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Topic: Elements DVD - First Impressions, OK, I got it.. ;-)< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
christopher Offline




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Posted: Dec. 14 2004, 16:49

first impression... GOOD!  i'm really quite surprised at virgin for actually releasing this to DVD.  this really is an odd time to do it.  whatever... i'm just glad they released it!  

the videos are completely dated in every way and some are pretty stupid.  i think i like blue peter the best... it's very humorous!!  in the NTSC version i'm having trouble with getting the islands section to work... no highlight available!  hope this is not a glitch that will have to be fixed and recalled!!  

i haven't really gone over the thing with a fine tooth comb... but i will when i finish recording my album.  it's due out the end of january 05!  

on a side note... i wish mike would talk to us and say something about what's going on with him and how the album is coming.  this whole computer thing has got me rather disbelieving that he'll come back with anything good.  i could be wrong and god i hope i am WRONG!!!  he's brilliant!!  

i might be the first american to have gotten his copy of the DVD!?!  someone know?

chris
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Gilles
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Posted: Dec. 21 2004, 18:19

Well, I'm pleased with this DVD. Of course, most of the videos are silly, as everything shot in the 70's and 80's, but I'm glad it includes Wind Chimes I had on Laserdisc about 15 years ago  :O .

But, now, I wonder if the fantastic Knebworth Festival will be released on DVD. This concert video is, imho, simply the best.

Gilles.
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Sysiyo Offline




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Posted: Jan. 05 2005, 13:01

I got this one as a christmas present from my girlfriend (which is why I actually decided to drop by here again)... a very nice collection. Some of the videos themselves aren't perhaps the best possible, especially all the computer-effects which look so dated (yes, I know they were high-tech in the 80's, but using a blue-screen and models they could have done better-looking results), but it was nice to actually see Mike's videos for the first time.

My personal favourite is probably Guilty. I have a weird liking for the song and the animated video fits it very well. In general all the 70's videos are very good, especially when compared to stuff I've seen from the era from other artists. When the computer-effects come along the enjoyability suffers, but those vids are still interesting to see. IT was also nice to get to hear some of the songs for the first time (Wilhelm Tell Overture, Blue Peter) and different versions of some (Guilty, Heaven's Open).

On the technical side, the volume drops a few times on Tubular Bells for no reason when played on my equipment.

For the extras... I really like the Space Movie. I agree that Incantations isn't perhaps the thing you'd associate with space travel, but it creates a nice conflict in the movie which for me added the enjoyability. It also reminded me of Koyaanisqatsi, which can only be good.

The Wind Chimes on the other hand... well, I haven't watched it properly in it's entirety. All those computer-effects started hurting my eyes when I got that far :p. But from what I've seen... it doesn't add to the music, and it's very much at odds with my mental image of the songs. That is the case with some other videoes on the DVD too, but here it actually bothered me very much.

The interview is nice, though perhaps a bit short. They could have mixed Mike's voice a bit higher, I had to crank up the volume every time he started talking and then crank it down again when the music clips started.

Quote
The space age is quite behind us now, and the actual footage of space flights begins to take on the aspect of science-fiction.

How so?

Certainly, moon-flights are a thing of the past, but what about the ISS, two 'crawlers' exploring Mars, etc. etc. Manned space-flights are rare these days as Russia is the only one doing them... on the other hand, China is just getting ready for their first manned flight, and in addition to those two the ESA, Japan and the USA all continue their non-manned space programs.
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2005, 15:27

I think it's appropriate for me to reply here, having finally managed to get (and of course see) the whole disc... so here I go with my track-by-track comments.

TB Part 1 Live - The intro is cool, with the watery bells, but everything else is 'just' an average performance... not very good, not very bad. However it's nice to see Mike playing bass in his Jesus Christ look. :)

Don Alfonso - Hahahahahahahahahahahaha... pure BennyHill-ish slapstick comedy. I laughed so hard I wetted my underpants. :D The audio is bad, tho'.

In Dulci Jubilo - Very 70ish, very like a TV series from that time, with all those split frames, but cool for this very reason.

Portsmouth - That's not exactly the kind of dancing that I had in mind while listening to this, but it's very nice.

William Tell Overture - I love the idea of having multiple Mikes. I wonder what it took longer, making the track or the video.

Guilty - I always loved cartoony videos done to music which has nothing to do with cartoons, and this is no exception.

Blue Peter - Another ha-ha-ha thing à la Don Alfonso above. Mike looks particularily cool in that WWII pilot uniform. ;)

Wonderful land - Stylish, clean, simple, 80-ish. Cool.

FMO and Moonlight Shadow - I already knew these, of course; I'm familiar with MS since I was 13. Both are really nice and appropriate to the songs; particularily MS has an enigmatic feel to it which fits the song nicely.

Shadow on the Wall - Roger Chapman's face and Mike's varying haircuts :) are obviously clearer on DVD than on the mpg I previously had, but I have to say I never liked this and I still don't.

Crime of Passion - I confirm OlracUK's impression on this: they're all toys. Mike looks particularily toy-ish with his swaying.

