 1-6 , a very useful way of getting to the beginning of the song chapters . Doing that a few times will get you back to the start of the movie , another way to do that of course is to hit Tiltle and then chapter search.

If you can disable macrovision you can make video copies of favourite songs. Another feature if you have DVD on your computer is that one can print out the slide photographs in color but dont ask how as I dont know. DVD for computers is down to about $150 I believe

Another useful feature of DVD is the still step . Press it once and the picture stops , keep it pressed and it switches to half speed . Then press the back still speed again and again and it changes to quarter , eighth and then sixteenth speed. You pick up things that you would certainly miss on VHS . For example in that excellent 'Tirchi topiwale' song and dance in Tridev there are a couple of scenes where three girls are dancing in a line . One of them I thought was prettier than even Sonam but with still step and slow speed you realise that the background for each girl is different and it is in fact the same girl in different costumes and they have used a split screen technique . I think the Tridev disc is worth buying just for that song and dance.. .

Camelot - 1967 Vanessa Redgrave , Richard Harris Widescreen , dual layer , dolby 5.1 180 minutes . English , French and Spanish subtitles , also alternate Music only track .

This is a must watch disc for DEI , Superdigital , WWE and other guys producing Bollywood movies on DVD. Since it is 30 year old movie expected it to have faded colors -not at all -the colors are rich . They have apparently done a 'remastering ' to deliver a 'reviatlized picture ' and a 'remixed Dolby digital sound' . Dont understand any of it but its all good. The picture quality has good resolution and no bleed at all , the sound is great -as good as the Mother India disc. I dont like widescreen normally but this one 'letter box widescreen format preserving the ''scope'' aspect ratio of its original theaterical exhibition and enhanced for widescreen TVs. ' Again dont understand any of that except that it is very acceptable as it uses the most of the TV screen Another nice feature is the music only track -it turns off the voice bits so would be useful to play in the background in health clubs.

I have a feeling that the reason that Superdigital picture quality is so good is that they have been using dual layes without telling anyone ! If they can start remastering all the older movies with dual layer and such clarity they really could have a huge market on their hands.

Another interesting feature is some discussion of the main characters in the movie - in readable text . Now this could be expanded a lot as their are plenty of frames -for eg giving details of the movie stars .

Pardes - 3 hours -1997 - SRK, Mahima mastered by DEI -Eros - double sided single layer English Subtitles , Sound quality -Good , Picture -Awful

This was one of the earlier mastering by DEI and it is truly awful . They have improved tremendously now - compare Pardes with the more recently mastered 'Tridev' with excellent sound and great picture even though the miovie is ten years older , its worth having Tridev just for the Tirchi Topiwale song -anybody know what other movies Sonam acted in ?

Pardes is a superb movie -story of a girl from a very rich but isolated village who is taken to California to be married but gets ill treated . Some songs 'I love my India ' 'Ganga' are immortal.

However I would not advise anybody to even rent this DVD as it will put them off the format forever. DEI need to remaster this one , and Border , and Raja Hindustani ..

Khalnayak 1994 -175 mins - English subtitles Madhuri, Sunjay , Jackie Shroff

Sound quality -superb , Picture quality -great This is one of Bollywood's best movies - Madhuri as a glamourous undercover cop out to nab some bad guys . Its a must have disc and has been very well mastered by DEI (Eros) .

One faboulous song follows another - Cholee ke peeche -Whats behind your blouse ? -My heart is behind my blouse -would be banned in the puritanical days we are living in today but is great fun and danced absoultely superbly by Madhuri. All the teen girls at Indian wedding love doing this one. Aaja sajan . Palki me hoke sawar with the tribal dancers and others , every song is a great hit. It would be interesting to see what non South Asians think of this disc , sadly the best part of the movie -the songs dont have English subtitles. dispatch all orders within a week or so..

AAN 1940s English subtitles , 167min Technicolor -WWE Dilip Kumar , Nimmi , Nadira Sound -Fabuolous ,Picture - Okay What a joy it is to hear the live orchestral recordings in these 50 year old movies before the computer synthesizers and heavy western beats ruined it .

It is one of the few DVD movies which fills the TV screen completely and has English subtitles of the songs. Pity the subtitles cant be turned off as the translation is atrocious - when she sings 'the deep valley and high mountains sing and tell us of his coming' is translated as ' My beloved is here' . Keep it literal ! Its more fun and shows why these movies are so popular .

Ali Raza's dialog is fantastic. Annoyingly the name of the playback singers is not given - Lata must have been 12 then and I think thats when she started. Must have disc for the music and hope there are lots more from that period.

