Roger Waters’ The Wall (Blu-ray)

December 1, 2015 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton and Matt Malouf

Plot: What’s it about?

I must confess that Pink Floyd is one group that I never really got into. I don’t have strong feelings one way or the other, but they just never got into rotation on my playlist. With that being said, I’ll also admit that this concert film did very little for me. Roger Waters is the brainchild behind the progressive rock band Pink Floyd. As this program begins, we see snippets of him riding in a car, talking, sitting in a bar talking and giving little anecdotes about his life. Things start very slowly as there’s little of anything actually going on. We see long stretches early on where we’re just watching some off-stage stuff. Again, nothing much happens. When we finally get around to the music, things do improve, but only slightly.

As I mentioned, since I’ve never been a big Pink Floyd fan, the songs might as well have been in a foreign language. I recognized some of their more popular songs such as Another Brick in the Wall and Comfortably Numb, but the other songs didn’t do much for me. It captures the playlist from the album The Wall. We spend a lot of time seeing the songs, but there’s also some off-stage stuff that follows Waters. These bits tend to drag and might make many long to get back to the stage. I understand they wanted to veer away from the stage at times, but the music will be what many are watching this for. So that’s what we have here: a concert film with pieces of the front man’s life off stage. I imagine hardcore fans will be delighted with all this, and maybe even casual fans. However, for all other such as myself, this became a long 2 plus hours. For the Floyd fans, have at it. For all others, skip it.

Video: How’s it look?

I’ve never been someone who watches concerts (in person or on disc), so this was a relatively new experience for me. The very wide 2.40:1 AVC HD image does give it a certain theatrical feel and when looking at the massive stage, it’s clear why it’s shown in this aspect ratio.  Clearly, pun fully intended, there’s really nothing to complain about. It makes you feel like you’re right there! Blacks are free of any blocking, contrast is strong and flesh tones (though not accurate with the gel lights) make it appear as if everything is as it should be. Truthfully, this is an amazing-looking disc.

Audio: How’s it sound?

I do believe that this is the first concert disc with a Dolby Atmos track. As with other Atmos titles, a very robust TrueHD soundtrack has also been included and good lord does is sound good! I’ve not really been the biggest fan of Pink Floyd, but I have to say that this is a shining example of what a good soundtrack should sound like. It’s immersive, has depth and utilizes every speaker in your repository.  Vocals sound rich, clean and pure, surrounds add an extra amount of gentle ambiance that really put you right in the front row. While comparing this to a theatrical release is apples to oranges, I can safely say that this will blow the viewer away with its strength and clarity.

Supplements: What are the extras?

  • A Visit to Frank Thompson – Frank Thompson was a British soldier executed by the Nazis in WWII. Though interesting and insightful, it’s a bit of a buzzkill when compared to the rest of the performance.
  • Time Lapses: Athens and Buenos Aries are shown and the sheer amount of scale that it takes for a concert to be shown. While the Athens concert was indoors, the one in Buenos Aries was outdoor. Even in time lapse, it’s a scale of grand proportions.
  • Driving  – Basically a series of outtakes in which Waters and his family are driving around. I suppose you could call this a deleted scene if you’re so inclined.
  • Facebook Films – Running nearly an hour, this is a series of films that was posted on Waters’ Facebook page and used to promote the tour. Whatever he did, it worked as the concert has become the highest-grossing solo concert in history.
  • Comfortably Numb Live at the O2 – David Gilmour, a former member of Pink Floyd, keeps his promise to Waters as he performed the song atop the wall. It was known and/or rumored that this would happen, though not at which venue. The reaction is quite amazing.
  • Outside the Wall Live at the O2 – Former Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason also happened to be in attendance the same night Gilmour performed with Waters and joins his former band mates on stage. Truly this is a unique experience as it’s likely the last time all three will be on stage together ever again.

The Bottom Line

Pink Floyd fans might really enjoy this, but it did very little for me. I never got into the band, but if I do, I’ll just seek out one of their albums. I was bored during the majority of this feature.

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