The latest dvd release from DEI/EROS is Ram Gopal Verma's critically acclaimed crime drama "Satya" and it is given a first-class treatment which is, of late, becoming commonplace from DEI/EROS.
Giving the dvd consumer more than a no-frills product, which companies like Superdigital and WEG have been dumping on the consumer, is one sure way to attract and keep new customers. For instance, where else can you get such cool main menu graphics like they give you in the "Satya" dvd. Press DVD menu and you get an image of "Satya" star J.D.Chakravarthy pointing a gun straight at you. Select an option and you hear the sound of 3 gunshots followed by smoke oozing out the gun barrel and a jigsaw puzzle dismantling of the image as you head to your destination. Subtitles, song menu, chapter index, play movie, upcoming dvd releases, and details of currently available dvd releases are available at your fingertips.
Set in Mumbai, this is the story of Satya (Chakravorty) who comes to the big city to earn a living but is soon drawn into the Mumbai underworld. He eventually meets and falls in love with Vidya (Urmilla Matondkar, excellent in a small role) which complicates the life he has been living and what he hopes for their future. "Satya" is a violent and realistic crime drama with excellent perfomances by all. Expertly directed by Verma, one of bollywood's most inventive directors.
The video picture is excellent, on par with DEI/EROS superbly done "Soldier." The 5.1 audio is in a word- sensational. During a violent gun battle with police, bullets fly from speaker to speaker, from front to back and side to side. It was so realistic I almost felt like ducking for cover, myself. The backgrond music by Vishal is stirring, and the songs are melodious and memorable. Especially "Gholi Mar", "Sapne Mein," and "Baadlon Se." Lata Mangeshkar and the other singers excel.
A must-have dvd. "Satya" is not yet available at most outlets, but can be purchased directly from DEI at: www.indianfilmsdvd.com ..Irwin Mann
The playback singers are Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi. It was also released in a longer version of 195 minutes. "Kareeb" is another 5.1 dolby digital release from EROS/DEI with great audio especially on the bass heavy "Dulban Bani." I hope they make home theater more affordable in the future so everyone can enjoy 5.1 audio, because as "Star Wars" creator George Lucas has said "if you don't have home theater you're missing half the movie experience."
Although very good, video picture has some noise and is a bit disappointing, especially when compared with EROS/DEI's previous release "Soldier." BTW Mo,the gorgeous wife of Sunil Shetty in "Mohra" I believe is Poonam Jhawer.. Irwin Mann
Superdigital has steadfastly refused to add subs to their dvds. I would recommend that everyone e-mail them at email@example.com and let them know how you feel about subtitles. WEG unfortunately, has no working e-mail address.
I found a friend I had leant the machine to , trying to scan to the part he had stopped the movie and it takes a fair time -even though I think its 9x speed . There is no need to do that , pressing chapter forward a few times will take you through the whole disc quite quickly . Another way is to press 'Last memo' button just before stopping the disc and when you press play again it will go to the place you stopped at . Of course one must always connect the DVD to the stereo . Then one can turn off the TV , and listen to the songs on the stereo . Press the rpt function to listen to the gems on movies like Aan again and again. Ghulam -1998 -English subtitles- ErosDEI . Amir , Rani Picture quality -very good Sound -Superb -listen to the train thundering as the teens play chicken running towards it . Rani is a lonely rich girl and falls in love with Amir . He actually sang the song ' Will you come to Khandla ?' Not sure how it escaped a ban as that is the place apparently Bombay boys and girls go to make whoope . Terrific fights . Ram Balram -1980 -English subtitles -Eros DEI Amitabh, Zeenat , Rakhee, Vinod Picture quality - okay Sound-good Cops and robbers , havent seen it yet . With Zeenat it should be good Muqudar Ka Sikander -1978 -Eros DEI -English subtitles Picture -good Sound- very good Rekha , Zeenat , Amitabh ,Amjad ,Dharmendra Muqqadar Ka Skindar ( Alexander of Destiny) -www.indiaplaza.com I couldnt resist putting a comment having seen the first half . The picture quality improves tremendously after the first twenty minutes . What is fantastic about this DVD is however the amazing accuracy of the English translation . It really is literal and perfect , even the Urdu shairi (poetry) has been done correctly ! . For those who dont understan Urdu and want to get a feel of the emotional impact these words can have on viewers just watch the scene at the gravesite after the boy has just buried his mother and Kader Khan as the holy man gives him powerful advice on how to live . Whoever has done this translation for Eros DEI is a genius -dont let him or her go and make him or do the songs as well . Songs are a cinch after the difficult Urdu shairi and add greatly to the enjoyment of the movies . I wish Rmim readers instead of indulging in pointless backbiting and chit chat would do some work and translate at least one song a month - ie those who can understand both Urdu and English . For anyone who doesnt understand Urdu , this DVD is a must have just to see what masters the Urdu writers are , and why India must make an effort to set up institutions where the language can be preserved and developed further . Having over 100 