is familiar with the rock music of his generation, and
he's been no stranger to using it in his movies. As with
many of his films, rock-and-roll can be frenetic, loud,
and often wonderfully seductive. It's kind of surprising
that it took so many years for Scorsese to team with the
iconic Rolling Stones for a concert film. The Stones
have been rocking for so many years with daring riffs
and fast playing, pairing with Scorsese seems like a
"Rolling Stones: Shine A Light" is now available on Blu-ray disc.
Concert films are usually hard to watch. See concert. See band mates interviewed. See archival footage. See more concert footage. Unless you're a fan of the group in question, concert films are usually dull to watch. There have been exceptions. "Stop Making Sense" (1985) is pretty incredible. "U2: Rattle and Hum" (1988) was fairly slow going, but some of the concert footage was well done. Now with Scorsese behind the camera and taking in the Stones, we have a very good concert film. Not much is original. We've heard most of the Stones' songs hundreds, if not thousands, of times. The flying cameras and Scorsese's fast moviemaking style is familiar. What is likable about "Shine A Light" is the energy of the film. It's also nice to see the Stone's being themselves. Outrageously famous and rich, the Stones come across as normal "blokes."
The film offers some excellent performances from the Stones. Mick Jagger's voice has changed a bit over the years, but he still has the power to captivate the audience. Keith Richards still is amazing on guitar and just looks cool. Ronny Wood and Bill Wyman are at their best.
The film seems a little bit set-up with the footage of Scorsese worrying about how he's going to coordinate the film with the Stones. It does give you a sense that even the authority of Scorsese still has to work around the Stones, and perhaps not the other way around.
"Shine A Light" is pretty much aimed at Stones fans, but that shouldn't stop non-Stones fans from buying the Blu-ray disc for demo material. This is one you can turn up and probably not annoy your Baby Boomer parents. Well, except for mine who never got into the rock scene of the 1960s for some reason. If you love good old rock-and-roll, this disc is a real treat. I particularly enjoyed the two-channel PCM mix. I know -- it goes against home theater thinking that anything under 5.1 channels is blasphemy. But the PCM mix sounds incredible and natural. The audio is nicely staged between two speakers. The Dolby TrueHD and DTS-Master Audio mixes are very good if you really want to utilize your surround sound system, which I'm sure most people do.
The picture quality is top-notch. Robert Richardson, ASC looks like he used a few different film formats and film stocks to go from grainy black-and-white to crisp color. Some infrared video cameras to capture the director putting the film together.
The film was shown in IMAX (shot mainly in 35mm) and didn't do very good business. I didn't catch it theatrically, and I'm sure it was quite an experience. The film fits well at home on the small screen, that is if you have a small screen these days. Turn up the volume and get rockin' with the Stones.
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © Paramount Vantage. All rights reserved.
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