DVD Review: Shine A Light

Paramount Home Entertainment

Release date: July 29th, 2008
MSRP: DVD $34.99, Blu-ray $39.99

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: The Rolling Stones, Darryl Jones, Bernard Fowler, Buddy Guy, Jack White, Christina Aguilera

Martin Scorsese is no stranger to rock and roll. Not only is it unusually an integral part in his films, but he was the man behind the camera for what is considered by many to be THE rock and roll documentary: The Last Waltz.
Credit must be given to the Stones as they appear to be comfortable with themselves at their current ages. The swagger is still there, but it seems to be a matter of the kind of confidence that comes with years of playing rather than the brash arrogant swagger of youth.
The chosen setting is the Beacon Theater. The result is a performance that makes this a more intimate performance.
While doing some research on this film, I found out that Scorsese put together a crew of camera workers whose resumes include The Lord of the Rings movies, Almost Famous, Children of Men, Michael Clayton and more. All of the aforementioned films featured visual styles that played major roles in their success.
The result here is a fantastic performance, with every magic moment captured just right. Quick Note: If you thought Keith looked rough before, you really should see him in High Definition.
The scary sight of Blu-ray Richards aside, this is the kind release that just begs to be seen in high definition. The previously mentioned exceptional camera work deserves it, and the sound is simply amazing.
This is a release that REQUIRES a home theater set-up. Anything less than 5.1 surround sound is criminal. You are put in the middle of the show, with fans cheering behind you. Very cool stuff.
When a band has been around as long as the Stones, any set list will leave some fans bemoaning the absence of a personal favorite. This is no exception.
While I was entranced by Shattered, Brown Sugar (introduced to me by an 80s commercial for a local classic rock station) and Tumbling dice, I was saddened by absence of Honky Tonk Woman and Waiting on a friend. If only they were able to play all of their classics. Of course this would mean a concert about five hours long, and that just might kill Mick, Ron and Charlie (Keith is like a cockroach, ain’t nothing gonna kill him). Of course bassist Darryl Jones is, at age 46, a mere pup and would likely survive.
This release also contains four songs that were not used in the theatrical release. Paint It Black, I’m Free, Undercover of the Night and A Little T&A. Prior to this, I was really only familiar with I’m Free as a cover done by The Soup Dragon, nice to hear the original fianlly. Also included are various bits that idd not make the cut.
Is Shine a Light the best Stones film? Probably not, but it is still a good time. Any fans will have a blast, and non-fans just might find themselves converted.
Jeremy Lynch (with Blu-ray help from Scott Calvin).
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