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Image Entertainment presents
Reggae Nation: Island Movement (2002)

"All over creation,
Jah people around one..."

- lyric from Come Rally by THC

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: December 15, 2004

Stars: Ky-Mani Marley, Sizzla, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Mr. Vegas, Tippa Irie, Slightly Stoopid, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Common Sense, Natural Vibrations, THC, David Hinds, Ooklah The Moc
Director: David Resin, Tim Gray

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 51m:11s
Release Date: August 03, 2004
UPC: 014381245127
Genre: music


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ B-C+B- B-

DVD Review

ReggaeNation: Island Movement is a strange little musical travelogue that runs less than an hour, and tries to breeze easily through a quick (emphasis on quick) overview of the global reach of reggae in all of its various incarnations. Like the music it tries to represent, the documentary is fairly light and airy, and buzzes around with the rhythmic flitting of a slightly stoned housefly.

Using an array of performances, music videos, and interviews with a number of reggae artists (Ky-Mani Marley, Sizzla, Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Buju Banton, Mr. Vegas, Tippa Irie, Slightly Stoopid, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Common Sense, Natural Vibrations, THC, David Hinds, Ooklah The Moc), Reggae Nation: Island Movement bounds from country to country, moving from Jamaica to Hawaii to England and, most surprisingly, to Japan. With no formal narration other than really the music, the various styles of reggae are briefly introduced, and the soundtrack accordingly delves into dancehall, roots, hip hop, dub and punk hybrids (notable for an interesting reggae rendition of the Spider-Man theme song by Common Sense), generally set over either live performances or surf/beach footage.

If you're looking for an in-depth history lesson, this won't necessarily be it. Consider this more of an informal and casual primer, suitable for introducing artists who represent the assorted sub-genres of reggae, intercut with cute girls and surfer dudes. Fairly well known acts like The Long Beach Dub Allstars, Slightly Stoopid and Tippa Irie get the expected degree of proper coverage here, but they are really given no more prominence than any of the other, lesser known performers whose music dots the soundtrack. David Hinds, of the legendary Steel Pulse, chimes in briefly, but his input is vague and nondescript to say the least.

My only real complaint is that much of the music gets truncated or is spoken over, so it never really becomes an uninterrupted soundtrack, which puts a damper on repeat viewings (though the brief audio CD included is a nice touch). The presentation of the different styles is obviously glossed over, given that there is only 51 minutes of runtime here, but from a 30,000 foot view, Reggae Nation: Island Movement is almost just an advertisement for the music and artists. That's never a bad thing, but the overlapping of the music dampers the long-term appreciation of a disc like this.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Reggae Nation: Island Movement comes from Image in 1.33:1 fullframe, and the mix of concert footage and beach scenery is nothing short of spotty; sometimes looking decent, while other times fair to below average. It's unfortunate, because the theme and message of the disc could have been sold better with a more polished and lush image transfer to match the easy, laidback content.

Image Transfer Grade: C+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
PCMEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: Audio is provided in 2.0 PCM stereo, and the quality really varies depending on the source material. Some of the live performances suffer from bad echo and very sibilant high end, while clips from music videos obviously come across much better. The dialogue during the interview is understandable, but never completely free of very minor sound imperfections.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 7 cues and remote access
Cast and Crew Biographies
Packaging: Gladiator style 2-pack
Picture Disc
2 Discs
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Audio CD
Extras Review: There are some brief text bios of the assorted artists that appear in the short film, but the high point of the extras comes from a bonus audio CD featuring five tracks heard in Reggae Nation: Island Movement—though unfortunately no Long Beach Dub Allstars. The songs on the audio disc are:
THC Come Rally
Slightly Stoopid Fire Shot
Isouljahs Wadada
Marty Dread On The Beach
Natural Vibrations Green Harvest


The film is cut into 6 chapters, with no subtitle options.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

I'm not really sure who the audience for a title like this is, because if you are already into reggae then most of these artists will probably already be familiar to you. If it's new to you, this might be a quick overview to point you in the direction of new music, but it's not going to really provide that much history or background.

There is, however, a bonus audio CD with 5 songs included, so that's a good thing.

 


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