Tricks of the Light - Another rater enigmatic one, but charming. Plus, I have to admit that, although I never really saw Barry Palmer before this DVD, he's nice.

To France: See TB above. It's 'just' a performance. However, as above,  it's always nice to actually see Mike doing what he does best, i.e. playing guitar.

Etude - I never liked TKF (the movie) and so I can't really appreciate its images, but this video had, of course, to be built on them. The idea of having the Cambodian child start it, though, is cool.

Pictures in the Dark - As I've repeatedly stated here and elsewhere, this used to scare me for unknown reasons when I was 15. Now that I'm not scared by anything I see on a screen (even the goriest horror films), I still find it very uncanny.

Shine - Oh my Gosh... maybe it was better to leave this song with no video at all. :)

I have to break it here - continued below.


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Ugo C. - a devoted Amarokian
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Feb. 04 2005, 15:39

Continuing from above...

Innocent - I like the cartoon version better than this rather crazy one. However I always love Anita looking like the 5th member of Abba. :)

Earth Moving - Actually quite good as a piece of work (I like the imagery), but IMHO it's another video that Mike could just as well not have done at all. ;)

Heaven's Open - When I see Mike singing, linking that voice with his face always gives me a very strange feeling. :)

I won't comment on the extras because I've commented all of them elsewhere, and I find it useless to repeat myself.

In conclusion:
1) IMHO the best videos are the ones I already knew, i.e. MS and FMO, although all of the 70s ones are cool. The worst, always IMHO, is Shine. As I said above, I wish Mike had never decided to make it.
2) This DVD is an absolute must-have for all true Oldfield fans. For everyone else, it may well be absolute crap. :D


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Ugo C. - a devoted Amarokian
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Feb. 05 2005, 19:02

I forgot Earth Moving! But maybe I did because there's not really much to comment: apart from it being another occasion to see the (nice) looks of another one of Mike's pretty much unknown singers. :) I'd rather have seen his face in the water, tho'. :)

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Ugo C. - a devoted Amarokian
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raven4x4x Offline




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Posted: Feb. 05 2005, 19:26

Quote (Ugo @ Feb. 04 2005, 03:39)
When I see Mike singing, linking that voice with his face always gives me a very strange feeling.


That's probably just his rather silly over-acting...

Personally, I don't consider the Shine video any worse than any of the others. Cheesy, perhaps, but no more than Pictures in the Dark or any other from the 80s. I think Mike looks rather cool though (I love that hat! )

One annoying aspect I've noticed is that whenever a song has a word echoed, such as "Carried away by a moonlight shadow shadow" they seem to always have another shot of the singer "singing" the echoed word. That annoys me for some reason, I don't know why. It just seems un-necessary.


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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Feb. 07 2005, 18:02

Quote (raven4x4x @ Feb. 06 2005, 01:26)
One annoying aspect I've noticed is that whenever a song has a word echoed, such as "Carried away by a moonlight shadow shadow" they seem to always have another shot of the singer "singing" the echoed word.

I've noticed that also in "The time has come (time has come)". It doesn't annoy me, it just looks 'arty'. And as the few videos where this happens are arty (at least IMHO), to me it's just one element of the overall effect. I don't find it un-necessary - nothing is really necessary in videos. :)

About "Shine": what I really don't like in that video are the computer-generated images. Yes, I know they're of the same exact kind of the ones in "Pictures in the Dark", but for some obscure reasons [maybe the same reasons why "Pictures" used to scare me when it first came out... :)] I love the images used in "Pictures", while I hate the ones in "Shine". Plus, Jon Anderson is another case of a singer whose voice my mind never was (and, I think, never will) able to associate with his face, although I've seen him in lots of other videos. ;)


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Ugo C. - a devoted Amarokian
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familyjules Offline




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Posted: Feb. 08 2005, 05:01

Quote (Ugo @ Feb. 07 2005, 18:02)
I've noticed that also in "The time has come (time has come)". It doesn't annoy me, it just looks 'arty'.

The way Anita pronounces "come" really tickles me.  Hearing it was the first time I realised that English wasn't her first language.  I like it though - like I used to enjoy the way the ladies in Abba pronounced certain words.  It's quite refreshing!

Jules


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The Big BellEnd Offline




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Posted: Feb. 08 2005, 17:58

I like it when Anita sing's Av Yoo Ever Been Too Nort Boint.

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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Feb. 09 2005, 18:13

Quote (The Big BellEnd @ Feb. 08 2005, 23:58)
I like it when Anita sing's Av Yoo Ever Been Too Nort Boint.

No, she doesn't. She sings: Hev yoo eva peen too Nort Pointch. :D


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Ugo C. - a devoted Amarokian
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timshen Offline




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Posted: Feb. 18 2005, 11:22

Fianlly got my Elements DVD from Amazon.com - it was sent last November and the censorship board here in Singapore have only just allowed it through (maybe they spent all their time watching the naked cartoon girl on "Heaven's Open"!!;). It took three months to get to me, but it's worth the wait.

On my computer the menu looks very faint and unprofessional. However, on my DVD player it's very cool.

