Genesis: Sum of the PartsOverview -
Featuring contributions from key members past and present Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips, as well as a wealth of archive performance footage of the band’s biggest tracks and fan favorites, this first official study of the band’s history commences with their formation at Charterhouse in 1967 and reunites the band for the first time in many years.
Produced by Eagle Rock Film Productions and directed by John Edginton, the film recounts an extraordinary musical story, exploring the band’s song writing as well as emotional highs and lows, alongside previously unseen archive material and rare performance footage from across their entire career.
Sum of the Parts explores the dynamic between the band members that have enabled them to survive numerous line-up changes alongside solo careers outside of the band.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
'Genesis' is one of the better rock n' roll bands to ever grace the stage or be spun on your record players. 'Genesis' actually formed before 'Woodstock' took place, which some of you might not know. Yes, they've been around almost fifty years playing music. They were inducted into the Music Hall of Fame back in 2010, soared to the top of the music charts for years, and have a wide collection of singles in their catalogue. Hell, they've even sold over 100 million albums to date and continue to add to that number each year.
Not only has the band done extremely well critically and financially, but each of its members have done well in their solo careers, two of them have become mega-stars. Back in October of 2014, the BBC in England released a documentary called 'Genesis: Together and Apart'. It was a companion piece to their 3-disc music set, spanning their career along with some of their solo work, which was called 'Genesis: R-Kive'.I highly recommend you get that album.
Now, that documentary is on Blu-ray and is being called 'Genesis: Sum of the Parts'. There's nothing here you probably haven't heard before in past interviews or stories that made the news. What's really nice about it and what keeps this documentary fun is seeing the band members reunite and reminisce about the old times together.
Drummer and lead singer Phil Collins, singer and musician Peter Gabriel, keyboardist Tony Banks, guitarist Mike Rutherford, and guitarist/bassist Steve Hackett all come together again for this documentary. None of them have really been together since Gabriel left the band all those years ago. This is mostly a talking head type of documentary with the various members of the band along with rock journalists and others discussing the band that is 'Genesis'. It mostly goes in chronological order from each album, which is spliced with vintage concert and news footage of the musicians.
It's so good to see these guys still cracking jokes and discussing what it was like to play music together all those years ago. Some of the memories were good, some were bad, but you can tell these guys still have a lot of love for each other. One of the better moments of the film is to hear the band members talk and laugh about when a young Phil Collins entered the scene. There were some great stories and big laughs there. Unfortunately for us, there are no full length musical performances. Instead we get snippets of their discography as background music while everyone is talking.
'Genesis': Sum of the Parts' isn't exactly an engaging or thrilling documentary. It's more for the fans to see and hear some of their favorite musicians relive and discuss the past with a lighthearted feel, because who knows how longer these guys will around.
'Genesis: Sum of the Parts' comes with a very good 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This documentary on the band 'Genesis' looks great. But with these types of documentaries that combine new footage and interviews with vintage footage, the video tends to weave in and out of excellence and unstable. But that's just how these things go. The newer footage of the band interviews and recent concert footage all look very sharp and vivid.
The talking head interviews reveal each individual hair, wrinkle, and stitching in their clothes very well. Even in the recent concert footage, the instruments pop and glisten, and there is a good amount of depth on stage. The vintage footage of course gets a bit murky and fuzzy with tons of issues, but that's not a transfer problem. Colors are bold and striking and very realistic, but again, in the vintage footage, the colors are a bit muted. Skin tones are natural and the black levels are deep and inky. There were no issues to report with the exception of the old footage, leaving this documentary with solid marks.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix along with a 2.0 LPCM stereo mix. It doesn't matter really which option you choose here, because this isn't really a concert film, but rather a ton of interviews mixed in with a little music to serve in the background. If it were a concert film, the 5.1 option would be the way to go, but since it's mostly talking here, either option will be just fine.
That being said, the dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow and free of any pops, cracks, and hissing. The music in the background as well as the short live concert footage sound amazing and full. However, like I mentioned above, the vintage footage is not as good as the new and recent footage, so the audio quality drops in these short places. The LFE is excellent and the dynamic range is very wide here, giving this audio presentation great marks.
Interviews (HD, 28 Mins.) - Here is some extended footage from the interviews of the band members that didn't make it in to the film. All of these are worth watching and are quite fun.
Booklet - 14-page color booklet with Journalist Craig McLean's essay of the band in 2014.
'Genesis: Sum of the Parts' is a fun and engaging documentary, however this is not the ultimate film on the band. If you've been a fan of the band and these musicians, you've probably heard most of these questions answered and stories told before. If not, you're in for a treat. All that being said, it's still exciting to see all of these talented musicians get together and discuss their time, playing music together. Both the video and audio presentations are great and the one extra full of more interview footage is definitely worth tuning in for. Fans of the band in any way shape or form should pick this one up.
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