Bade Mian Chote Mian -Superdigital 170min -1998 -no subtitles Raveena , Amitabh, Govinda , Rambha Sound -Great , Picture -perfect

What is wrong with Superdigital ? They make the best picture quality discs , far better than most Hollywood ones and yet cant find someone to do the Subtitles . I am sure there are retired scholars who would do it for free and make literal translations. I would if they asked me . A superhit comedy film with great songs - another must have disc ..

Folks, I need your help. I am having a fascinating dialog (by email)
with someone from DEI, and wanted to compile the list of issues you
like/dislike/want/don't want. I really get the impression they will
listen too feedback. Here's a starter list:
[DEI is using dual layer in their DVDs, for those who wanted to know.]

1) Full movie .. no songs chopped off
2) No more video noise ... even if prints are old/used
3) Widescreen
4) 5.1 sound, when original was 5.1 .... proper conversion to 5.1 from
mono/stereo where applicable.
5) Ability to plays songs in a program (disabled on HAHK)

Don't want/Didn't like:
1) Poor quality ads??
2) ???

Send me email with feedback.

This Week's TOP 10 DVD Rental By Mail at

Dil Se
Pyar To Hona Hi Tha
Hum Aapke Hai Kaun
Deewana Mastana
1942 A Love Story
Raja Hindustani

Deewana Mastana , Ghawali Baharwali

Certainly these comedies 'Deewana Mastana' anmd Ghawali Baharwali from and are the best mastered discs I have ( Mars Attacks is also good but the widescreen means a restricted viewing area) even better than most Hollywood movies. As the movies are long I think they have cleverly used more bits during the songs and dances which is mostly what people want to watch so that the nearly 3 hour long movies can be put on one side..Having just got this toy , its great fun discovering all the possibilites. Hit the freeze frame button and you get a still picture. Keeping your finger on it gives you half speed forwards and then press the back freeze frame to give you in turn quarter , eigth and sixteenth speed forwards. I finally got my hands on a VCD -Channel V hits with Made In India and other hits. Audio is OK , video has stability and random access to the songs but video picture definitely has less resolutuion than even VHS . The blurry image is OK to watch when drunk. My advice , spend another $100 and get DVD.

Just had a look at Hit Songs vol 2 mastered by in California Incredibly clear and detailed -as good as Batman and Robin - a real pleasure to watch the 18 recent songs from Ishq , PKTDK , Aur Pyar ho gya , DW, etc. -90mins. Also another 20 year old movie mastered I think in India- Kasme Vade - watcheable but slightly out of focus . Maybe the print quality goes down with time but Wizard of Oz is almost perfect and I think that one came out in the 40s !

Rekha hasnt changed in 20 years ( see Qila) but Amitabh has - maybe men just age faster or maybe she is on HRT! It might be a good idea for the GOI to insist that all movies when submitted to the censor board must have an accompanying DVD. It costs only $4,000 and should preserve the cultural heritage. Maybe there are losseless bigger DVDs which should be good for 100 years.

One suggestion I would like to make is to put all the songs of each movie on disc and sell each one with say 5 movies. With 100 being produced a year one would need to buy only 20 or so each year. BTW the quality of Gharwali , Judaii ,Koyla , Ishq etc, is fantastic..

Maharaja - Govinda and Manisha -Superditigal- Dolby 5.1 from . No subtitles

Its good to see that the DVD is already out of a movie still playing in theatres . The producers have to learn to maximise profits while the interest is still there . Would one go to see the movie after watching the DVD ?. The answer for Bollywood movies I think is yes , being musicals like the Wizard of Oz you enjoy them more each time .

Its the story of a man who can hypnotize animals. Animals are easy to hypnotize. You can do it to a lobster by stroking its back and a cat by swinging it round and round for a few minutes . I tried that with a cat once but it just gave me a dirty look after as it walked away. The dialog as usual is clever with plenty of double meanings for eg, when a man says about a young girl 'is ladki main asee kya cheez hai jo tummhe dikhti hai ? and she answers 'jo cheez mane abi dikhayi nahin wo tumhe nazar kasae ayegi ?' What special things do you see in this girl 'How can you see something I havent got round to revealing yet !' The kissing scenes are getting ridiculously long. Its worth seeing just for the picturesque scenes of the maroon steam engine train chugging along in the lush green Himalayan foothills . The picture and sound quality are great -maybe a tad lower than Gharwali but better than most DVDs.