I like Don Alfonso a lot - very funny (especially the boomerang sword bit!;). As for the other videos, my favourite is Flying Start and Magic Touch - I hate the main instrumental Wind Chimes video but love the song videos that come with it.

Why is there not the full elements interview included? I have the VHS version which has quite a bit more of the interview - I was looking forward to "you've got a fly on your nose" but it never came, or did I miss something???

I too love the Space Movie with Incantations. It strangely works for me.

All in all, a very good buy me says :-)

:cool:


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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: Feb. 18 2005, 11:28

Quote (timshen @ Feb. 18 2005, 11:22)
the censorship board here in Singapore have only just allowed it through (maybe they spent all their time watching the naked cartoon girl on "Heaven's Open"!!;).


If she had been chewing gum, it might have never made it to you. :)

As for Don Alfonso:

"Now I'm in Singapore
I Am For Sure
Get DVD's from Offshore
Shipped through the censor...."


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Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
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timshen Offline




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Posted: Feb. 18 2005, 22:15

Ha ha ha! Very good Hiawatha. Maybe Mike should hire you to do lyrics (and staighten out his humour a bit!!!;)

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Australopithicine Offline




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Posted: Nov. 20 2005, 01:35

The Elements DVD confirms it.

Mike looks a complete berk in nearly all of his videos. It's no wonder he didn't catch on; it's not because the music is alternative, it's that his image is so pathetic.

Having seen all but a couple of these videos in the past, I wasn't really surprised by any of it. Think the William Tell video is a must see for all Mike fans but Mike still looks a berk, and I wouldn't play it to anyone I was trying to impress.

While I actually do love the Shadow on the Wall video with the rent-a-chicks and many haircuts; I preferred the "standing in front of the fire" video they did with telephoto. It was such a fad in the eighties. :)

Come to think of it, I think the prison version is one of the few Mike promos where he is verging on looking cool. Actually with the short hair and the machine gun guitar he looks cool; but even when he's playing bass, while he looks as if he may be doing something a little private off camera, he looks as if he doesn't care if you care, and that's cool. :)

Anyway, in all the bad performances, embarassing mimes, goofy concepts and general wrongness; I find it hard to spot any gems in this lot.  The Incantations video is interesting in that it almost makes up for Exposed by cutting to all my favourite bits with no waiting. :)

Reviewers used to love saying of odd looking performers that "they didn't spend hours practising in front of the mirror".
Well I have to wonder if maybe there is something to be said for practising for hours and hours in front of the mirror. ;)

Won't we putting this one on again I don't think.

Cheers!

~A~
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MusicallyInspired Offline




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Posted: Nov. 20 2005, 10:41

Quote (torbenyj @ Dec. 13 2004, 18:31)
i'm sad that there's no real to france video

TYJ

I was trying to download some Oldfield videos long ago and I found a To France video. I only managed to get about 5 seconds worth but it was a true video in that it wasn't the one on the Elements DVD. It showed Mike sitting somewhere playing the mandolin part in the intro on his pink Fender Strat. Wish I could have gotten the whole thing.

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trcanberra Offline




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Posted: Feb. 26 2008, 17:21

Truly an excellent DVD, and the video clips are a nice time capsule for their eras.  One of the best value for money sets in my collection, even if I wasn't a MO fanatic.

Fell off my chair laughing at the "complete berk" comment, must agree that Mike doesn't come across too well on many of these videos (though I think he's fine in Magic Touch at least, and not TOO bad in Shine).

Pretty much a "must have" for fans, and worth a look for the curious.
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Feb. 28 2008, 19:20

@ trcanberra: I think that one of the main reasons behind Mike's cool look on MT is mainly dependent on the fact that the director of that video is none other but Ian Emes (Eames?), and that none of the people "singing" in the video is the actual singer. :D And Mike is just doing what he does best, i.e. playing guitar. OK, he does act a bit - holding that globe, and other bits - but anyone with just a bare minimum of showmanship can do that, can't they? :)

@ Brandon: may this be it? :) Yes, it's another 1980s cheesy video, but it is a video... i.e. something actually shot as a video, not a performance. The 'somewhere' that Mike is sitting in is, I think, nothing more than a TV studio.


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trcanberra Offline




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Posted: Mar. 07 2008, 20:57

Quote (Ugo @ Feb. 28 2008, 19:20)
@ trcanberra: I think that one of the main reasons behind Mike's cool look on MT is mainly dependent on the fact that the director of that video is none other but Ian Emes (Eames?), and that none of the people "singing" in the video is the actual singer. :D And Mike is just doing what he does best, i.e. playing guitar. OK, he does act a bit - holding that globe, and other bits - but anyone with just a bare minimum of showmanship can do that, can't they? :)

Further to this - just caught up with the TBIII live video clips, and even my daughters reckon Mike looks cool there - nice hair and stylish outfit - he can pull it off when he wants to  ;)
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Silver Negus Offline




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Posted: Dec. 20 2008, 13:00

I like the use of blue screen and after effects on 'innocent' and 'magic touch'. 'Magic Touch' -the use of blue screen to do the shilouettes is good.  The leaves are real and are dropped infront of blue screen I think. There is original footage on there too obviously.
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