words for love it is a unique language to convey emotions and feelings . After having seen the movie write to DEI to congratulate them on this superb subtitling . These movies will be rented in millions from American video stores once the songs are done as well and in four or five languages. Would appreciate a comment from Irwin about what he thought of the translation .. . If T series can bring out such an excellent picture from a 1950s movie with Khandan there is no reason why DEI cant do the same . Scratchy prints are not a good idea . Probably better off to rent these two movies for those who are Zeenat fans . Aflatoon - 1998 - WWE -no subtitles Akshay , Urmilla Picture quality -Awful Sound -okay No excuse to bring out a DVD with such bad picture quality , its probably a single layer . Story of a poor ruffian determined to trap and marry a rich girl . Kuch kuch hota hai - 1998 - No subtitles SRK , Kajol ,Rani Side A -Dual layer , full screen Side B -Dual layer , wide screen Picture quality - Very good for a pirate DVD Sound quality - Wow ! A Pirate DVD coming with all the FBI warnings and with a price tag of 1800 rupees inclidung taxes - about $30 , but can be purchased for less . I thought the picture quality was maybe a tiny bit better on the widescreen side and the sound quality on the full screen part . The sound is a true delight . Story of a man loved by two women , one dies and his daughter helps him search for the other one. The top hit of last year . I thought the interaction shown between Salman Khan and the girl Saeeda was just great. I wonder where this DVD has been mastered , probably a Chinese factory . To get a 4 layer disc out for less than $20 is truly impressive and such quality too ! It just shows the cost effectiveness of mastering on DVD . Once people see this movie they are not going to accept VHS pirate copies again. I believe that stamping out DVDs after the first 500 copies to recover mastering costs , is now cheaper than turning out VHS copies . So expect most pirate copies to move to DVD . The legit ones can counter by offering DVD releases early and putting on subtites in four languages -English , Hindi, Urdu and Arabic and maybe Spanish and do a literal translation of the poetic language used in these movies. The movie is just going off screen , having earnt a faboulous sum for the distributors -according to Karan Johar on Ikke pe Ikka - it is a A 1 smash hit ie earnt 10 times the price the distributors paid for it and is just behing HAHK in all time earnings , so I dont think a bit of piracy is going to hurt them . Just one cinema I know had four screening a day and earnt more than $500k . It must be the first time that people are watching s crystal clear movie in places where Indian movies on the screen are not readily available . Karan Johar also said that he can only think of making movies with SRK -reportedly now in the Rs 5 crore -$1m- bracket , a big sum for Bollywood but he is worth every penny as he is keeping much of Bollywood employed . DVDs like KKHH are going to expand the market for DVD so much -and a friend just back from Bombay tells me that they are becoming more popular there - that they can only benefit the industry as a whole . What one would like to see are DVDs of folk dances from different parts of the subcontinent , plays , learning how to play musical instruments etc. Mr and Mrs Khiladi -WEG - 1997 -no subtitles Picture quality -good only in parts Sound - okay I think this has been mastered on single layer , hence the not so good resolution except maybe is some songs . Highlights are the song - ' I will love you as long as there is potato in samosas ' and Akshay wrestling with the real life world Sumo chamipon . Jai Santoshi Ma-1970s- no subtitles -WEG Picture quality -awful Sound - not good This is one of the top hits of all time . Story of a woman who becomes a devotee of Santoshi Maa - a new Goddess invented in the last 50 years -much to the displeasure of the three other Goddesses - Parvati , Laxmi and Brahmani who then try to make her life a misery . This is the kind of movie that could be a smash hit on DVD and make the format truly popular amongst the millions of devout Hindus , if they got the same picture and sound quality as the even older Khandan by Tseries , but WEG have made a complete mess of it . Even taping from TV and then putting it on DVD would have been better than this junk . Dont even rent it .. > It was still a joy to watch. Soon as I get a DVD player, i will purchase the DVD.< This illustrates why DVD is going to be an absolute gold mine for Bollywood and other South Asian producers IF they can get the quality right . It is already India's biggest export , one day I will have figures to prove it , but in the meantime just multiply 10m NRIs with 20 movies a year at say $5 and then add the Zee, magazines , cassettes etc. sold , but it will all pale when compared to DVD. For example I might have spent $500 on movies a year but my DVD collection has already cost me $3000 for the Bollywood ones and $1000 for Hollywood ( Mars Attack , Contact (truly excellent ) ) . I am down to one meal a day to compensate ! Niraj wanting to buy the DVD after watching the movie is going to become quite common and most will buy to own rather than rent . The GOI must really step and impose controls not on the creative content but on technical aspects . Putting out bad quality prints like Lamhe , Jai Santoshi Ma or Superhits is just taking advantage of the customer . All movies that get an export certificate and tax credits should be mastered from original negatives , over 