Certain things could have been done better . When showing the animals one finds in Himalayan jungles - elephants ,lions , spotted deer , orang utangs , kangaroos , the camera could have lingered a bit longer on them . The kids would have gone crazy. The camera shows them for a few seconds and then cuts back to the humans. The fighting scenes with hundreds of birds and elephants attacking the castle and guards are good but the lion wrestling one is an obvious fake. Adding some older footage with its lower resoultion spoils the effects a bit . The gory scenes could have been put at the end and the movie got a universal certificate . One song about animals -'you are what makes the world run' is quite good. Some of Manisha's dresses deserved more close up shots.

DVD also has a display option which tells you how many minutes of the movie is remaining . This is one almost exactly three hours long. There are some good comedy bits -one where a photographer to get a better shot throws a pebble at an elephant to get it to look at the camera , forgetting that they are not donkeys which run away but big brutes who dont like it !, and the elephants start charging the jeep eventually overturning it. A good enjoyable movie ..

Dil Se - Maniratnam - SRK , Manisha, Zinta , Dolby 5.1 155min DVD by Eros (DEI) from and

All the criticisims of Eros for the junk they produced with Border , Raja Hindustani , Pardes , Major Saab ..seems to have got through because this is a magnificient disc ! Sound is perfect , even at high volumes there is no distortion at all and picture quality is great , almost as good as Superdigital .

How did they film the Chaiyan Chaiyan song - dancers on the roof of a moving train and keep the camera still ? - I still havent figured out . That song which is a Hindi/Urdu and half Persian and the other Jiya Jale which is Hindi/Urdu and half Malayalam is a great new trend in Hindi cinema. Lyrics are vitally important in the songs as they tell a complete story in gestures and dances and if you cant understand the lyrics it does drive you crazy till one has found out the meaninings.

Now Chaiyan has been decoded on RMIM but the Malayalee song has not . Bollywood should do that with more languages - Arabic , French , Spanish etc . great way to increase cultural understandings. The scenery in this movie is fantastic -from Kerala in South India to the dry cold but beautiful deserts of Ladakh to the lush forests of Assam and of course great sites of New Delhi . Its the story of a girl who is in love with a man but spurns him *spoiler on -all the time as she is going to be a human bomb to blow up the Indian President *spoiler off . He goes off to marry another one and then she walks back into his life. This movie was a big hit in the West and in fact is still playing in theatres and reached the UK Top Ten beating out many Hollywood movies. I cant understand Eros not putting English subtitles . Use the double layer if they must . Who minds paying an extra $5 for pefection ? I have seen it twice but am still glad of having the DVD as even in that one train song you miss so much . I predict at least 100k sales of this DVD alone. Eros are also bringing out Mohra -with NFAK's all time classic 'Tu cheez hai mast mast' - and hopefully they will keep this kind of quality and one day soon one hopes Khalnayak - Madhuri's best movie. The blurb on the cover expalins Dil Se (from the heart) as a journey through the seven stages of loves as described in Arabic literature

Hub -eyes met , spark ,attraction Uns -infatuation Ishq -flame of her body is felt , love Aqidat-reverence , touches him like a whisper Ibadaat - love turns to worship Junoon -living is an obsession , no peace Maut -drowning his body in her soul Sex-the ultimate letdown (joke! )..

Gentleman -Charanjeeva , Juhi WEG group

Who was the pretty supporting actress in this movie ? Great songs and dances . 'Roop suhana hai ' 'What is love ' etc. Sound is OK , picture has been mastered from a VHS copy and not a very good one. Why bother bringing out DVD if you are not going to get the picture perfect. ? All the more reason for the Indian govt to set up a state of the art mastering facility , charge $100,000 to each producer and produce the best DVD with subtitles in 32 languages and 8 dubbed and on dual layer.

The reason Niraj's idea of a private faciilty wont work is that there will always be rivalry between companies. With the GOI , it could even offer the faciility to foreign countries like Pakistan and get their industry going. More competition for Bollywood will only do it good.

A friend of mine who shows these movies told me that the producers just sell the movie before release so they dont worry about copyright and the distributors when they get the movie only have a couple of weeks to get it back before the pirates get at it and so dont have time to file for copyright. That is why the govt must do it before the censorship is done..I think the problem is that they keep trying to squeeze a 3 hr movie on to one layer which can only take 2.25hrs so they have to compromise on the sound or picture quality . Cleverer compression. Using the second layer on the same side only adds $3 to production costs and even if they charged $5-7 extra for a perfectly mastered disc most would pay it , plus with the remaining 2 hours they could put thousands of ads.

Mehboob's Mother India the all time classic from 1958 has been magnificiently mastered on DVD by WWE . The disc has a gold color relectance and I wonder if that is a sign of high quality.

Ishq-picture quality not quite as good as all the other superdigital discs .