Kultur // 2002 // 60 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // April 8th, 2005
Except for the ocean part.
The video starts with a cue card reading "60 Minutes of Irish Scenery," and that's not a lie or an exaggeration. That is exactly what you get with this disc -- absolutely nothing more and nothing less. It's so simple that I have almost nothing to say about the disc, so I thought my clever hook would be to write a review of exactly 60 words, one for each minute. But now that I've rambled past that mark, I realize that's not our goal at DVD Verdict, and I will try to find something to say about this mostly useless little disc.
The Magnificent Scenery of Ireland is a disc that presents 60 minutes of uninterrupted footage of Ireland. There is not a single word of narration, only four words appear on-screen during the run, and if you like Irish music, this disc is for you. The video purportedly showed me the four different regions of Ireland: Lenster, Connacht, Munster, and Ulster. I have to take their word for it, since I've never been to the country, and there are only so many hills, lakes, cathedrals, castles, and countrysides one can look at before they all become one big blur. And that is the problem with this disc: As beautiful as Ireland is, the disc failed to make me believe that Ireland is magnificent. I had always thought it would be nice to visit one day, but the DVD didn't cement that idea. Now, I don't really care if I ever end up in the country. It all looks the same: rolling and green -- except for the rocks, which weren't green; they were more often than not wet, but not green; sometimes they had funny shapes, but they still weren't green.
I had assumed the disc would have some type of narration to tell me what I was seeing. I wanted to learn a bit about the country and how it differed across its land. I didn't. My brilliant deductions gleaned from the material are that Lenster has lots of hills and is quite green; Connacht has more urban feel to it; Munster is more rugged and rocky, with some impressive cliffs; and Ulster felt the least Irish, giving off more of a Greek vibe. Without that narration, this is nothing more than a horrible home movie that left me bored. Why would I want to sit through 60 minutes of scenery, which all begins to look the same 15 minutes in? The only people I can see having any interest in this disc would be either people of Irish ancestry or those who have had a pleasant holiday there. The former could wax nostalgic about the homeland, while the latter could rekindle fond memories of a delightful trip. For everyone else, it's a silly and pointless disc.
If you're curious, the full-frame transfer is crisp with deep, rich colors and excellent details, but there are a few odd streaks; the Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is adequate to listen to the Irish music without interruption -- though someone may need to wake you up in about ten minutes. On the bright side, since there is no narration, you can use the fast-forward feature and watch the 60 minutes in considerably less time and not miss a thing.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 60 Minutes
Release Year: 2002
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* About Ireland
* Kathy Ireland Official Site