Mariah Carey: The Adventures Of Mimi
R1 - America - Artist Nation in association with Redline Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Rob Fields (20th January 2008).
The Show

The first time I ever saw Mariah Carey was back in the summer of 1990. I was helping my best friend to this day with a delivery route. As we were packing up the bags with advertisements to be delivered, I noticed that the TV in the living room was on MTV. And wouldn't you know it? They were actually playing a...gasp!...MUSIC VIDEO!! At the time, it was a new R&B/Pop artist named Mariah Carey. My friend had known about her. The video was entitled "Someday". I only saw a little bit of it, but I really liked it. I liked how she sounded. I wanted to buy this CD, which I eventually did. I think I ended up buying a couple more of her CD's since her debut album (self-titled). After her third CD, I lost interest in her. It was getting to the point to where I was withdrawing back into the 1980's (where I remain to this day). I also know from working in a music store around the late 1990's and into the early 2000's that Mariah's career started to falter. She even had a big-screen movie called "Glitter" (2001) that tanked at the box office. Still, Mariah must have done something right as she was able to bring her career back to where it was when she first started. In fact, it seems that she's at the height of her career and keeps getting stronger. She's not a diva for nothing.
Mariah Carey, the top-selling female artist of all time with sales of over 160 million units worldwide, took her newest show to the road in 2006 for the first time in more than three years. "The Adventures of Mimi", her most successful tour ever, shaped up to be a grand celebration, drawing on songs : many performed for the first time ever : from her 15-year career. Shot in High Definition and recorded in Digital Surround Sound, this large scale, sold-out arena production produced by legendary Award Winning Producer Ken Ehrlich, is your all access pass to see Mariah belt out power ballads to hip-hop tracks with a special guest appearance by Boyz II Men who join Mariah to perform their record breaking hit duet "One Sweet Day". It is a fantasy come true to see and hear an artist of this magnitude touch the hearts and souls of so many fans with her famous live octave voice.

"The Adventures of Mimi" concert (1:19:24) starts off with a computer-generated rollercoaster ride which takes you right into the concert. Here, Mariah wastes no time in getting things started in front of a sold-out audience. You see Mariah herself quite dressed down for her performance (stop drooling, you guys : there's no nudity here). There are several giant screens and monitors above her that show her up close. After all, the audience has to be able to see her, especially those who are all the way in the back or up in the nosebleed section. She goes through quite a few costume changes throughout the concert. At one point, she leaves the big stage and makes her way to a smaller one with a light-up checkered floor. I'm not going to give too much away. After all, those of you Mariah fans who might be reading this are going to want something to look forward to, right? Some of the songs might sound like the CD's at first, but then they shift toward the live versions that are rightfully being performed on a big stage.

While I'm not really a Mariah Carey fan, I have to admit that this concert didn't suck. Mariah conducted herself very well as both a performer and a professional. I liked how she took the time to talk to her fans. Sure, most artists probably do that. Still, I'm sure the fans appreciated it. After all, they've probably paid a pretty penny for their tickets. I've heard people say they've been to concerts where the artists basically performed their album. They've also stated that they would have just assumed listen to their CD's rather than having to sit through that kind of a concert. No, Mariah definitely delivers the goods here. Even her duet with Boyz II Men doesn't fall short. The only way you'd hear this on a CD is if an album version of this concert were to be released. Anything's possible, right? I guess the only negative I would have to say about this concert is that I'm not a Mariah Carey fan. However, I'm not going to let that influence my final grade for this release. For what it was worth, I was kept entertained. That's all that matters here. Mariah fans definitely won't be disappointed.

The songs performed in this concert are:

1) "It's Like That"
2) "Heartbreaker"
3) "Dream Lover"
4) "My All"
5) "Shake It Off"
6) "Vision Of Love"
7) "Fly Like a Bird"
8) "I'll Be There"
9) "Fantasy"
10) "Don't Forget About Us"
11) "Always Be My Baby"
12) "Honey"
13) "I Wish I Knew"
14) "Can't Let Go"
15) "One Sweet Day"
16) "Hero"
17) "Make It Happen"
18) "We Belong Together"
19) "Butterfly Reprise"

Video

Both the concert and the extras are presented in Animorphic Widescreen format (1.78:1 ratio). I noted that this concert was filmed in High Definition. Watching it on my HDTV, it looks AWESOME. Okay, I know that on the DVD format, it's Standard Definition (probably formatted for HD) but the quality is perfect. There are no noticeable defects. If you have a DVD player that upconverts Standard Definition to High Definition, then you're in for a treat. You can see how the flesh tones on Mariah and her dancers shine. To really compliment the video, it's like having your own seat at the concert. You almost wonder if you can reach out and touch the people. When it comes to the concert itself, you can play the entire event through, or you can select which of the songs you want to hear individually (i.e. chapter selection menu). The video quality of the bonus materials is the same as the concert itself. You definitely won't be disappointed.

