Case Number 23149: Small Claims Court

MICHAEL FEINSTEIN: THE SINATRA LEGACY (BLU-RAY)

Image Entertainment // 2011 // 86 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // January 18th, 2012

The Charge

It's up to you, New York!

The Case

Michael Feinstein rose to prominence as a lounge singer playing pianos all around New York City and Los Angeles. His original claim to fame was paying homage to Gershwin and The Great American Songbook. It makes sense for him to now celebrate Frank Sinatra, as "Old Blue Eyes" certainly had some signature songs that changed the face of American music. For this concert, Feinstein assembles a 32-piece orchestra to rip through some Sinatra standards as well as his contemporaries. It seems almost logical that he would wrap with a tribute to Liza Minelli; soon enough she'll be inspiration for these kinds of homages.

Michael Feinstein: The Sinatra Legacy was performed in 2008 as part of Feinstein's The Sinatra Project which is also available as a studio recording. The only thing I can criticize the show for is that I have always loved Feinstein most when he's alone with a piano in a smokey corner crooning the hits of days gone by. His intimate treatment of Broadway show tunes have long been my favorites, and this production is a far cry from small. The Sinatra Legacy is all about loud brassy arrangements, and his voice is smaller than the idols he is emulating. Still, it's a nice enough nod to the days of Sinatra who would rarely show up with just a piano. This material begs to be over the top, and we get just that.

The set list...

* "Once in a Lifetime"
* "I Thought About You"
* "Fly Me to the Moon"
* "Put on a Happy Face/Lotta LivinÕ"
* "So In Love"
* "ThereÕll Be Some Changes Made"
* "Begin the Beguine"
* "Brazil"
* "For Once in My Life"
* "Maybe This Time"
* "New York New York"
* "Sway (concert version)"

Presented in 1.78:1/1080i high definition widescreen, the transfer gives us a clear look at everything with no digital noise or bothersome video artifacts. The limitations of filming a concert is apparent in that sometimes the lighting is off or overly bright, but on the whole everything looks dandy. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is equally clear, offering up a solid home theater experience. Bonus Features include one bonus song (Michael's "Sway") and a documentary about The Palladium Theater where the show was performed. Actually, the documentary appears twice with different edits of the same content.

It's nice to hear Michael Feinstein give Sinatra his due, and interesting to see him perform with such a huge orchestra. Fans will get to see a new side of him. It's swinging baby, and nobody is gonna complain too hard that the kid ain't big enough to fill the shoes. But then again, who ever could?

The Verdict

Not guilty of being a carbon copy; it's an original spin on a legend.

Review content copyright © 2012 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 84

Perp Profile
Studio: Image Entertainment
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 86 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Bonus Song
* Featurettes

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt1948079/combined

* Michael Feinstein
http://www.michaelfeinstein.com/