Much to the amusement of many who know me, I can admit I'm a fan of Katy Perry although I wouldn't call myself a die- hard fan in the way I am with The Prodigy, Michael Jackson or Guns n' Roses (yes my music taste is that varied). While Katy's music, and in particular many of her hit songs, may be best described as "sugar-coated pop", her tunes are catchy, her video clips light-hearted and colourful and, well, let's face it, Katy is pretty nice to look at too.
Fans of Katy Perry will certainly love this documentary, Part of Me. It gives a good account of her upbringing with her strict, very religious, parents, building her musical skills, moving away from home, struggles to get a recording contract and first release and finally her breakout to stardom. This story is told and intertwined with segments of her recent 124-date concert tour around the globe, and with a runtime of 93 minutes the film feels perfect in terms of length, but some fans will probably want more in the way of behind the scenes footage which, sadly, isn't provided in any great quantity on this release (more on that in the extras section).
Prior to starting this Blu-Ray I was pretty sure that the film would avoid much of Katy's personal life - and primarily her marriage to British comedian Russell Brand, as well as her subsequent breakup and divorce. In a very brave move, this is covered and it shows the struggles for Katy to keep the relationship going, and when it does end trying to keep a brave face, and keep performing for the crowds. It really is quite an emotional moment, and brings the film to a rather dramatic crescendo.
If, like most people today, you only have a 2DTV then you're not going to be disappointed either. In fact, this disc really is reference quality all the way with the AVC MPEG-4 encoded video, presented at 1.78:1, looking spectacular with some of the most vibrant colours, finest detail and jaw-dropping visuals. According to our PS3 the video bitrate sits above 30Mbps for the majority of the film, even in the more static scenes which ensures a fantastic level of fine detail, vibrant colours, great contrast levels and minimal black crush. This is even more surprising given the range of cameras used for the video footage over the last decade or more. Naturally the older footage lacks resolution, but still looks decent.
There's no doubt that when it comes to audio Katy Perry: Part of Me on Blu-Ray is reference quality from start to finish. Encoded with a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (24-bit/48Khz) track this is a phenomenal sounding movie. Sure there are moments where the audio is a little more muted - particularly the segments with interviews or footage of Katy as a youngster, but the concert audio is second to none with phenomenal bass levels and use of surround sound channels. If you want a release to test your new speaker setup you could do a lot worse than this release.
This disc also includes and English Audio Description track which is given a pretty impressive Dolby Digital 5.1 track at 640kbps. If you have a need for this track you're still going to have an impressive experience.
In all my years reviewing Blu-Ray discs I don't think I've seen one as loaded with subtitle tracks as this release. We sampled the English subtitles and while they don't appear during the musical numbers, they are accurate to dialogue in other parts of the film. So what languages are on the disc well you can expect subtitles in Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Malaysia, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Icelandic Italian, Korean, Magyar, Mandarin, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Simplified Chinese, Slovensky, Finnish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, English for the Hearing Impaired, and a couple of others we couldn't determine.
We must point out that as well as the 3D Blu-Ray, the version we reviewed included a second Blu-Ray disc with the 2D feature film (as well as the extras), a DVD and Digital Copy of the film. Talk about covering all bases! There are a few extras in this set, and while nothing sets the world on fire, there are some bit which fans should enjoy although a few more performances, commentaries or behind the scenes footage would have been appreciated.
"Last Friday Night" Full Concert Performance (4:17/HD): Here's the full performance of the hit song, but unfortunately the video and audio quality is nowhere near that of the feature film. Indeed while the video varies solid to poor (with some video compression artifacts in the darker sections), the Dolby Digital 2.0 track at 224kbps is very disappointing and lacks the punch of the films lossless audio. Still, nice to have the full song and performance.
"Waking Up In Vegas" Full Concert Performance (4:25/HD): As with the previous performance this too has average video and audio presentation, but it's still nice to see the full song.
The Grammy's You'll Never Take Away From Me (5:19/HD): This segment, filmed in February this year shortly after Katy's divorce, shows the preparation for the Grammy Award performance in which she has a dig at Russell Brand. Sadly this segment lacks any of the real performance (we're assuming due to Copyright issues), but a quick search online and you'll see the phenomenal performance.
Review By: Dave Warner