Paul Simon and Friends (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Music
Summit Entertainment || NR - 110 minutes - $34.99 || June 2, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-07-05


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: NA
Writer(s): NA
Cast: Paul Simon


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Digital Booklet


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.78)
  • English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
  • Subtitles: NA

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.::THE FILM::.

I'm incredibly biased - I've loved Simon and Garfunkel since the age of five and continue to listen to their Vinylís on almost a weekly basis. My iPhone is littered with various albums of theirs and my 6 disc CD Player in my car has 4 slots occupied by S&G (the other 2 by Cat Stevens). What's my favorite movie? The Graduate. Anything to do with them I have sought out and enjoyed and when Summit announced a Paul Simon Blu-ray release I was really excited.

Sadly, I'm a little bummed with this release even though I knew exactly what it was. The actual Blu-ray only contains a handful of Paul Simon actually performing, while the rest are various other artists covering his songs or various clips that can be attributed to Paul Simon.

In May of 2007 the Library of Congress gathered an unprecedented group of musicians together in Washington, D.C., to honor Paul Simon as the first recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Alison Krauss, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Lyle Lovett, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Marc Anthony, Art Garfunkel and a host of others joined Paul onstage in a multicultural tribute to the music of a great American artist and a great American art form.

List of Performances:

Introduction Bob Costas
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover Lyle Lovett
The Boxer Alison Krauss, Shawn Colvin and Jerry Douglas
Mother and Child Reunion Stephen Marley
Under African Skies Miriam Makeba and Paul Simon
*Clip from Paul Simon Graceland: The African Concert (Zimbabwe, 1987)
Homeless Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Mrs. Robinson Paul Simon
*Clip from Yankee Stadium Tribute To Joe DiMaggio (April 25, 1999) Slip Slidin Away James Taylor and The Dixie Hummingbirds
Sunday Morning With The SensationaL Nightingales (Poem) Billy Collins and The Dixie Hummingbirds
That Was Your Mother Buckwheat Zydeco and Lyle Lovett
Homeward Bound Paul Simon and George Harrison
*Clip from Saturday Night Live (November 20, 1976)
Still Crazy After All These Years James Taylor
El Condor Pasa Marc Anthony
Late In the evenIng Marc Anthony
Gone At Last Yolanda Adams and Jessy Dixon
Something So Right Dianne Reeves
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin Groovy) The Muppets (Grover and Elmo)
Graceland Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas
Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes Paul Simon and Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Bridge Over Troubled Water Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel
Father and Daughter Paul Simon
Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder
Loves Me Like A Rock Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder with The Dixie Hummingbirds
Sounds of Silence Philip Glass

After itís all said and done the two hours fly by very fast as the Artists provide great covers of Paul Simon's songs. Of course, they all build up to Simon himself (and Art Garfunkel for one song) that blows just about everyone else away.



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

While the artwork states no features are included, technically there is an option for a 'Digital Booklet' when you put the disc in. It's just a brief overview that scrolls by. Not like I was expecting much from this anyway.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Paul Simon and Friends is presented in 1.78:1 (MPEG4) on a 25 GB Disc (encoded in 1080i). I've viewed other concerts on Blu-ray and this one seems on par with them. Even though its 1080i itís far superior to what you would see on broadcast television.

Summit has included a 5.1 TrueHD track for this release. The one thing this track does is vary from song to song. While some artists sound spectacular, the next sounds merely DVD-ish. Very few times did I really think I was listening to lossless over a lossy track and itís a bit unfortunate. But given how this was recorded I can't really fault Summit for this and still found it to be an great listen despite some faults.



.::OVERALL::.

If you like Paul Simon music you will no doubt enjoy this disc. This is something I will go back to and watch (and listen to) every few months because its so well done and the song selection is perfectly picked.