500 lines resolution on dual layers , with Dolby 5.1 AND subtitles in six languages which the GOI should do for the company by appointing six linguist scholars full time . If they translated the dialog literally it would show the world what masters of their craft the Urdu dialog writers of India are. English -as it is THE world language , Hindi, Urdu for hard of hearing and for second generation NRIs and first generation English medium school Indians to learn the script again , Arabic -as they are popular in the middle east and Spanish . In California I have seen many Hindi movie theatres in Hispanic areas -also I would suggest that the language be kept simple and not Sanskritized too much 1942 -a love story -Eros , DEI - 1995 -English subtitles Manisha, Anil Picture quality -watcheable just Sound quality -Superb -Dolby digital Story of the independence fight against the British , surprisingly the Brits didnt censor their flag being pulled down and burnt , Imagine what the Shiv Sena would do it they did that with the Indian flag ! I have noticed that the picture quality of most discs gets much better in the second half -something to do with it being easier for the laser to track the outer sides or maybe its the other way round. The recordings one makes on to audio tapes from DVDs sounds a lot better than cassettes one can buy off the shelf and you can record the same song two or three times . Manisha the Nepali beauty whose father I think is the Nepalese Prime Minister looks really lovely in this movie. Dushman -1998 - Eros , DEI - English subtitles Kajol , Kajol , Sunjay , Ashutosh Picture quality -very good Sound-okay -Dolby digital A superb performance by the serial rapist killer postman Ashutosh Rana . I have already nominated him for best villain (www.zeetelevision.com) on Zee cine awards . So good that the postmen went on strike for a while to protest against it . The great song lamenting the death of a loved one ' No letter , no message . What kind of a place is this that you have gone to ?' is a bit spoilt by having Kajol play her own dead sister . Otherwise an interesting movie .Sunjay Dutt is the blind ex officer who trains her to stand up to bad guys. In the review of the DVD -MAMK -forgot to mention the amazing talking goat which can answer simple questions like -'Who is the goat , you or me ?' and 'What comes after April ?' and which Akshay sells for a huge sum.. Mohra 94 - 3 hrs -English subtitles Raveena , Akhsay , Sunil Shetty Picture quality -Excellent during the songs. Sound - very good Mohra has some of the all time great hits -NFAK 'Cheez hai mast mast ' - although his song was copied without credit , it did make him very famous and gave him a break in Bollywood movies -sadly he died early . There is an extra song -a real hot number with Raveena twining her arms and legs around Naseeruddin -which was cut from the original movie because it was probably a bit too far ahead of its time ! Story of drug dealers and cops. This movie and Khalanak have some of the best songs ever . Talking about Khalynayak -it is I think DEI's best mastered DVD disc so far , with superb resolution and flesh tones perfect ( will get Soldier next week) . No one has ever looked as beautiful and sexy as Madhuri playing Antakashari with the criminals .. Watching Raveena do these hot numbers ( in one after she has been injected with a truth serum - something that obviously allows hidden lustful feelings to come to the surface ! ) , one would rate her as a better dancer than Helen in some ways . Raveena dances in tune to the music but with Helen one felt that she was a just a little too fast and this is a failing with Pakistani female dancers at the moment . Are there any Pakistani DVDs out yet ? It only costs a few thousand dollars to master the first one and then maybe $5 a copy after that and if they are mastered from the original negative could make them popular if only for the songs.. One great thing about the Mohra dvd is that the repeat function is enabled - so one can mark two parts of the discs and it will automatically between those two periods . Great for favourite songs. All the songs in this movie are beautifully picturized , not only the Raveena ones but also that gorgeous woman who plays Sunil Shetty's wife ( what was her name ?) . All Bollywood DVD makers should put the repeat function on and if space is availaible repeat the songs at the end -apparently the pirate KKHH has done that -hope to have a review next week . Amazing how many new things one picks up on repeat viewing !.. Khandan - 1950s - Sunil Dutt , Nutan , Mumtaz T series , DVD by Main Video of Vancouver from www.indiaplaza.com No subtitles Color 170mins , Dolby digital Picture quality -Excellent Sound quality -delightful The full dynamic range of sound with live recordings before the computer synthesizers took over . All the three Mangeshkar sisters and Mohammed Rafi - what a tragic loss his early death was , the man with the perfect voice sing for this movie. T series are known for churning out high quality cheap CDs and Cassettes and have obvioulsy decided to bring out all the old classics on DVD. If they keep up the quality they have shown with Khandan they will have an enormous market . The picture quality is far better than Sholay from the 70s which DEI has now promised to remaster. It is dual layer as the menu has an opiton play 'part two' 80 mins into the movie . One great thing is that the repeat function is not disabled so one can leave the song to play endlessly while doing excercise or cooking or whatever. It is something that other DVD makers should