Blu-ray Review (Posted on 11-14-2017)
Go ahead, say what you want about Las Vegas because you could've used all that breath toward something more meaningful instead of wasting other people's time with illogical criticism that won't affect other people's views and perspectives. More reasons why I strongly dislike politics.
That's why we have Las Vegas. My wonderful grandmother happily retired here, making Vegas my personal second home as my parents, my sister and myself, as a family, often would visit her from time to time. Really, Las Vegas isn't a new place for me since we're there all the time and it continues to grow and improve. Now with the acquirement of the NFL team Raiders
, development of their own NHL team Vegas Golden Knights
acquiring the WNBA basketball team [San Antonio] Stars
, Las Vegas is growing at a rapid rate—faster than what I've witnessed since I was born.
It is this Blu-ray that I just had to come to terms with, going as far as to review it. Despite the tragic events that have occurred here since the city's birth, Vegas continues to stay strong, and will always be. That's what I love about this city: people are in it together and not even a huge dent can harm Vegas' on-going show of pure entertainment. Making its way into professional sports, and even being a new destination for movie-making, Las Vegas may just be the city to be at. (However, it's housing cost are rising rapidly, and will continue, thanks to this review.)
Feature presentation of this Blu-ray features a nice, modest history of Las Vegas and excellent video tours of casinos in The Strip. You'll learn about fun facts about Las Vegas that many people don't know about. You also get a brief overview of the casinos such as The Mirage
and Caesars Palace
, how the casinos outdo each other and reinventing itself to entice more tourists and gamblers. Since this Blu-ray may have been released in 2012, as of that time, over 40 million visitors come every year to Las Vegas.
You better thank Rafael Rivera
for discovering an artesian spring called Las Vegas, which means "The Meadows." As the Railroad Union
came to be, the town of Las Vegas wasn't fully in tact until 1905 where small shops in the village came threw. The Union started auctioning large lots of land that when finally purchased, building local sites filled with activities involving gambling began taking place. All that eventually brewed up underground gambling, an activity that was illegal at the time. In 1931, legislatures saw gambling as an industry to profit off of, thus finally making it legal (in contrast to the legalization of alcohol). An area called The Strip slowly began to brew in the 1940s, as gambling gained more and more ground.
One of the most iconic casinos near the mid-1900s was the Flamingo
founded by mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel
. Six months after the casino opened, Seagal was shot to death (now it makes sense about Frank Sinatra's
ties to gangsters as he often performed there). Now, Flamingo is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment
Here's something to note: Nevada casinos banked $550 million dollars from just fifty-four table games in one year alone; Preferred game by high rollers is Bacarrat
; Downtown Las Vegas, featuring casinos like Golden Nugget
, Fremont Street
, being a famous site for movies, was the place where one of the casinos first used carpet floors.
Then came shots and narration about the Las Vegas buffets, namely Round Table Buffet
which is at the Excalibur
Interspersed with the feature presentation are various shots of the shopping centers, the lights in The Strip and the famous fountain show from the Bellagio
. The Blu-ray finishes with New Year's Day fireworks and credits.
For a feature presentation that's less than thirty minutes makes this a perfect broadcast for public television. To those who are huge fans of public TV, like myself, it has that public TV quality, making you want to cozy up at home on a rainy Friday night watching this while snacking on your favorite treats (I love that feeling of staying in). At the comfort of your own home, you get high-quality views of The Strip and Downtown Las Vegas almost as if you're there! Nevertheless, it's soothing and a beauty to watch.
Speaking of which, this Blu-ray comes with Bonus features: video tours of Hoover Dam
, Grand Canyon National Park
, Valley of Fire State Park
, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area
and Air Tour
of Las Vegas. If you're not a fan of the narration from the feature presentation, then these bonus features will appeal to you. All it is are various, professional shots of the attraction and the surrounding areas, including those tough-to-see shots that you won't get if you physically went there to visit. The longest presentation was the Hoover Dam, as the shortest was Red Rock Canyon. All shots were complete with beautiful, mind-clearing classical music soundtrack to make your weekend nights even more relaxing. While you watch these bonuses, you'll notice something weird:
Being a video editor myself, this graphic is featured on an old but popular editing package for the Mac branded Final Cut Studio 2
, under the motion graphics/visual effects software Motion
—Apple's very own take of Adobe's After Effects
. I'm puzzled as to why it even showed up on the video. On the Valley of Fire
video, that graphic popped up twice; On the Air Tour
video, it appeared 35/36 times on screen! I found it extremely annoying and was one of the reasons that affected our rating of this Blu-ray. It's distracting, so why was it implemented? I'm guessing the company never hired temporary Quality Control operators to make sure every pixel is perfect. Our other guess is perhaps that since this small project meant excited workers may be out of a job, a possible angry employee injected this graphic in as his/her final, subtle retaliation, hoping this Blu-ray won't sell because of awful management without them knowing. (If you worked as JDK Designs, we'd like to speak/ask to you about this
Nevertheless, with that random graphic, I felt this whole project was edited on the Final Cut Studio
suite, outputted via Compressor
, then the files and amaray were transferred to a Windows computer to burn and create the Blu-rays. As for the packaging, I like how the disc art says it's the perfect size for travel. Amusing. As for the graphic printed on the Blu-ray disc, it's sub-par at best. It could've been designed so much better, and with a higher quality printer. How do I know all this? I used to work for a video duplication company in Southern California—the same company who duplicated DVDs for FANTASY Luxor Calendar Shoot - Behind The Scenes
(yes, I'm serious). I don't work there anymore, but I still remember the operations and the process. (A lot of us aren't working there anymore anyway, as my former coworkers moved over to their rival company, Deluxe
As for this Blu-ray, it would've rated higher had it not been for those random lower-thirds appearing on screen. If the editor was trying to "watermark" parts of the video, they could've used a "burn-in" instead since it's less distracting. Whatever the reason likely won't change our rating. In that case, we'd prefer this price go for $4.99.
Besides those flaws, it is
a Blu-ray, almost public TV quality and in high definition. I still enjoyed it and loved it very much. I think this may be the start of watching and reviewing tons of high quality video tours of the best places to visit in the world. It saves me money from traveling, constant walking and fear of being pick-pocketed (yeah I know, nothing beats traveling to destinations in person). While I yearn for the one year when I can do nothing but travel, I sure wish the places to visit are much safer, as rotten apples are coming out to ruin things for me and everyone else, safety-wise. Please, enough. When a country has given citizenship to a robot, that's when you know we've got ways to go instead of causing a ruckus potentially ruining a beautiful city, like Las Vegas, as tourist-less.
Those in tour management of popular cities, take note: Stay strong. Strong like Las Vegas.
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© 2008-2018 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
Nowhere But Las Vegas Video Tour HD
Thank You Las Vegas!
Thank You 40 Million Tourists!
Without You...No Las Vegas.
Crew at JDK Designs
Sound Editors at Studio A
Location, Addition Footage Provided:
Las Vegas Convention
& Visitors Authority
Las Vegas News Bureau
Fremont Street Experience
Friends, Family and the
Las Vegas Business