Audio

The concert and most of the extras feature three English audio tracks. The first is a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track. This track is pretty high up there on the volume level. In fact, I thought it was even louder than the dts audio track, probably because it's centralized to only the front two speakers. Still, if the volume level is too much for you on your normal setting, you may want to turn it down some. The second audio track is a Dolby Digital 5.1 surround soundtrack. To my surprise, this sounds just as loud as the Dolby 2.0 stereo track. The audio should be more to your liking here since it seems to fill the whole room a more. It IS surround, after all. The last audio track is a dts Digital 5.1 surround soundtrack. The audio is half bitrate for you audiophiles out there who are keeping score. While this audio track is not quite as loud as the two Dolby Digital soundtracks, the audio seems to be more crystal. In other words, you can clearly hear what Mariah is singing. You can also tell that the cheers from the crowd aren't as loud. There are no subtitles for the main concert itself.

Extras

This 2-disc set includes a documentary, two featurettes, a jukebox viewing option, karaoke feature, and DVD credits. Below is a closer look at these extras broken down per disc.

These are available in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround or half-bitrate dts Digital 5.1 surround (unless noted otherwise) and have optional English, French or Spanish subtitles (unless noted otherwise).

DISC ONE:

In the 'Bonus' section you will find only a single selection. It is a 14 minute 33 second "Behind-the-scenes" featurette. Some footage takes place before the actual concert and features Mariah and members of the crew talking about how big this event is going to be. You also get to see the crew as they keep an eye on things during the actual concert itself. Mariah also talks about those who are on stage with her during the concert and how close she is to them. Likewise, they have just as much kindness to say about her.

You also get a Jukebox option. With this you have all of the songs performed in two columns. You will also get a box with Selections Remaining. This starts out at 12. The more you pick, the more the number decreases. You can pick as many as you want until you reach 0. Once you do, then your selections automatically start playing. You also have options to clear your selections if you don't like your choices. However, this wipes your selections clean and you have to start all over again. Also, you don't HAVE to pick 12 selections. If you only want certain ones, just pick them and select the 'Play' option. You can also select any title multiple times. Since the selections are actually the concert chapters themselves, they are not subtitled.

DISC TWO:

The main feature on this disc is a "Making-of" documentary which runs 34 minutes 16 seconds. Here, you learn how the tour went from concept to performance. You will learn about what went into the design of the stages and props used. This is touched upon by Marian herself and other members of the crew. For those of you who want to go behind the scenes of this concert, this may be of interest to you. You also get personal insights from Mariah and company. Mariah also goes into details about the songs she performs for the concert, including how Boyz II Men ended up being on the stage for "One Sweet Day". Although there is no chapter selection menu, there are chapter stops. As big of an event as this was, I would have expected this documentary to be longer.

Starting out the bonus features on this disc is a Karaoke option. Here you get 6 songs with optional Mariah Vocals, which can only be turned on or off through the actual menu itself. These songs are in Dolby Digital 2.0 surround only and do not have the featured subtitles (English, French, Spanish). Here are the six songs (concert footage):

- "Shake It Off" which runs for 4 minutes 32 seconds.
- "Vision of Love" which runs for 5 minutes 7 seconds.
- "Honey" which runs for 5 minutes 15 seconds.
- "One Sweet Day" which runs for 5 minutes 16 seconds.
- "Hero" which runs for 4 minutes 23 seconds.
- "We Belong Together" runs for 3 minutes 42 seconds.

"Love and Haters" is a 4 minute 46 second featurette, which is more like a mini-movie. Here, Mariah goes to a club to meet some friends. When she gets there, some people at a neighboring table are putting her down. In another segment, some women are in a restroom spreading gossip about Mariah. Then Mariah herself shows up and the gossip stops. In the final act, people are trying to guess her race. It should prove for some laughs.

The DVD Credits runs for one minute. You hear Mariah singing "I'll Be There" as the credits roll. This option is in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo with no subtitles.

Packaging

Two DVDs are packed into a digipak, which slides into a cardboard cover. An 8-page booklet and a sample of the Mariah Carey perfume is included.

Overall

The Show: A+ Video: A+ Audio: A+ Extras: B Overall: A-

 


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