Urban Cinefile
"I have a chronically arched eyebrow about the world, including myself. "  -- Writer/director Neil LaBute on his film, In the Company of Men
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday March 20, 2018 

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By Christmas 2002, there will be an estimated 2.5 million DVD players in Australian homes, ready to play any one of 11 million DVD discs that will be sold during the year. Just as we embraced the benefits of digital sound on CD, we are relishing the cinema-like quality of DVD for home enjoyment of movies. This short introductory page is for those who thought that the initials DVD stand for Digital Virus Disease.

What is DVD? It stands for Digital Versatile Disc (also known as Digital Video Disc) and it is a movie or music title recorded on one small disc (the size of a regular CD) by technology so powerful, it offers features like -

DIGITAL AUDIO &;IMAGE - for sharp, crisp, clear playback;
MULTIPLE LANGUAGES - a variety of audio playback & sub-title options;
SPECIAL EXTRAS - many DVDs feature specially made or collated bonus material like deleted scenes, trailers, filmmaker (and/or cast) commentary and behind-the-scenes documentaries;
DIRECT SCENE ACCESS - to go to your favourite scenes almost instantaneously;
INTERACTIVE MENUS - to navigate the DVD’s special features & options;
EASE OF USE &; STORE - perfect freeze-frame, no rewinding and compact, easy to store packaging (and unlike VHS tape, repeated viewing does not deteriorate the contents);

The improvement in technology leads directly to an increase in enjoyment: the clarity of the picture, the saturation of the colours and the excellence of the sound combine to involve you in the whole movie experience far more than a standard video. Not that the day of the video is over: far from it. Excellent quality videos are available and will be for years.
Andrew L. Urban


The running times noted on Urban Cinefile DVD and VHS reviews are those advertised by distributors. These may vary from official running times. Film is transferred to DVD and videotape at 25 frames per second - one frame per second faster than theatrical projection, which runs at 24fps. Consequently, for every 25 minutes of screen time that elapses one minute is 'lost'. For example, a film timed at 100 minutes in cinemas will run only 96 minutes on DVD and videotape. This explains why some DVD/VHS releases quote shorter running times than those found in other reference sources. (It also explains why musical numbers often sound more up-tempo than on CDs and vinyl!)

The reason why DVD and videotape is transferred at 25 fps relates to electric current specifications. In countries with 220-240 volts electricity supply the cycle rate is 50 hertz per second. To ensure that a black "roll bar" does not appear it is necessary to transfer film at a rate divisible by or into 50. This also explains why "roll bars" on computer monitors can be eliminated by adjusting the hertz rate to 75 cycles. Countries with 110-120 volt supply (eg the USA) operate with a hertz rate of 60 cycles. This explains why NTSC videotape runs at 30 fps.
Richard Kuipers

The volume of movies released on DVD is growing by the week. We have reviewed hundreds of them already (browse through the Menu and DVD Archives), and some of our favourites are those that have not only the superb picture and sound you’d expect, but terrific extra features. These include some of the seminal films from Australian directors, like - The Bone Collector, Muriel’s Wedding, Snow Falling on Cedars, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, The Man Who Sued God, Let's Get Skase and Witches of Eastwick. Other specially outstanding movies on DVD include Lawrence of Arabia, Das Boot, Three Kings, Vertigo, The Mummy, Dr No, Goldfinger, From Russia With Love, The Wild Bunch, Titanic, The Sixth Sense . . . and the amazing BBC documentary series, Walking With Dinosaurs.

Recent titles include Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Thelma and Louise, The Great Escape, Lara Croft Tombraider, Ocean's Eleven.

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Lawrence of Arabia


The Mummy

Walking with Dinosaurs

The Bone Collector

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