Come hear the sounds of silence…in Central Park!
The Righteous Brothers. Loggins and Messina. Captain and Tennille. There are some things in the musical world that just belong together (well, maybe not Loggins and Messina…), and that includes the super duo Simon and Garfunkel. In the 1960s and '70s you could get no bigger than the dwarfish Paul Simon and the billow-headed Art Garfunkel. The two mystical-voiced musicians composed some of the best loved tunes of their generation, including "The Boxer," "Bridge Over Troubled Water," and the hit "Mrs. Robinson" from the film The Graduate. In 1982, the pair got together more than a decade after their spilt for a legendary concert in Central Park, New York, to play some of their biggest hits to a very appreciative crowd. Now fans the world over can experience this concert on DVD with Simon and Garfunkel: The Concert in Central Park. Included on this disc are the following performances:
• Mrs. Robinson
Listening to the melodious sounds of Simon and Garfunkel is like sitting in your most worn recliner—relaxing and familiar. This concert, drawn from their 1982 performance, shows why Paul and Art have gone on to become one of most famous duos of all time. Their music has stood the test of time, even if it does sometimes border on melancholy. Any complaints, however, are swept away when the two share harmonies on such classics as "Feelin' Groovy," the fantastic "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," and a haunting version of "The Sounds of Silence." Though Simon would go on to greater solo fame than Garfunkel (oh, if only the Chevy Chase video for "You Can Call Me Al" were included on this disc!), it's clear that both of these guys have talent to spare. I did, however, feel slightly sympathetic towards Garfunkel—during most of the concert Simon strums his guitar while Garfunkel just stands, arms crossed, crooning. Give this guy a banjo, a mandolin…something! A disc like this comes close to being review proof: if you like Simon and Garfunkel's music, then this DVD concert is a no-brainer. However, if listening to "Slip Sliding Away" makes you feel like you're in a dentist's chair with a root canal on the way, avoid this disc at all costs. Simon and Garfunkel's reunion appearance at the 2003 Grammy Awards may be a precursor to a new era of their music—let's hope that's a premonition of good things to come.
Simon and Garfunkel: The Concert in Central Park is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 full frame. Certainly this transfer won't win any awards for clarity—the image often looks dull, worn, and slightly fuzzy. Because this wasn't a "major motion picture," it's not surprising to find this print in only mediocre shape (if that). Then again, I guess the roughness of the transfer gives the viewer a feeling of being back in the early '80s for this concert (just trying to find the silver lining, folks). The soundtrack is presented in a lackluster Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix in English. Ugh, talk about a disc that would have really benefited from a new 5.1 remix! Overall this mix is decent for stereo—the music is clear without excessive hiss getting in the way. It's a shame that Fox didn't pony up for a new Dolby 5.1 remix, though this will do in a pinch. Also included on this disc are English subtitles.
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