consider. I have only seen the songs so I cant tell what the movie is like but it is the favourite of the video shop owner , so it must be good . He reports that the five or six people who now rent DVD , refuse to rent VHS any more and so he is having to get all the latest releases as they come out . I think this is becoming true generally and I predict that within a year VHS tapes will be hard to find for South Asian movies even in India ! Must have disc for those who like the older type of songs and movies.. Pardesi Babu -98 -United - 160min -no subtitles Govinda , Shilpa , Raveena www.unitedfilms.com is given as the website for the producers but I couldnt get to it. Picture quality -Excellent Sound - Very good -Dolby digital This movie is still playing in theatres but is not a big hit and the producers have wisely decided to release it on DVD to capitalize on its newness and to thwart the pirates. The box is marked 'for export' only and it is NTSC (nearly all DVD players can play both PAL and NTSC ) so I wonder if it has been mastered in India . If so it is a superb job. Its the first DVD that I have been able to figure out has a dual layer . If you switch the display on at exactly 89mins and 49 seconds there is a momentary one second pause as the player switches over to the second layer. Apparently in the lab they have tested 9 layers on a side or 13 hrs of movies on each side ! With single layer 90 mins may be the top limit for best quality as this DVD does not have any trailors or advts . Again if space is a limiting factor it is best to get the highest transfer rate at the songs . The rate at which movies are coming out on DVD it seems they will exhaust the supply in one year (only about 120 Hindi films are made each year) and then can start working on TV Serials , folk dances etc. Why are they not using the second side to put thousands of ads ? Initially even if given away free , it will make the DVDs immensely popular as a reference source - for eg the govt of India could put tourist areas of India etc. Pardesi Babu is a semi comdey with superb acting by Satish Kaushik the comedian as a Sardarji . Again a lot of Punjabi in the movie to reflect the fact that most money is now made in Punjab and Punjabi communities overseas. Like all comedies one appreciates these movies more the second time around . It has one hit song 'It happens only in India ' . The dialog is good too . One memorable phrase 'mere dost ki shakal bale hi kharab ho par uska dil nahin kharab'-My friend may not be good loooking but his heart is good ' Must use that next time !..Soldier
EROS/DEI's latest offering is out and as of now it is the dvd all future dvds must be compared to. "Soldier" is a well done action thriller that stars Bobby Deol and Preity Zinta
. The picture quality on this dvd is flawless. It has been masterfully transferred from the original film negative resulting in a picture that is perfect in every way.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 sound is used to great effect in the film and is especially dynamic in the action scenes and songs (especially "Soldier Soldier") where sounds bounce from speaker to speaker in perfect distortion free audio.
"Soldier" also includes a cool main menu where an image of Bobby Deol with gun shatters like glass being struck by a bullet every time you select an option. Among the extra features are subtitles, the theatrical trailor for "Soldier", a "now available" option with a detailed synopsis of 20 Eros films. Along with chapter index and song menu.
Some minor gripes: the subtitles cannot be turned on or off via the remote and the trailor for "Soldier" appears to be from a videotape source. All that aside, EROS/DEI should be proud of the job they've done in improving the standard of indian dvd making to a higher level. Lets hope all of their future releases will be as good.
And lets see if this is the kick in the butt that will get Superdigital and WEG and others to improve their product as well...Irwin Marin
Gupt - 97 -Eros- Kajol , Manisha , Sunny - 3hrs - English subtitles -single layer dual side , Dolby 5.1
Picture quality - Good Sound -Perfect
A very good who dun it . Won the villain of the year award. The sound recording is so good it makes the movie a pleasure to watch and listen to - again the only criticism is that the songs are not subtitled however the first song/dance -'This world is full of good lookers having a great time , and yet everybody is alone' has been translated at www.ukindia.com. Hopefully more people will put up websites translating the songs. I believe that Eros-DEI are planning to bring it out again on one side - if so dont mess with the sound track . I think its as close to perfection as you can get but Irwin may have more to comment on that.
However playing two CDs -of the movie BMCM and the devotional prayer CD - Bhaktimala -Namstotram Shiv and Kali by Anuradha Podwal SCI Tseries - the difference is truly amazing .
The movie disc sounds a bit flat while the devotional one is superb - the best sound quality I have heard from the DVD player . Have others noticed that the non movie CDs sound better ?. I dont think its the lyrics or the vocals or the instruments , I think its the method of recording. I am sure the prayer disc was recorded in a live setting and that is why it sounds so rich and deep with a wider range of frequencies while the movie CD was probably recorded in a computer room and sounds truncated .
Those who have both discs please add your comments . If you agree , then the movie makers , Tips etc. have to be told to change their recording methods..